December 16th, 2011
(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: email@example.com
We ended up getting the Lego Star Wars calendar instead, which is awesome except that it’s not particularly Christmassy (though you do get a Yoda dressed as Santa at the end (that’s in continuity, right?)) and it cost an unbelievable $40 because of the licensing fees (it’s like $10 more than the normal calendar).
This is par for the course in old Legoland now. Outside of the Movie tie-ins (Star Wars and Harry Potter being the marquee products, Pirates of the Caribbean and (inexplicably) Prince of Persia holding up the rear), they’ve created a series of in-house brands like Ninjago, Atlantis, and Alien Conquest that hew pretty closely to the spaceships-n-guns success they found with Lego Star Wars. Ninjago goes the extra mile, with a spin-off DVD series.
Lego City, the one readily available (read: you can go to Target to buy it) Lego series that hasn’t traditionally hewn to the ships-n-guns model has gone deep on cops and robbers this year.
Look: I will fully admit that these sets are really, really cool. My son is getting a gigantic Millenium Falcon set from Santa this year (DON’T TELL) and both my wife and I are excited to play with it too.
But it’s a model kit. We will put it together once and we will play with it a lot and that will be that. It won’t get remixed, won’t get hacked. Eventually it’ll come apart and be put away and not rebuilt because 1000 pieces is a pain in the ass.
The reality is that the unisex, open-ended, building and imaginative creation sets that my peers normally associate with Lego are gone.