Kids are heading back to school, the leaves are fading into twilight and the summer winds are no longer coming in. That can only mean it's time once again for a deluge of Star Wars toy reveals. September has become the annual home for big Star Wars news now, and with Force Friday 2.0 coming in a few short weeks, that means every company in the world is jockeying for your hard-earned space bucks.
We were teased with some of the upcoming releases earlier this week, but today Lego announced its first wave of planned sets from the upcoming Star Wars film, Rogue One.
As we're just about to slide into September, that means it's nearly time for this year's big Star Wars toy push. Now that the movies are an annual thing instead of a once-every-30-years thing, Disney, Lucasfilm and the third-party licensing partners can all get together to focus their attentions on one specific time of year to empty the bank accounts of Star Wars fans around the world. Before The Force Awakens arrived, collecting Star Wars toys was an easy enough hobby to finance, but now that there's a constant deluge from Hasbro, Lego, Disney and other companies, most of us have taken up second or third jobs to be able to keep up with the Joneses --- or in this case, the Jynses.
Next moth, on Sept. 30, Force Friday returns with a vengeance. It will be the first day any and all of the upcoming Rogue One action figures, Lego sets and other collectibles will be available around the world for purchase. If last year's first ever Force Friday was any indication, you're going to need a gameplan. Fortunately, Disney has given us a peek into what to expect from this year's "festivities."
Where most companies are dropping huge announcements and reveals left and right during San Diego Comic-Con, Lego was perfectly confident to rely on its existing catalog and just a smidgen of new product. The biggest news comes in the form of two spanking new sets from The Lego Batman Movie. Though not out until 2017, Lego is already well ahead of the game on what vehicles and characters will make the leap from the film to actual toys.
Since acquiring licenses for both DC and Marvel Super-Heroes, Lego has been slowly expanding its line from iconic heroes like Superman and Spider-Man to more beloved fan-favorites such as Scarlet Spider and Captain Marvel. Next year sees the arrival of a few familar faces from the Hulk family of characters as the Green and Red sides go to war.
If you thought the first year of Lego Dimensions brought together more characters and franchises than you thought humanly possible, wait until you get a load of what TT Games has in store for 2016. The first official trailer for Lego Dimensions: Year Two (my titling, not theirs) arrived today and with it came a wealth of unexpected surprises. Yes, Batman, Gandalf and Wyldstyle are back again, but the portal has opened in new worlds featuring Harry Potter, Teen Titans Go!, Adventure Time, the A-Team, Goonies, Gremlins, the Powerpuff Girls and like a bajillion others. Lego is not playing around.
What's more, every single new set is 100% compatible with everything that's already been released. You know what that means? You can have BA Baracus drive the Mystery Machine. You can have the Joker and Voldemort fight over who has a pastier complexion. You can have Beast Boy and Mowgli take down Beetlejuice. Dogs and cats living together; mass hysteria!
Everyone who goes to see Batman vs. Superman this weekend is going to get an extra treat: a first look at the new Batman movie. No, not Batfleck, the real Batman. Lego Batman. But, if you absolutely, positively can’t wait until you see it in the theaters, you can watch The Lego Batman Movie trailer right now.
If you were concerned another Lego game coming so soon on the heels of Lego Dimensions, Lego Marvel's Avengers and Lego Jurassic World might mean Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens would stick too close to the familiar formula, this new gameplay trailer offers a bit of hope. Since the first entry arrived more than a decade ago, the Lego series hasn't changed all that much. The core foundation has been in dire need of a shake-up, and that's particularly true in a time when four Lego games will have shipped in a calendar year. Though there have been small adjustments and additions made over the course of the last 10 years, Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens appears to be making some significant improvements to the tried and true formula.
Next week, Captain Marvel finally makes it into Lego Marvel's Avengers. Not only that, but unlike many of the characters already included in the massive roster for TT Games' latest Marvel adventure, she'll be getting her own level pack as well. If you count mobile titles, this is not the first time Carol Danvers will be a playable character in a video game, but her addition to the roster of Lego Marvel's Avengers is the closest thing many of us will get to a true Captain Marvel video game... at least until she finally joins the Avengers and someone figures out how to make a great movie-licensed video game again.
The Captain Marvel level pack will also introduce the likes of Kang The Conqueror, Magnitron, Moonstone, Poundcakes, Tic, Warbird, and Wonder Man. This is quite possibly the only time characters like Poundcakes and Tic will ever be considered for playable characters in a video game, and again shows just how deep of a well TT is willing to dive into to bolster Lego Marvel's Avengers roster. Carol's skycycle and Helen Cobb's plane will be added too, vehicles all control like melty sticks of butter in the game. Why would I ever use one when I can just fly everywhere?
Earlier this year, TT Games announced the PlayStation platforms would be getting exclusive Lego Marvel's Avengers content based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While the game is already packed with most of the Phase Two films, Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy were left out of the loop, and it's almost impossible to get any Phase Three content in there before those movies actually arrive. That doesn't mean TT is giving up on including those things entirely though, and it all starts today with a free content pack based on Captain America: Civil War.
The free add-on may not include any new missions, but it will add in nine new character skins for many of the Marvel heroes and villains making an appearance in the upcoming movie sequel. Not only will Iron Man get his new Mark XLVI armor, but Captain America will have a new, unmasked suit to tear around the game. Falcon will also get his revamped costume, as will Scarlet Witch and the Winter Soldier. Besides his new shock baton, I can't quite tell any discernible difference from this War Machine versus the last one. It's all about the spankin' new Black Panther and Agent 13 though.
Last year at Emerald City Comic Con, toy brick artisan Alice Finch and her incredibly detail-oriented team put together an awe-inspiring display of David Petersen’s Mouse Guard dioramas built entirely out of toy bricks. At the time, we referred to it as one of the standouts of ECCC, and now Archaia is releasing a full-color hardcover packed with photos of the team’s incredible work.
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