Chris Miller Does Advanced Promo of LEGO Movie 2 by Riding On The Hype Of “Ready Player One”

Not long after it was announced that Tiffany Haddish is joining the cast for The LEGO Movie 2, direct sequel to the 2014 surprise hit animated film, one of its producers (and co-director of the original LEGO Movie) decided to do some advanced promotion… at the humorous expense of another film.

Chris Miller, part of the directorial tandem with Phil Lord for The LEGO Movie in 2014, posted on his Twitter page to build hype about a movie filled with characters from different films, TV series and videogames in one shared universe. It sounds like Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, right?

Ha-ha, but no. It runs out Miller was actually plugging The LEGO Movie 2, which he notes as “coming this February”. But as this year’s February was last month, he of course means February of 2019 next year, a cheeky reference to the massive schedule delay in the movie’s premiere.

Then again, there are some similarities in both the LEGO Movie franchise and Ready Player One, particularly the numerous licensed franchises that pop up in their respective narratives. The original source of RPO’s story, the 2011 novel by Ernest Cline, was a love letter to 1980s-90s geek culture after all.

Scant information has been given away on the nature of The LEGO Movie 2’s plot, but there are hints that it involves the differences in LEGO play between boys and girls. Most of the original film’s voice cast is reprising their roles. Lord and Miller shift from co-directors to producers.

The LEGO Movie 2 Gets Tiffany Haddish in Voice Cast

When The LEGO Movie hit cinemas back in 2014, it sort of opened the door for LEGO-themed animated productions to go beyond just direct-to-video releases and get their own spot in the limelight by premiering in theaters too. Since then, the LEGO Batman Movie and LEGO Ninjago Movie graced the silver screen.

But if you thought that these films were sequels to the original LEGO Movie, they’re actually spinoffs building up to a larger LEGO movie-verse. A direct sequel to the 2014 film is in development, with most of the voice cast set to reprise their roles, with one prominent new addition.

Actress and comedienne Tiffany Haddish has now been revealed to be joining the LEGO Movie sequel. She has been billed to be a new “key character” for the film which puts her at equal footing with the main characters and Master Builder couple Emmet Brickowski (Chris Pratt) and Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks).

Other returning voice cast includes Will Arnett as Bruce Wayne and Batman from both the first LEGO Movie and the LEGO Batman spinoff; Channing Tatum as Superman and Jonah Hill as Green Lantern. Original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller are producing this time, with Mike Mitchell directing this time.

No plot details have been divulged thus far, other than that The LEGO Movie 2 will come out on February of 2019. Tiffany Haddish had a breakout role in 2017’s Girls Trip and has been part of The Carmichael Show since 2015. She’s also authored The Last Black Unicorn (2017).

LEGO Store Calendar for March 2018 Now Available.

Hey, it’s the second day of February. You know what that means? LEGO fans and followers of The Brick Show would. It’s that time of the month when LEGO would’ve put up the schedule for their important promotions and events in their LEGO Store calendar, for the month following this.

If the January banner topic is the LEGO Creator Downtown Diner (10260) and February is LEGO City, March gets LEGO Ninjago: Spinjitzu Masters.

Here’s a lowdown on the important dates for all those cool promos and special events LEGO will be having in its stores, starting from the 1st of March all the way to the 31st.

  • March 1 to 15: Free LEGO Ninjago Zane Training Pod (5005230) with a purchase of $35 or more (while supplies last).
  • March 3 to 4: LEGO Marvel Super Heroes new sets and special offers.
  • March 5 to 31: Free LEGO DUPLO Learning Numbers with a DUPLO purchase of $25 or more (while supplies last).
  • March 5 to April 22: Garmadon Temple Take Down Event. Participants get an event-specific sticker in the LEGO Passport.
  • March 6 to 7: VIP Monthly Mini Model Build – Sheep.
  • March 15: LEGO DUPLO Learning Through Play Class. Sign up needed.
  • March 16 to 31: Free LEGO Seasonal Easter Bunny minifigure (5005249) with a purchase of $35 or more (while supplies last).
  • March 19: Minifigure Swap Monday
  • March 24, 31: LEGO Life Meeting

There’s more info on what LEGO’s offering for March and onwards besides what’s been listed up there. Check stores.LEGO.com for when the online version of this March 2018 store calendar comes up, to get more details on what they have in store for next month.

