Saturday, April 11, 2015

Will Lego Dimensions Have Monster Minifigs?

This week, Lego tossed its minifig hat into the video game/toy combo ring with the preview trailer for Lego Dimensions, which is scheduled for release for both the PC and the major game consoles in September.

Following on the heels of Skylander, Disney Infinity and Nintendo's line of amiibo figures, Dimensions promises to let players mix-and-match characters and kits from both Lego-exclusive lines (Ninjago) and licensed Lego lines (Lord of the Rings, Back to the Future, Wizard of Oz, DC superheros). Depending on how well the initial launch package sells, Lego plans to release an ongoing series of Dimension kits and expansion packs so that players will keep customizing and building upon (no pun intended) their Lego-ized gaming experience.

I've largely avoided the toy tie-in video game trend up to this point, but Lego Dimensions shows much more promise than its competitors. For starters, Lego has landed the Jurassic World license, so I'm sure that an army of Lego dinosaurs will show up in Dimensions at some point. Furthermore, Lego has already released minifigs and kits based on classic monsters such as vampires, werewolves, zombies and mummies; if Lego adds these elements into the game, that will make it the first video game/toy franchise to have a significant representation of monster-based game play. Throw in the possible addition of the Ghostbusters license (something that's hinted at in the extended version of the launch trailer) and Dimensions has the potentional to be a big hit with video-gaming monster fans.

By the way, the Lego version of Batman and his Batmobile will be part of the Dimensions starter kit. I'm also hoping that if this franchise takes off, it will take a cue from the recent Lego Batman 3 video game and release kits and expansion packs based on the '66 Batman TV series. Adam West makes everything better, and that includes Legos.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Video Dead, Video Nasties, and VHS Horror Rentals

The other week, I finally watched The Video Dead, a low-budget, straight-to-video zombie flick from 1987 about a possessed TV set that belches out walking corpses from its screen. This film isn't a classic by any means (more about that later), but I felt that I had to watch it at least once for what it represented--specifically, the impact that England's "Video Nasty" list had on VHS horror movie releases here in the United States. In some ways, the Video Nasty list was to VHS horror movies as the Senate Subcommittee Hearings on Juvenile Delinquency in 1954 were to horror comic books, even though the results were completely different. Read on ....