Start Saving Up for Lego's New Toy
"Lego Dimensions" hits stores Sunday, offering owners of Xbox One, PS4, Wii U and Xbox 360 systems a new way to engage with the objects that they create. Lego-licensed video games have been popular for years, but "Lego Dimensions" is different in that it incorporates actual brick figures into the gaming experience.
The starter pack retails for $99.99, and it includes the console video game disc as well as three microchip-backed figures and the "toy pad" platform that connects to the gaming system. Players then place any of the mini-figures on the pad and the characters come alive in the game.
If Something Works, Copy It
If the process sounds familiar, it's because Activision Blizzard (ATVI) and Disney (DIS) have similar products in which action figures unlock access to virtual gaming realms through a video game system.
Activision Blizzard -- the software publishing giant behind "Call of Duty" and "World of Warcraft" -- ushered in the format when it released "Skylanders" in late 2011. Disney followed two years later with "Disney Infinity," letting fans play as Disney, Marvel and now even Star Wars characters.
It works, and as anyone who has played "Skylanders" and "Disney Infinity" knows, it's the desire to broaden the gaming experience with expansion packs that really starts eating away at the wallet. "Lego Dimensions" comes with Batman, Wyldstyle from "The Lego Movie" and Gandalf from "The Lord of the Rings," but additional characters with accessories can be purchased for less than $30 apiece. The accessories are important because players can bring up to seven vehicles or gadgets into the toy pad. It's also where traditional Lego fans can put their brick-building skills to use, since the actual action figures don't pose much of an assembly challenge.
Expansion Packs Make Wallets Contract
"Lego Dimensions" is going to be a hit, and outside of perhaps some retailer-subsidized Black Friday deals in November, you're probably not going to be paying a lot less than the retail price for the starter kit.
The price cuts will come, but likely not until next year. We've seen prices for "Skylanders" and earlier generations of "Disney Infinity" get marked down, but that only typically happens once sales start to cool off. That's obviously not going to happen for Lego's latest toy line anytime soon.
If you're going to pay full price, you may as well milk the most that you can out of it. There are apparently plenty of adventures packed in the starter kit and expansion packs, so exhaust all of the fun there before feeding another Lego addiction. Get ready to build something cool on your TV.
Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns shares of Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns and recommends Activision Blizzard and Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. Check out our free report on one great stock to buy for 2015 and beyond.