I just posted about the new deal with DC Comics, and now I hear that LEGO’s Disney deal has expanded to include Marvel superheroes as well! So it looks like we’ll be getting Spider-Man back also. According to an article on stitchkingdom.com:
The LEGO SUPER HEROES Marvel collection will spotlight three Marvel franchises – Marvel’s The Avengers movie, and X-Men and Spider-Man classic characters. The LEGO Marvel’s The Avengers movie line brings such ever popular Marvel characters as Iron Man, The Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Hawkeye, Loki and Black Widow to LEGO minifigure form. The LEGO X-Men collection includes minifigure comic versions of Wolverine, Magneto, Nick Fury and Deadpool, while the LEGO Spider-Man sets offer minifigure comic versions of Spider-Man, and Doctor Octopus. The first buildable characters in the LEGO SUPER HEROES collection are highlighted by Captain America, The Hulk and Iron Man. Select figures will be unveiled in the LEGO booth (#2829) during Comic-Con International at the San Diego Convention Center July 21-24.
Good news for superhero fans! LEGO and DC Universe (aka DC Comics) have announced a new partnership made through Warner Brothers that will have LEGO making new sets featuring Batman and other heroes from the DC Universe. According to an article in Variety,
The multi-year licensing deal, made through Warner Bros. Consumer Products, will start rolling out the new line in January, starting with 13 characters, including Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and villains the Joker, Bane, Harley Quinn and Lex Luthor.
This is great news for minifig collectors and superhero fans! LEGO made Batman themed sets a few years ago, which have become highly valuable to collectors in the past few years. My advice? Buy as many of these new sets as you can afford and stick them in your attic for a few years, then sell on eBay.
Blogger and podcaster CC Chapman has set up a great video series where his daughter Emily pontificates on the issues that matter to her. The latest one is “Why Does LEGO Ignore Girls?” where she makes the case for LEGO to make more products that are accessible to girls.
I’ve always been bothered by this. They say time and again that their target market is boys ages 8-11 and that’s what they target all their products toward, and they offer token girl sets such as the lame Belleville line and pink brick buckets, which don’t sell well because they are lame!
Like Emily says, girls like the town sets a lot. She suggests a shopping mall. I’ve heard this from other girl LEGO fans as well: build sets that model everyday life, and girls will love them. The town sets always seem to be about police and firefighters historically. Lately the farm line has some promise, as do the Cafe Corner type buildings (though these tend to be for an older age group, and you’d lose the girls before they got to be old enough to be able to build them without frustration).
Another suggestion I’ve heard many times is to make LEGO babies. The new 1×1 stud footprint figures used in the LEGO games might be a good starting point for this.
Anyway, watch the video for yourself, and share it with anyone you know who has girls that might feel the same way. And more than anything, keep pestering LEGO about this issue. They won’t do anything about it until there’s a large groundswell of support for LEGO sets aimed toward girls.
Today, LEGO has announce a new Android App for LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT. If you have an Android based phone, you can use this to manipulate your LEGO robots using Bluetooth. I have a Motorola Droid, and I have two MINDSTORMS NXT sets, but have never built anything with them. I really should get around to doing something about that.
(About half the words in this post are trademarks of someone or other, but I don’t feel like inserting all of the ® and “TM” indicators….)
I just got the following notice in my email from LEGO:
SAFETY RECALL NOTICE
Dear LEGO Consumer
In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the LEGO Group is voluntarily recalling the 8879 Power Functions IR Speed Remote Control unit, which poses a thermal burn hazard to users when batteries inside overheat. The remote control unit was sold separately as item #8879 or was included in K8882 Power Functions Kit or the K10194 Emerald Night Collection.
We are writing to you because our records indicate that you purchased one of these items.LEGO Systems has found that some of the remote control units (the kind that was included in your set) are not performing correctly. If your remote is one of the affected you would have noticed that it becomes hot to the touch in the first 5 to 10 minutes of initial operation. If you did not experience this situation when you first loaded batteries into the remote then your remote is not affected. If your remote is affected, we ask that you return it to us in exchange for a new remote control unit. Simply call 1-800-718-1858 between the hours of Monday-Friday 8am-10pm ET and Saturday-Sunday 10pm-6pm ET (if outside the US/Canada dial +1-860-763-3211) and we will give you instructions on how to return the unit and also answer any questions that you might have.
Thank you for your time and attention to this, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We wish your family many more happy and creative hours of building fun with LEGO brand products.
Anyway, back to the LEGO ads. I don’t think these are real ads, since some of them seem quite out of character for LEGO’s style (especially the sex/drugs/violence ones). They seem more like what a designer might propose to the LEGO company for use in an ad. But anyway, this one was my favorite:
We promise to listen to you and use your feedback to improve!
You might notice that the link refers to the LEGO Kids Inner Circle; this is because Satmetrix, which hosts that site, is also supporting our efforts to track AFOL opinions. Rest assured that this survey is for AFOL’s only.
LEGO Community Relations Coordinator
Truthfully I didn’t have a lot to suggest. I think LEGO’s pretty much doing everything right these days. My only beef is the discontinuation of 9V trains but then, I understand why they are doing it. I just hope the new Power Functions trains that are supposedly coming out next year are good enough.
The gist of it is that one of the “bad guy” kits that BrickArms sells has pissed off some Islamic organizations in Britain, who’ve raised a stink about it. BrickArms calls the kit “Bandit — Mr. White” without any implication that it’s an Islamic terrorist, but the Ninja-style headwrap it comes with, combined with a substantial arsenal of weapons, does remind some peole at least of a stereotypical Islamic terrorist.
The article quotes a source at LEGO disclaiming any endorsement of BrickArms, saying “The LEGO Group is committed to developing toys which enrich childhood by encouraging imaginative and creative play — and does not endorse products that do not fit with this philosophy.” They’re implying that BrickArms are not encouraging imaginative and creative play which sounds like pretty strong words. While I’m not a fan of the BrickArms and BrickForge products personally, I would not go so far as to say they don’t encourage imaginative and creative play!
It’ll be interesting to see how this shakes out. There’s a saying in Hollywood that “there’s no such thing as bad publicity as long as they spell your name right” and if that’s true, BrickArms is sure to have a big boost in sales. On the other hand, I wonder if LEGO’s lawyers might decide to send them some kind of cease and desist order if enough bad publicity is sent their way…