New York's American International Toy Fair February 20, 2011
Here comes a new challenger! In the USA, Hasbro Games have been top dog for ages, with Mattel bringing up some strong brands. Newly added to the games sector is LEGO Games who made a bit of a splash last year with games trading on their own IP as well as the Harry Potter license. The games employ a mix of existing and new elements, so it's possible that new games like the reasonably cheap Banana Balance may be bought by the AFOL group who just wants a large lot of bananas on the cheap.
In a largely unprecedented move as board games go, Heroica has four games under the name and each can be played individually or combined together to make one larger game. Given that LEGO Games are less rigid in the rules than traditional American board games, it's entirely possible that variations on gameplay will be in the hands of the consumer-- something that generally appeals to a very specific crowd (i.e., nerds* [i.e., RPG players.])
Other themes getting games include new 2011 entries Ninjago and UFO Attack, which I believe the business would refer to as "synergy." Ramses Return is meant to follow-up last year's Ramses Pyramid, which I'm told sold really well, although I can't be so certain because games are not quite my area of expertise. This category looks to be growing this year, although I have to say it doesn't look quite as much fun as the construction sets with their regular-sized figures and wacky accessories. Although I will say this: if I had to buy a gift for some kid? This would probably be what I'd pick up this year.
* - If any nerds are offended, please take a look at the front page of the site and remember, we're all on the same team. Unless you collect sports stuff and then I bid you good day.
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