Friday, 3 January 2014

What Happened to the Last LEGO Games?

Following up on the original article last April, there is now more clarity about the fate of LEGO Games. A limited release of the sets came out over the Summer around Europe, although Story Mixer seems fated to the ‘what would have been’ LEGO section. Will there be another opportunity to get hold of the cancelled LEGO Games?

In the original piece I stated that LEGO Games had been cancelled, and that the last few sets revealed at UK Toy Fair would not make it to release. It turns out that these sets had only been cancelled to regular retail accounts, and that LEGO did make them available in a limited fashion. The three LEGO Games this is relevant to are:

Batman (50003)
Legends of Chima (50006)
The Battle for Helm's Deep (50011)

These were not available at regular retail, but were made available at European LEGO Brand Stores back in June/July time. Bizarrely, along with the rest of the LEGO Games, they were almost immediately clearanced. So the window to buy these from a physical LEGO Store was very short indeed. 

Fortunately these were then available in selected countries (much of Europe) on the LEGO Shop at Home website, although this doesn't do a lot to help those in the USA or elsewhere. LEGO have form with not bringing certain games to the USA. The Battle of Hoth (3866) never saw release state side, possibly due to licensing issues.

As the hard work of designing the sets and producing instructions for the games has been done, a limited release of these remaining LEGO Games makes sense rather than no release at all. It is reminiscent of how the second year of the original Batman line was handled in the UK, with those sets only available direct from LEGO. But what was bizarre about this is that it isn’t really worth the effort of doing a production run for a couple of months’ sales direct from LEGO.

One other game was announced at Toy Fair, and that was Story Mixer (50004). Story Mixer was along similar lines to Creationary (3844) and Champion (3861) in that it was very focused on creativity and imagination. Unfortunately it has not shown up alongside the other three, suggesting that this game may have been cancelled cancelled (rather than just cancelled like the others). At present the instructions are available on the LEGO website, so it may be wise to grab them now. There doesn't seem to be any unique elements in the game so it could be one for Bricklink.

The situation with LEGO Games is still fluid. Perhaps a batch of the 2013 sets will turn up on US Shop at Home site, but at this stage that doesn't look likely. At least fans have had a chance to grab a last few games before the line ended rather than forever squinting at images of the Batman game and wondering what it could have been. There is the possibility of course that the three games that did see release have some more stock out there. It is extremely unlikely that an entire production run was sold through the LEGO website and stores.

If these do make it out, there isn’t much chance they will be as cheap as they would have been if released at regular retail. But at least more fans will get the chance to own them. So keep your eyes peeled in January, you never know where they might turn up…

1 comment:

  1. I see the building instructions for 50004 Story Mixer on here: - but without the game-playing instructions, it's not much use. Have you been able to find these anywhere online?