LEGO Fans Mad at “LEGO Batman Movie” Not Being a 2018 Oscar Nominee

The list of nominees for the 90th Academy Awards was announced to the world just this Tuesday, January 23. And in what has been becoming annoyingly routine for the prestigious film awards ceremony, the list of movies in the running for an Oscar leaves quite a few things to be desired.

Or so it would seem if you happen to be a fan of LEGO. The AMPAS is being targeted by builders who love all LEGO media this year, because it’s starting to echo like the nominee list back in 2014. Back then, the critically beloved The LEGO Movie got passed over for a Best Animated Feature nomination.

It’s 2018 and the Academy has messed again for LEGO fans. Last year saw no less than two LEGO films premiere for the community: The LEGO Batman Movie and The LEGO Ninjago Movie. Ask anybody, ANYBODY, and they’ll say LEGO Batman is the best movie ever, and critics agree too.

But no, according to AMPAS. For an animated movie to be listed as a Best Animated Feature Oscar nominee, it must be screened by a panel of Academy members in the animation corner, and usually it boils down to what the panel members personally like in common, and not what they know to be popular.

On that note, it’s inevitable that the nominations would go to the likes of Disney-Pixar’s Coco, Cartoon Saloon’s The Breadwinner and the artistically-visualized Loving Vincent from BrealThru Productions, but after seeing Fox-Blue Sky’s Ferdinand and DreamWorks’ The Boss Baby make the cut, the LEGO fan community have had enough.

At least The LEGO Movie had a nomination for Best Original Song back in the 87th Oscars; it still lost though. Now we can expect the furor for robbing LEGO Batman of a shot at glory all the way to Oscar night on March 4. Will the Academy learn how much they ruined things? Let’s wait and see.

LEGO Partners with Tencent to Develop Local Apps and Shore Up Online Branding in China.

LEGO and China: There would’ve been a time where the toy company and the country wouldn’t seem to be right for each other in terms of market. Those days are long past now. LEGO has a factory in Jiaxing, they’ve released sets related to the country like Architecture Shanghai (21039), and they’re also recognized by the nation’s courts as a protected “well-known trademark.”

What could be new for a now-formidable partnership between LEGO and China? How about teaming up with one of the country’s household names in the tech market? Soon LEGO’s going to be present in China’s highly-regulated internet.

This is thanks to LEGO entering into a development deal with Tencent Holdings, a true heavyweight in China’s internet-related businesses and one of the world’s five biggest firms alongside, Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet/Google and Amazon. This partnership aims to develop new LEGO-branded games, videos and social media platforms for Chinese children.

One specific objective that the LEGO-Tencent team-up plans to accomplish is the establishment of a Chinese platform for worldwide LEGO mobile apps such as LEGO Life and LEGO Boost, both of which offer plenty of cool LEGO-related info and entertainment. Tencent would oversee the local content generated for these apps.

“Our most important purpose is to inspire children and help them develop through play,” says LEGO Group Chief Marketing Officer Julia Goldin. “Through our 85-year history, we have always had children’s safety as our highest priority…This heritage and approach is also reflected in our work to ensure safe digital LEGO experiences.”

To this, Tencent VP Thirty Sun adds, “A positive and healthy online experience for children is very important with more and more children connecting digitally.” He notes that Tencent is accountable for protecting children in the online experiences they offer, and also incorporate online child protection in business practices.

These efforts by LEGO to establish an online footprint in China, with Tencent’s, help also factors into their continuing initiatives towards brand recognition with Chinese consumers. In this manner, they hope to make LEGO stand far and above the country’s notorious hosts of imitator building-brick toy companies and products.

