Sunday, April 1, 2012

Lego Misses the Boat

So, I recently read that Mega Bloks managed to snag a Blizzard license. I've seen pre-lim images of the upcoming World of Warcraft line and read that a Star Craft set was sold at the last Blizzcon event.

So now Lego has missed three of the biggest merchandising trends: Halo, World of Warcraft, and Star Craft.

We know it's not because of the violence or dark-toned themes inherent in the stories because Lego recently agreed to ten more years of Star Wars, in spite of the darkness and violence of The Clone Wars animated story.

So what happened? A Warcraft or Starcraft collectable minifig line alone would be enough to pay for the license fees.

At this point it must come down to politics. Maybe the license owners just don't like Lego.

Maybe Lego's turnaround wasn't what they wanted or maybe the level of detail in the product.

Whatever happened, Lego missed the boat. And so did Lego fans.

Lego vs. Violence

After watching Star Wars: The Clone Wars Umbaran story I have come to the conclusion that Lego can no longer claim to have an issue with violent or dark-toned properties. Long after those episodes aired, Lego agreed to ten more years of the Star Wars license.

The Umbaran story has it all: soldiers being crushed and cut in half or eaten, an execution, even a suicide bomber. One scene shows an enemy combatant struggling to breath through a cracked helmet and a Clone Trooper pointing a gun toward his head then pulling the trigger.

This article isn't about trying to get Lego to pull out of the license because of the violence, it's about the Lego company's hypocrisy.

Don't tell us that a military theme would be too violent, you already have that with the Clone Wars. You've had it for a while but this particular story is so extreme in its graphic depictions and dramatic effects that I wonder if kids should even be watching the show at all.

My point, perhaps not clearly written, is that if The Clone Wars is not too violent or dark for Lego, then I don't see how much of anything else could be either.

Lego is not allowed to use that excuse as a crutch anymore.