It’s amazing this has taken so long, to be honest. Lego and WB have announced Lego Dimensions, a toys-to-life game along the lines of the stupendously popular Skylanders, Nintendo amiibo and Disney Infinity. With these things, you buy a little figurine, and that plugs into your console game somehow to give you access to that character and associated content in the game. Already announced sets include characters from Lord of the Rings; The Lego Movie (obviously); Back to the Future; The Wizard of Oz; and the more family-friendly components of DC Comics. There will also be sets based on Ninjago, which I have to assume is a plastic toy adaptation of the chorus of Vanilla Ice’s “Ninja Rap”.
Toys-to-life games are a pretty naked moneymaking scheme akin to The Sims series’ endless deluge of expansion packs, only in this case, they involve physical toys as well. And it works: Skylanders has sold hundreds of millions of toys and made over three billion dollars in this fashion, becoming today’s highest-selling children’s game series and action figure franchise in the process. I may not understand children, but I do understand that they love this shit. They also love Lego. So they’ll probably love this. And the Lego video games are pretty good games, so maybe the ceaseless monetary outlay won't sting quite as bad.
Says Jon Burton, the founder and creative director of TT Games: "When kids play with Lego bricks, they build beyond the singular brands, intermixing all of their favorite characters and universes, and we have come up with a way for players to experience that in games. Now for the first time in a videogame, Lego fans can play in the virtual world and in the real world — combining everything without restrictions. Imagine putting LEGO Gollum from The Lord of the Rings behind the wheel of the Lego DeLorean Time Machine in New Ninjago City — the creative play is endless."
Endless, Jon? Not with such a cynical outlook on what Lego can be - or, assuming that actual free Lego play won’t exist in Dimensions, such a limited view of which Warner Brothers titles can be raided for minifigs. It’s hard to imagine Harry Potter is far away, but we’ve got a huge film catalogue at our disposal! Let’s go deeper. Let’s seriously build out the WB/Lego shared universe:
* The Flintstones And The Jetsons Meet Annabelle Fun Pack
* American Sniper Vs. Iron Giant Fun Pack
* The Eyes Wide Shut Level Pack
* The Freebie & The Bean & Mad Max Team Pack
* The Devils Convert My Fair Lady Fun Pack
* Krush Groove Feat. The Sea Hawk Team Pack
* Mildred Pierce Enters The Matrix Level Pack
Maybe I can get behind this after all.