So I go to a large toy store, and I start to see the summer toys that are being released - and my eye wanders to some of the clone sets.
While some of the clones are pretty bad in terms of production value (Best-Lock, for one) and others are just odd (K'nex?), I do have a weak spot for looking at Mega-Bloks stuff. Not because I would buy them (I have bought a couple of sets that pretty much proved what we already know - Mega-Bloks isn't all that great), but they have sets that I really wish LEGO would sell.
Of course, if LEGO did sell them, much of their values would go down the proverbial toilet, as the sets I pine for have some kind of violent overtone - military sets, most of the time.
But the sets that caught my attention have to do with the movies out this summer. MB has sets for Spider-Man 3 and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. What's interesting is that LEGO had the rights to Spider-Man (and honestly, those sets were so-so) and rights to Disney before then. So LEGO had opportunities.
To be fair, LEGO's sets for Spider-Man and Spidey 2 were nice support for the movie, but the sets were somewhat lacking. I think that the problem that LEGO had and now MB has is that these were marketed as 'playsets' not building sets. And that simple denial of the actual toy's purpose pretty much destroyed the real possibilities of the sets. LEGO got out of Spider-Man because of low sales, and this is possibly one of the reasons behind the low sales - kids were not shown the possibility of what a set could do , but how it fit the Spider-Man universe. It's a limiting of the imagination.
The MB Spiderman sets don't do anything for me - in fact they kinda suck. Spiderman Mecha sets? Who thought of THAT? And why do they all look the same?? And why doesn't Spider-Man's mech look like a, um SPIDER???
Okay, so I got that out of my system.
About the Pirates sets...I actually am saddened that I cannot bring myself to buy these sets. But they are MB, so that makes things clear. No buy, but look. And I see some neat things.
The sad things is that three movies, with possibly more down the pike, have been made, and with each release, there was an opp to release a Pirate set from LEGO. Argh! I would have bought them!! (Pirate DUPLO does not count)
But MB did sets, and they were kinda neat, but again nothing worth buying. Things got a little more complicated this year - the MB Pirates: At World's End sets are a good example of great ideas---BAD followthrough.
The minifigs they have for the characters are nice, but overdetailed to me - my LEGO bias shows itself on that:-) But Davy Jones looks cool, simply put.
Now the sets - they have a big assortment - including 2 minifig packs for 3 bucks - definitely worth considering if you want them. There's also a lot of price points to choose from too, but some of the sets are kinda odd - especially the smaller ones - they have FEW pieces and minifigs.
There are three sets that caught my eye, and each for different reasons:
1. Kraken set - this is the first item that has any rendition ANYWHERE of the Kraken from Dead Man's Chest - which really has my attention. It's built in typical MB fashion - no real parts, just a body and then attach tentacles - bleah! But a Bionicle take on this would be really cool!! And this set really needs a ship to fight the Kraken - you get a...pier? The Kraken couldn't even getthat close to land!! But it was such a cool idea - but no followthrough....
2. Flagship Battler set - ship sets that shoot and can shoot each other! Better yet, the two guns feed from one ammo 'clip' - the main mast. They shoot ping-pong balls and can shoot targets on the other ship to battle. Thats a really cool idea, but he models are only a couple dozen parts....no real building.
3. Collector's Set (TRU exclusive) - this is a three pack with a set from each movie. The set from Dead Man's Chest is pretty dull (a cannibal set), and so is the set from At World's End (a very small Singapore set). But the set for Curse of the Black Pearl is the treasure room and it has...loose treasure - cool! And it has BOTH Jack Sparrow and Barbossa in half skeleton mode - MAJOR cool! But the rest sucks....
I should point out that MB had the Star Trek: Next Generation Enterprise, and I never bought that set either - and I'm a major Trekker!! But LEGO is more important:-)
So I wouldn't buy any of this, but I can pretty bummed out with the "what ifs?" that could have happened if LEGO still had at least the Disney license...
I gotta tell y'all about a clone that has rights to the Disney parks in Japan and has done some really cool ride vignettes you can get in Japan.....next time!!