Lego is working with Warner Brothers Interactive for some new toys

LegoIf you are not into Minecraft or some kind of construction toy, then you might want to see what Lego is doing with their interactive toys. They already have Fusion, which is where the Lego creator makes something that they can make come alive in the virtual world.

Yes, I wish I had written about Fusion, but from what my Source tells me, Warner Brothers Interactive is working together with Lego in order to produce an interactive toy and game that will work similar to Activision’s Skylanders, Nintendo’s Amiibos, as well as the Disney Infinity series.

So, what are we looking at here? Some video game where we put a Lego minifigure on a thing and it is in the game? I hope not, because that is getting old. What if we could put some structure on a scanner and there it would be in the game? That, or we could just build a structure in the game.

Okay, I think there is an issue here. I’m not certain how necessary it is to have to this kind of thing on a game. Perhaps it is just easier not to have this transition, but just build a toy in a virtual world or with building bricks.

You know, I thought this post would go one way, but I thought I would be more positive toward this thing. I guess I’m just too susceptible to Lego.


My Review of Lego Marvel Heroes

LEGO_Marvel_Super_Heroes_box_artUnlike my last review of the Golf-X-Cube, I actually have a lot of experience playing LEGO-oriented video games. In fact, I have everyone that they have made since the first LEGO Star Wars, and I love them a lot, even though they have changed very little since their conception. For those that are not familiar with them, the LEGO games are usually tied in with a popular franchise, and this one is the Marvel Universe.

In LEGO games, you play a character that goes through levels that take place in a LEGO-oriented universe. Most of the worlds are not completely made of LEGO, but some objects can be destroyed to get studs, the money in this game. Some of the LEGO objects can be re-assembled into other objects to help you advance in the level. In addition to beating the levels, you can then use the “Free Play” option to go through the level again to find hidden objects that you could not have found earlier. In some cases, you actually could not have found the hidden objects the first time, because it requires characters with special abilities.

It is difficult to talk about this game without mentioning LEGO Batman 2: DC Heroes. In that game, you had to go through missions as Batman and some other DC comics character. I like Marvel Super Heroes as it is not centered around one particular Marvel character, like LEGO Batman 2 was. (However, Wolverine and Spider-man show up a lot.) The Marvel Universe is quite extensive, and I have seen eight levels that are as diverse as Times Square, Asgard, and the X-men Mansion. LEGO Batman 2 was never this expanded, and I admire Marvel Super Heroes for creating a world you can explore that is a somewhat realistic depiction of New York City with other fictional landmarks like the Baxter Building, Stark Tower, and the X-men Mansion.

Remember how I said that there are bonus things you have to find? In this case, there is the Stan Lee. Yes, that Marvel comics founder who appears in cameo in almost all Marvel films, and you have to find.

In short, I recommend the game for sheer fun alone. It isn’t adult-oriented by any stretch of the imagination, and the puzzles are pretty easy to solve. It is available for many platforms, and I loved it on the PS3.

Introducing the Lego Rental System of Pleygo

lego-rental-serviceI think I have seen several sources call Pleygo “the Netflix for LEGO sets”, and I guess this is as good of a description as any. I think that the existence of Pleygo shows the typical consumer’s use for Lego.

That is, most Lego users, who are usually kids, like to open the set, put the model together, and that is about it. It is similar to the way we watch a movie: we watch it, and for the most part, not watch it again unless it is really something special.

So the user signs up to get a Lego set, then when he or she is finished, he or she sends it back. Then the next set comes on the queue, and you can get the Fan (250 sets for $15 a month), Super Fan (500 piece sets for $25 a month) and Mega (but not Mega Blocks) Fan (up to 5,400 piece sets for $39 a month).

Just to let you know, these Lego sets are washed in between users. For me, I would like this deal but I love keeping Lego around. Plus I also know that the joy of Lego isn’t building something according to instructions, but merging several sets to build something even greater than what was originally intended.


Hands on with the Lego Mindstorms EV3

story-legoI first covered the Lego Mindstorms version 3, or EV3, at CES last January. I finally had a chance to try out the 45544 Lego Mindstorms Education EV3 Core Set, and it took me very little time to learn how to use, but it has infinite possibilities.

The set comes with the EV3 Intelligent Brick, which is a small computer with about 8 ports, not to mention a USB port an SD card slot which I haven’t even accessed yet. The purpose of the 8 ports is to connect these wires that resemble eighties telephone wire to certain other Lego parts with interesting features.

These Lego parts include two servo motors, a built-in rotation sensor, ultrasonic sensor, color-light sensor, gyro sensor, and two touch sensors. The user is then required to program the EV3 Intelligent brick to make these other cool bricks function.

Does that sound complicated to you? It is, kind of. What you have to do is set up a program in another language that is very symbolic in nature. So once you learn how to use these feature-full bricks, you can create a lot of vehicles, robots, and pretty much anything else you can imagine.

Fortunately, LEGO sent me this particular EV3 Core Set, so I don’t know the price. I will be writing about the EV3 in a book, which will be a sequel to Practical Lego Technics and Lego Technic Robotics. Find out more information about this kit here.

LEGO now has Back to the Future models

lego-delorean-playsetI don’t know if you are familiar with Lego Cuusoo, but it is a site devoted to showing off Lego creations. Some of them get voted on, and become official toys for the number one building block company.

Such was the case for the Back To The Future collection, and you can see the iconic time-traveling Delorean from all three movies. It looks like they have three separate models, because it got a serious flight upgrade in the second film, and then a steampunk downgrade in the third film.

My Source shows the Mary and Doc minifigs, and it really makes Marty’s coat look like a life preserver. I will have to say that it is difficult to model a Delorean in Lego, given the shape of it.

Now, are there plans for the steam-powered locomotive at the end of the last film? I hope so. Even though it is a little far-fetched, I always liked it in principle.


Lego Technic Robotics and other Lego advancements with a PS3

51LyqJCe6iL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_I believe that I have discussed my first Technic Lego book, and the fun that I had creating very cool vehicles made from Technic parts. While I was writing that book, I wanted to have a section on robots. Actually, it was about two chapters, and as it turned out, I was able to turn those two chapters into an entire book.

Relax, there is no redundancy factor. I found that trying to write about a robot body, arms, legs, face, and other things took the space of a whole book.

Now, Lego has these Mindstorms creations that are quite cool, and you can make a robot easily with those. However, it is like learning calculus without first learning basic addition. I say start from scratch, and Lego Technic is essentially the bare basics, and yet you can still take control quite easily.

In fact, I have just heard that there is a project known as Toy Alive, which is a joint venture between Sony and Lego that will allow Lego users to take control of their creations with a PS3 controller. You can watch a video of this project after the jump, but don’t forget to buy my latest book here on Amazon.

Continue reading