New York's American International Toy Fair February 23, 2011
Featured Toy Video
Something expensive this way comes! The LEGO Ninjago is a bizarre mashup of numerous toy lines. The Ninja minifigures are based largely on the offerings from the 1990s with new deco, the undead skeleton figures are a mix of new and old parts, the evil vehicles seem like something out of Lobo, and the spinning tops? Well, that has got Beyblade written all over it. By combining multiple play patterns (a game, plus normal construction) LEGO could end up with a huge hit or a very confused marketplace.
Overall, I'd say this is a pick-and-choose line for older fans. While the Ice Dragon Attack is really cool, and there's not much to complain about when seeing the Spinjitsu Dojo or massive Earth Dragon Defense sets, I gotta say that the spinning figures are sort of ridiculous. I don't mean stupid, but I do mean expensive to a fault-- for $9.99, you get 1 figure and a top base. Compared to a Hero Factory figure, or even smaller $5-$10 LEGO sets, it seems like LEGO is going after the fad line money instead of its usual core efforts. If it works, LEGO will have a huge hit on its hands, but it's baffling that a single figure and a top-- a $4-$5 value, compared to other LEGO offerings-- might have difficulty competing against things like Hasbro action figures or even video games. ($20 for a 2-pack of spinning LEGO figures, or $20 for a budget Nintendo DS game?)
All in all, I wish the construction component nothing but success, and if the spinning figures work out to be a huge hit I have no doubt LEGO's balance sheet will be very much in the black for 2012 and beyond.
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