2013 is the 60th year that the UK has played host to a national Toy Fair, where those in the toy industry get together to plan for the year ahead. The event ran from the 22nd to 24th January 2013 at the Olympia Grand Hall. LEGO were present, as were some other companies showcasing licensed LEGO products. Over the past few days All About Bricks has released lists of the sets that were shown, but for interesting titbits, reactions to the new product and what on Hoth The Yoda Chronicles is, read on...
If anyone is not sure that Legends of Chima exists, LEGO are determined to change that. The entrance to the Olympia featured two huge brick-built statues – Laval and Cragger, and a brick-built interpretation of the world of Chima. If that wasn’t enough, Laval and Cragger were also wandering around to meet visitors to the event.
Unfortunately no photos were allowed on the LEGO booth, but we did get a look at what new sets are to be released over the rest of 2013. Each area was nicely decked out to represent a different theme. For the full lists, check out this week’s previous articles. Here are some random pieces of information that were shared, and observations on the upcoming sets.
• The City starter set (60023) includes an Ambulance, Fire Car, Police Bike and skateboard.
• The new Elite Police sets this year were designed to keep boys interested in City until they get a bit older, hence the ‘darker’ feel to the products.
• Coast Guard is no longer as garishly orange, and includes sharks in most sets. The vehicles are quite big and juniorised.
• Cargo’s main set, the Cargo Terminal (60022) is essentially a huge plane made of large pieces with a small control tower.
• The City Advent Calendar (60024) is much better than the 2012 one, more variety again.
• Unfortunately a 20% price increase on the Great Vehicles range.
• The Mandalorian Speeder (75022) set includes Darth Maul with cybernetic legs.
• The Homing Spider Droid (75016) will include Adi Gallia, and is much like the previous release. The Corporate Alliance Droid (75015) includes Jango Fett for some reason!
• The new AT-TE (75019) includes Coleman Trebor, is no bigger than the last one and doesn’t have enough Clones in it!
• Yoda vs Dooku (75017) looks good. It includes parts of the hangar they duel in, the Dooku mini-fig shown was The Clone Wars one - hopefully that was just a placeholder. ALso included are the Pilot Droid and Poggle the Lesser.
• Some may like the new design of Jabba’s Sail Barge (75020), but it is a major step down from the previous release. It is too small and seems like a step back, frustratingly Max Rebo, Weequay and Ree-Yees are included making it a must have.
• As with the previous releases, the Republic Gunship (75021) looks very nice. It includes a Genosis Padme which is a welcome addition.
• The Yoda Chronicles - this is to be a LEGO Star Wars animated series. It is unclear where it will be screened. Each episode features Yoda going in to the Jedi Archives to find an adventure, and that story is told for the episode. They will be from all different times in the Saga, some will be familiar, some won’t. Jek-14’s Stealth Starfighter (75018) is from this series, based on the ship belonging to a new villain.
• The Advent Calendar (75023) is mainly micro models still, but the mini-figs are generally good army builders and Santa will be (highlight to reveal): Jango Fett.
• Iron Man 3 sets are a speed boat, a control room, a helicopter and a car. War Machine is one of the mini-figures included.
• Superman sets are a pod, a car, and a Spaceship thing. General Zod, Colonel Hardy and Lois Lane are some of the mini-figures.
The Lone Ranger
• Absolutely awesome. These sets are extremely detailed and well designed, there are lots of working features. The Train (79111) and the Mine (79110) look absolutely brilliant in person. If this line does badly because the movie doesn’t take off it will be a massive shame.
Legends of Chima
• The Lion Chi Temple (70010) should interest even non-Chima fans, it is a very impressive looking set.
• Craggers Command Ship (70006) splits up into smaller vehicles.
• The Chima action figures replace the Super Heroes range, and will be fit into the main story. When the regular mini-figures drink the Chi, they grow and become the powerful action figure incarnation of themselves.
• The Super Heroes: Batman (50003) game looks nice, but not as well themed as other licensed games have been. Micro-figs included are Batman, Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, Mr Freeze, Joker, Two Face and the Riddler.
• Story Mixer (50004) follows up Creator and Champion, is designed for the whole family and involves coming up with silly stories using what players build.
• Castle looks nice, the actual Castle set (70404) is nice. It has a very classic feel to it.
• The highlight of Friends this year looks to be the Dolphin Cruiser (41015), all of the sets however still show an excellent attention to detail.
• The Creator houses look typically good.
• Galaxy Squad – Star Slicer (70703) will be exclusive in the UK to members of the Toymaster group.
That covers the LEGO stand, meanwhile there lots of awful LEGO knock-off products about, even one from a major toy company. Really badly designed products that remind fans why they like LEGO and not this other rubbish.
Re:creation produce the range of LEGO lights that are available, and although these are not usually of much interest to collectors there are some neat products coming. The mini-figure small torches will feature new characters, including Captain Brickbeard, Father Christmas, Classic Spaceman, Boba Fett, Captain Rex, C-3PO, R2-D2, Chase McCain and a Robber. There will also be a LEGO Boba Fett lamp released, and a new range of lights target at girls in Friends packaging, featuring Friends-type colours.
Perhaps of more practical use is the range of storage products from ROOM, who will release carry cases based on Legends of Chima and Friends. There will also be a Star Wars Death Star carry case and a Friends playmat. West Designs showcased LEGO stationery, including new Retractable Pens with designs based on the Collectible Minifigure characters, and of course new products based on Legends of Chima and Friends.
That concludes the All About Bricks report from UK Toy Fair 2013, where LEGO had an impressive presence and despite cheap imitations showed just why they are the best at what they do.