Monday, 2 April 2012

All About Bricks Question & Answer #2

As if all of that new Ninjago product appearing isn’t enough, already we have a question on how long the line is set to last. And that newly announced R2-D2 (10225)... does it mark the beginning of more sculptures? When’s the Car Park (4207) coming? If everyone is this impatient I suppose you’ve already clicked ‘read more’!

Apologies to regular readers for the lack of new articles in March. Unfortunately once one problem went away another popped up! The aim for April is to be back on track. 

WarzFan asked: “Great news about the new R2-D2! Could this be a new direction for LEGO exclusives?”

Agreed, it is fantastic that such an iconic Star Wars character is getting a nice representation in bricks. Unfortunately, I can’t see it becoming the norm for us to see such releases. They tend to be few and far between, the Mini-figure (3723), Dragon (3724), Yoda (7194) and Darth Maul (10018) were all great releases -  a decade ago. So it seems LEGO determined that demand was on the side of mini-figure scaled sets rather than ‘sculptures’. 
I imagine that most fans would rather stick with traditional, mini-figure scaled LEGO sets, but now the brick is back in vogue I would bet that the occasional set such as R2-D2 (10225) could be rather popular.

Alex asked: “I have read about a new garage set being released for City... when will this be out?”

The first multi storey car park since City re-launched will be a Toys R Us exclusive, replacing Public Transport (8404) around the £100/$100 mark. The set number is 4207. 
Also, UK readers should take note that the Recycling Truck (4206) [exclusive to Wal*Mart in the USA] is available now from Asda stores at a reasonable £20. 

LJ_73 asked “With the success of the Ninjago theme, how long do you think it will last for?”

Clearly in 2012 Ninjago has had a huge push again, with it even being backed up by online and TV episodes. This is due to continue into next year, currently scheduled to be the final year of the Ninjago theme. There will be more animation to support the product line too. 
The question includes the element about whether the popularity of the theme will increase its longevity. This is a tricky one. Obviously when a line is extremely successful and makes lots of money, the solution would be to extend its run and create more products. But LEGO have likely been developing a replacement for Ninjago for a while, and if they throw a similar marketing budget at it, it may prove just as popular. 
The question that this poses is whether certain LEGO themes – such as Ninjago – are popular because for whatever reason children respond really positively to the products or whether they see it advertised on TV so often they are almost brainwashed into wanting it. Speaking with those who are on the frontline, in the toy shops, TV advertised toys generally sell much better than those that are not TV advertised. 
My feeling is that LEGO will stick to the original plan for next year to be the final year of Ninjago. Whatever replacement has been dreamt up will be ready to go for 2014, and I can’t imagine that having spent time and money LEGO would be willing to delay its release.

American Edition
Jason asked: “My son asked for the Padawan Menace on DVD from Tesco. When I went to buy it for him, only the Blu-ray copy had the mini-figure with it. Why would LEGO not package it with the DVD copy too?! Frustrated.”

Good question. Over in the USA, where Wal*Mart had exclusivity on this one, they released a copy that included the Blu-ray, DVD and the mini-figure. That makes sense. Even folk with Blu-ray players tend to have DVD players in other rooms of the house.
In all likelihood it was a cost cutting measure, save a few pennies by not including the DVD copy with the Blu-ray. Perhaps more Blu-ray players have been purchased in Britain than the USA, so it was deemed unnecessary to include the DVD. But I’m afraid there is no definitive answer available. But I agree, it’s strange and it’s stupid.

Thanks for all of the questions! Keep them coming, e-mail your LEGO related questions to, or leave them in the Comments section below.

Coming up are articles about Collectible Minifigures, speculation about City and the new LEGOLAND Windsor Resort Hotel. 

1 comment:

  1. Personally, I do think that this next year will be the last for Ninjago, as the majority playthemes seem to have a maximum life span of 3 years. I am curious if it will be a full 2013, or if it will be like Exo-Force, ending with only a few sets at the beginning of the year, or like Atlantis, where there are two waves throughout the year, but very few products total. One thing that has always bothered me about LEGO is that their themes that have characters and character development usually don’t last long. Hasbro's themes, while some fail spectacularly, are generally around for a much greater time (granted, several reboots helped this). LEGO has Bionicle and now Ninjago as themes that people may instantly recognize. Compare that to Hasbro's G.I. JOE, Transformers, My Little Pony, Mr. Potato Head, Zoids and even Lite-Brite. The one thing that LEGO may have going for it is that many people do not associate these products much with Hasbro, but they defiantly associate LEGO lines with LEGO.