LEGO Star Wars DJ Minifigure Polybag (40298) Now Available at Toys ‘R’ US, with Possible Promo Coming.

Viewers who saw the Star Wars: The Last Jedi on cinemas last December will likely remember the brief appearance of Benicio Del Toro as a bit character in the narrative. He played the character DJ, a gambler and code-breaker hired by the Resistance to help them evade the evil First Order.

At first he appeared not up to reputation, then later on proved his resourcefulness to finish the job. While apparently helping Rey and Rose, he alternatively showed greed and compassion. When the deed was finally done, he succeeded in his assignment only to sell out the Resistance to buy his own freedom from imprisonment.

Such a minor, yet game-changing character was ultimately captured by LEGO to be immortalized in minifigure form in the LEGO Star Wars DJ Collectible Minifigure (40298) polybag. First announced as a promotional item in LEGO Brand Stores to celebrate the premiere of The Last Jedi, it has been reported that the  now going to branch out to Toys R Us.

So far, the only information about the LEGO Star Wars DJ minifigure polybag (40298) was that it will be coming to TRU and that it’s priced at the expected $4.99; there’s the possibility that the retail giant might have their own promotional, but no word has been given.

The DJ polybag (40298) is similar to the minifigure polybags of R3-M2 (40268) and Scarif Stormtrooper (40176), in that all three comprise of the minifigs themselves, connectible stands and background cards. If Toys R Us are planning any special promos involving DJ, we’ll find out and keep our readers informed so I hope you keep tabs with us.

LEGO Ideas Support Recommendation: 123 Sesame Street!

UPDATE: We’ve updated this article to give credit to Ivan Guerrero for coming up with this much needed, LEGO Ideas project. 

LEGO Ideas has proven itself an effective platform for realizing the potential of many set ideas to become official and commercially available products. Some of these have become bestselling LEGO sets themselves, if the very positive reception of the LEGO Ideas Women of NASA (21312) is any indication of their popularity levels.

That set in question is an original idea by Maia Weinstock, but other LEGO Ideas projects could be based on existing franchises or intellectual properties. One particularly interesting idea that is currently in the initial Support Phase at the Ideas website is based on the iconic children’s show Sesame Street, and it’s looking for more likes.

The LEGO Ideas Project 123 Sesame Street set proposal in question is a depiction of the apartment building at 123 Sesame Street, wherein a number of the show’s most prominent characters – human and Muppet – reside. It was conceived by Filipino AFOL and longtime Jim Henson fan Ivan Guerrero (or  bulldoozer21 over at LEGO Ideas), who envisioned a tall and sprawling LEGO building setup, which opens to reveal its interior rooms.

 

The set idea would come with 14 minifigures of  well-known Sesame Street characters, from Big Bird, Bert, Ernie, Grover, Cookie Monster, Elmo, and Oscar the Grouch, to their classic human friends Gordon, Bob and Susan. Each character either has an apartment room, or a nook in the building to hang out at.

It’s amazing just how well LEGO Ideas this proposed set translates the various Muppet sets and exterior locations used on Sesame Street to create a whole unified structure that feels like an actual apartment building where the characters live and work in.

While the proposal, if made real, would probably result in one of the largest and likely more expensive LEGO Ideas sets ever put out, it definitely deserves a chance to have the attention that the LEGO Ideas Women of NASA is having now.

The 123 Sesame Street set proposal now has over 2,000 supporters, but still has a long way to go to reach that 10,000 spot. You can show your approval by giving it a thumbs up vote up over at LEGO Ideas and clicking the Support button for the 123 Sesame Street page.

Target Toy Book 2017 Features Great LEGO Promotions and Giveaways

The Holidays are fast approaching, time for retail chains to start hyping up their products at customer-enticing prices. One of the early birds in promoting new LEGO products at awesome discount prices is none other than Target.

