Sunday, 15 February 2015

LEGO Star Wars Constraction, or As Luke Said to Vader, “Nooooooo!”

When LEGO Star Wars is the runaway success that it is without any movie support, it is not surprising that marketing guys and bean counters at LEGO sit around all day slapping one another on the back and wondering what new ways they can find to milk more money from their most lucrative license. If only they had come up with anything else…

General Grievous (10186) was a great example of LEGO releasing a one-off, big figure. It looks good, but it doesn’t move a lot, it’s really a display piece – a statue – more than a figure. The old Technic LEGO Star Wars figures were fun, and worked best by far when focused on droids. The reason these worked was because they were using genuine LEGO and LEGO Technic building techniques to reproduce, surprisingly accurately, Star Wars characters (the Battle Droid [8001] was particularly good).

But these… what the sithspawn are these? They don’t look remotely like LEGO… the only identifiably LEGO part is Luke’s blaster… the only defence of this product being released with a LEGO logo on is that they are not supposed to be like regular LEGO, that they are part of the brilliant family of constraction products. Well fair enough, Bionicle was a staple part of childhood for many kids, and that those Chima figures meant kids could play with big versions of Laval and Cragger… but kids can already get Star Wars action figures.

By the time The Force Awakens hits cinemas, kids and collectors will be able to choose from the following Star Wars action figure products:

  • Hasbro 4” Star Wars action figures
  • Hasbro 4” Star Wars action figures with better articulation
  • Hasbro 6” Star Wars action figures
  • Hasbro 12” Star Wars action figures
  • Jakks Pacific 18” Star Wars action figures
  • Jakks Pacific 31” Star Wars action figures
  • Jakks Pacific 48” Star Wars action figures
  • Disney Store Exclusive 16” Star Wars action figures
  • Gentle Giant oversized vintage repro Star Wars action figures
  • Sideshow Collectibles 12” Star Wars action figures
  • Hot Toys 1/6th scale Star Wars action figures
  • Bandai 7” Movie Realization Star Wars  action figures
  • An as-yet-unannounced line of electronic figures

Plus all of the deluxe versions of the above, convention exclusives, vehicle ranges and multi-packs et cetera.

But none of those figures are constraction figures of course… and that’s what the market really needs, a figure that breaks into pieces and can be put back together (apparently). After all, kids want to put Vader’s head on Luke’s body and what not. Oh yes, I just realised I missed a line from my list…. Hasbro are releasing Star Wars Mashers… which are action figures which come in pieces to build and can be swapped around.

Star Wars is going to be saturated beyond all imagination on the toy shelves this September, and some companies will lose big time thanks to the ludicrous fragmentation of different product segments. LEGO will be a Star Wars winner, but let’s hope that this lazy, cynical, derivative product line fails miserably.

Thank goodness that the fantastic looking UCS TIE Fighter (75095) was also announced. That is what LEGO should be doing. 

No comments:

Post a Comment