LEGO Star Wars : A look back…

 
Star Wars. Without doubt one of the largest film franchises ever to exist. With films spanning nearly 40 years of pop culture, the now iconic movies have served as the defining chapters in cinema’s visual effects, scores and overall awesomeness. And back in 1999, a little toy company known as Lego decided to step forward and make a desperate grab for the license of Star Wars in order to make build-able toys based off of the films. Little did people know that this would turn the Lego company around from near bankruptcy to, literally, the largest brand in the world (seriously, google it, I’m not exaggerating).

  

Back before the turn of the century, Lego was on death’s door ; the products produced were not being sold  for as much as they cost to make, and this continued well into 2003. However, back in 1999, LucasFilm agreed to give Lego the license to allow them to produce sets based off of the then soon-to-be released Phantom Menace movie, along with some kits being based off of the classic films.This was the first time that licensed themes had become a huge part of Lego’s line of products. The deal then was that these sets would be discontinued after 2007, meaning that no Clone Wars, Rebels, Sequel Trilogy or re-made older sets would ever of been produced if this was to of been the case. With many themes failing left right and center (I’m looking at you Galidor), Lego were hanging on by the skin of their teeth, and only just managed to scrape by with the popularity of their own self-made brand, Bionicle, and these new Star Wars kits, consisting of sets like the Naboo Fighter, X-Wing Fighter, Land-speeder and Gungan Sub (Which was the second set we ever reviewed).

Here’s Jason in 2010 reviewing the Gungan Sub, way back before I even started watching the show — the only difference with Jay is his hair length…
 
New designers were also starting to get hired. The designers who were good at creating products but knew next to nothing about Lego’s history were fired, and the Die-hard Lego enthusiasts with a little less experience stepped in. They were keen to make sure that themes such as Star Wars didn’t do what Galidor did ; they made sure they kept the “Lego  feel” , with the classic bricks being built in with only a few new molds.

This meant that the Lego Star Wars theme became a rapid and huge success, just about keep Lego’s head above the water line. After scraping by for a few more years, and with many more set opportunities being created by all the vehicles seen in the Star Wars universe, Lego then decided to use this new name in a different style – a Video Game, previously unheard of from the company. The 2005 Lego Star Wars : The Video Game was an instant hit what with the conclusion of the Prequels coming out that year, and is still a classic today. Oddly enough, the game came out on March 29th whereas  the film was released on May 7th, meaning those who got the game before that date received a good few spoilers about the film (Likely why the game was comically inaccurate, a trend that continues today). This was then followed by a game  focusing on the original Trilogy the next year.

After realizing the huge success that  this theme had spawned, the licensed was then renewed to 2011. The theme was now a household name for the company, with a huge amount of molds exclusive to the line and sets of all sizes from Battle Packs to UCS sets.

And low and behold, the Clone Wars was upon us. In 2008, the now fan-favorite TV Series and animated movie was released, spawning yet another sub-theme for the line and eventually the 3rd Video game in the series.

We all know what happens from there. The license was then renewed to 2022 in February of 2012, and the rest is history.

Over the last 16 years, Lego Star Wars, as a theme, has truly become a symbol for lego, and has been its most successful licensed line ever since it’s conception. This is the theme that got me into Lego, and I have more Star Wars themed sets than any other. It truly is a theme that I and many millions of others adore, as it is the theme I have the most history with (Fun fact : Lego Star Wars is the same age as me with only a few months differnce, as it began in summer 1999, when I was born).

As such, I hope for another 16 years of Lego Star Wars, and a happy May the 4th to all!

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Bard the Bowman Exclusive Minifigure at SDCC

Earlier today, The Hollywood Reporter has revealed another exclusive that will be given out during San Diego Comic Con, Bard the Bowman. He will be one of the four minifigures that will be given out at the event. This year, LEGO has a system in place to scan people’s badges to determine a winner lottery-style.

In the same image above is another statue that you can see at Comic Con. Erik Varszegi has created a six foot tall statue of Smaug which took him 625 hours to design and build it. It is made out of 83,433 LEGO pieces and weighs 411 pounds.

LEGO GotG and Stay Puft Marshmallow Man Statues at SDCC

LEGO has sent out some images of what you can expect to see at the LEGO booth at San Diego Comic Con. First is Rocket Raccoon and Groot from the LEGO Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy.

The other larger build that you can see will be the Ghostbusters Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. It is created with 2,654 pieces and it took builders 60 hours to create. It stands 25″ tall and 19″ wide and weighs 18lbs. Check out the video below for a time-lapse build of Stay Puft.

Fox Unveils LEGO Grand Budapest Hotel

With the release of The Grand Budapest Hotel on Blu-Ray and DVD last week, Fox also unveiled a repoduction of the hotel completely out of LEGO. Model designer Ryan Ziegelbauer used 50,000 individual bricks and weighed about 150 pounds. With the amount of bricks needed, many of us fans know that they were supplied through BrickLink. The build will be displayed at SMLXLA at the Archtiecture and Design Museum until August 31st. Check out the construction of the Grand Budapest Hotel in the video below.

Via Forbes

LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Announced

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LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham was announced today (see trailer below) and will be coming to all major consoles, handhelds and the PC with a release date of Fall 2014. The storyline follows Batman on an intergalatic adventure seeking to stop Braniac from destroying Earth. Brainic is using the power of the Lantern Rings to miniaturize cities and Batman and other DC heroes will visit different Lantern Worlds to collect the Rings to try and stop Braniac.

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The game will feature 150 characters from the DC universe. It was unveiled that Killer Croc and Solomon Grundy will be featured as larger characters much as The Hulk and Abomination was in the LEGO Marvel video game. In addition, the sequel will allow players to visit the Hall of Justic, the Justice League Watchtower and the Batcave.

From a toy perspective we really hope a few minifigs shown in the trailer will be coming to minifig form (Intergalactic Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Cyborg).

LEGO Star Wars: The Dark Side Book Will Include Exclusive Emperor Palpatine Minfig!

Details surrounding what minifigure will be in the coming LEGO Star Wars: The Dark Side book have surfaced that an Emperor Palpatine minifigure will be included. As you can see on the german cover the words ‘Imperator Palpatine’ is display under the missing minifigure. Pre-order the book today!

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LEGO Star Wars: The Dark Side with Exclusive Minifigure Coming

News has surfaced about a new book coming in September from DK Publishing titled LEGO Star Wars: The Dark Side. As you can see from the cover art below an exclusive minifigure will also be included, however, we do not yet know who it is. It is available for pre-order on Amazon. It will be 96 pages and as the title suggests will be focusing entirely on the Dark Side of the Star Wars franchise.

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In addition, if you have not yet picked up your LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary (Updated and Expanded), it was released over the weekend. It does include an exclusive Luke Skywalker Tatooine minifigure to sweeten the pot! Click here to buy this on Amazon!

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