With the release of the latest version of their annual Toy Book Ad for 2017, the hottest toys to buy with the Christmas shopping rush so close. Leave it to Target to make sure that they have every new item imaginable on children’s wish-lists to be represented on their Toy Book, and leave it to LEGO to secure a permanent fixture within its pages.

Featured on the LEGO Brick Bash segment of the Target Toy Book 2017 are some of the most sought-after and season-appropriate play-sets and mini-figures, as well as a series of nifty promotional items for LEGO shoppers this late October and all through November.

Target’s first giveaway in this vein kicks off on October 29 until November 4, where guests purchasing $30 or more worth of Lego Batman products will receive a free LEGO Batman Movie Kiss Kiss Tuxedo Batman (5004928) Keychain polybag, normally available for $5.99 by itself.

Following that, from November 5 to 11, a $35 or more spent on all LEGO products will entitle you to a free LEGO Seasonal Christmas Ornament (5004934), saving $6.99 for shoppers.

Next on the freebie list, from November 12 to 18, Lego Star Wars product shoppers will be pleased to know that for a minimum $30 purchase they will also get a free LEGO Star Wars Mini Millennium Falcon set ($4.99 value). Though this version of the Falcon may be a bit of a downgrade as what we can find from its counterpart in this year’s LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar (75184), it is still a nice LEGO freebie that Target is throwing in.

The Falcon, as rendered in this year’s LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar.

It’s a great way to celebrate in advance the release of “Star Wars – Episode VIII: The Last Jedi” on December. The last day of this promo period will even be capped off by a grand LEGO Star Wars In-Store Scavenger Hunt offering even more giveaways galore.

Last but not least, from the 19th to the 25th, a minimum $30 Lego purchase nets a free LEGO Seasonal Santa Claus (30478) polybag set, as Thanksgiving and Black Friday gives way to the main Holiday season.

Warner Bros. Interactive Announces End of Development for LEGO Dimensions.

Earlier this year, we ran an article discussing the facts surrounding the rumored cancellation of LEGO Dimensions. However, it seems that these rumors are now set in stone, and that the curtain has finally drawn to a close to another awesome LEGO theme.

If you recall back in 2015, LEGO tried its hand at the toys-to-life video game genre, alongside Disney Infinity and Skylanders, capitalizing on its minifigures depicting various licensed characters from Warner Bros. and other well known IPs. In partnership with game developer Traveller’s Tales, LEGO Dimensions brought to life a total of 64 sets and an impressive line of collectible minifigures, some of which you can never find in any existing LEGO sets. Some of these are the more recent ones including the Teen Titans GO! Team Pack (71255), the Goonies Level Pack (71267), and the Beetlejuice Fun Pack (71349) just to name a few.

While LEGO promised a line of regular set releases for three years, Warner Bros. just announced this week that they will be wrapping things up a year sooner. So it was Monday, October 23, that the sad news broke out via LEGO Dimensions’ official Twitter page.

Sadly as it turns out, the recent batch of LEGO Dimensions sets that were released last September 12 will be the very last for the video game franchise, thus formally ending the golden age of toys-to-life gaming.

Though we can expect that LEGO will no longer release additional Dimensions sets after Wave 9, they assured fans that they haven’t completely pulled out the plug on LD. The game’s servers will continue to run and provide the necessary game updates and support for still active gamers.

This development may be disappointing to fans of the video game, but understandable given that LEGO Dimensions is the last bastion of the now dying toys-to-life segment (perhaps with the exception of Nintendo’s line of Amiibo figures), and was unwittingly competing with consumers for other LEGO branded Traveller’s Tales and WB Interactive game titles. It also means that planned expansions for Year 3, such as for The Flash and Minecraft, will remain unrealized.

Meanwhile, as LEGO Dimensions’ game servers remain active, its Starter and Expansion Packs will continue to be sold, and might even be discounted when the Holidays come, perhaps with the exception of those highly collectible sets.

So what do you think about this piece of news from LEGO Dimensions? Share your thoughts in the comments below.