Assassin's Creed Mega Bloks Set Infiltrates the Toy Aisle
Assassin's Creed is branching out from games about murder, to the logical next market: kids' construction toys.
Ubisoft hasn't spread its Assassin's Creed franchise to every market just yet, but it's getting there. In addition to the game series, novels, comics, in-progress film, and recently-revealed board game, Assassin's Creed will soon be available in the form of adorable miniatures and construction blocks. MEGA Brands has partnered with Ubisoft to create a series of collectable Mega Bloks construction sets based on the Assassin's Creed characters and universe.
It may seem like an odd choice to bring an M-rated franchise to the "ages 8 and up" demographic, but to be fair, the Mega Bloks Collectors line is specifically geared towards serious builders who will appreciate constructing detailed replicas of their favorite franchises. Assassin's Creed is just the latest entry to this line-up, which already includes sets from Halo, Call of Duty, and World of Warcraft.
What's perhaps more unusual is that, unlike the other franchises in the Collectors line, Assassin's Creed doesn't have a consistent setting or art style to build by. No pictures accompanied the announcement, which leaves us to wonder - what will these sets look like? Pirate ships? Colonial America? Renaissance Italy? All of the above, Deadliest Warrior-style? It's hard to say for sure; just don't be surprised if you see some familiar white-beaked hoods in the local toy store when the Assassin's Creed Mega Bloks ship this fall.
Source: MEGA Brands and Ubisoft
Whoa there. Megablox are still around? I thought the LEGO collective assimilated them.
Mega Bloks always manages to suprise me. They always get the really big video game franchises. Halo, Call of Duty, now Assassin's Creed. I guess they are still going strong.
I'm pretty jazzed to hear this. When it comes to stuff like this, I always go with Mega Bloks, since they have really nice figurines and decent blocks. The main thing though is the price is actually affordable. Lego is just too expensive to enjoy any amount of it, as opposed to the numerous Halo Mega Bloks sets I have thanks to a more affordable price.
So yah, it'll be nice to get some Assassin's Creed sets, hopefully with some decent female figurines.
I'd like Megabloks a lot more if they weren't made of Polystyrene. That alone is the cause of almost all of their quality issues. Lego uses ABS for a reason. Styrene warps, breaks, has erratic clutch power and a much greater degree of environmental change. The advantage to it is molds and tooling for styrene are an order of magnitude cheaper than for ABS (which injects higher temperature, higher pressure plastic).
and I am going to get castigated for this I know, but there is a reason why Megabloks is targeting so many video game related properties. And it isn't so much growth as it is a desire to find that diamond in the rough. They did it once with Halo. But lately they have not been as successful at landing the more mainstream high cost high return IP's. Particularly since Lego, the big dog in the room started working with IP licenses.
See here's the dirty little secret that we don't always realize around here. While Video Games are becoming more and more popular, and more vested in the pop culture, they really are still somewhat niche as far as licensed tie in merchandise go. If you look at most Video Game tie in toys, it is astonishing just hom many of them end up in bargain bins and blown out at penny prices. The reason for this is "installed user base". Video games are more and more seeing some impressive installed user bases. ie People who have played and enjoyed the game in question, or have watched the movie or read the book and are familiar with its story, characters etc, and thereby would then have an interest in related merchandise. And that's where we run into some issues. Unless a game is CoD, Angry Birds or Madden the installed user base, while huge by video game standards is actually sort of small compared to other media. Take a well known game with heavy pop culture penetration as an example. Zelda. The Legend of Zelda is known as one of Nintendo's most enduring franchises. The fans are rabid. They keep using Lego's CuuSoo system to propose a Lego set. 3 times they have reached the threshold for review. Something unheard of for other project types. ...BUT...I believe the best selling Zelda game ever was somewhere between 10 and 12 million copies. Most of the others sit between 6 and 8 million. These are huge video game numbers. But compare them to the installed user base for a movie or popular book series. Star Wars has an installed user base of around 2.5 billion people. Lord of the Rings has one of 200 m illion from the books alone. Harry Potter 150 million just on books. Huge numbers.
And where these numbers get important is in the conversion of fans to customers. It takes more effort to sell into a smaller fan base. You must convert a greater % of fans to customers. It is easy to convert 1-3% of a properties fans. It is much much harder to convert 5-10% So smaller fan base properties take more effort to bring a profit. Larger embedded fan base properties are much easier to convert an acceptable number of customers to turn a profit. And that's where video games get burned. This is further exacerbated by the short shelf life of most video games when compared to the longer needed production lead times for toys. By the time the toy hits the shelves the game is in the $9.99 bin at Gamestop.
All of this means that Video Games tend to be much riskier IP licenses for companies like Lego or Mega Brands. They can score big with them. Especially with steady franchises such as Halo. But it is a much tougher risk vs reward equation than a TV show, movie or comic property. Mega is investing heavily in them because they are an "up and coming" area, and the licenses are fairly inexpensive when compared to other media IP's. They are shooting broadly looking for another hit. Heck I would love to see the discussion that must of gone on at Hasbro over the Titanfall IP. An as yet unreleased video game with no backing franchise? They probably had to tie up and gag the accountants and lock them in the closet.
^interesting read thanks.
This is the first I've heard of Mega Bloks in a while. I guess I missed the Halo/Call of Duty stuff.
I was going to speculate that the proximity of Ubi Soft Montreal to the Mega Bloks headquarters might have had something to do with the synergy at play, but clearly if they're not the first then it's mostly a coincidence.