I’m going to stick my neck out on the line here. I’d be willing to argue that Minecraft LEGO is possibly the most perfect brand extension ever. Yes, Minecraft always was a LEGO clone from the off, but its abstract, blocky/pixellated style suits it perfectly. It’s a match made in heaven, really.
And the latest batch of kits, play up this beautifully. Here is one, The Nether Fortress (RRP £69.99), looking bright and menacing out in the real world.
The Nether Fortress comes with the excellent Steve and Alex minifigures, a Zombie Pigman as well as a Blaze, the design of which are an absolute delight.
And of course, there’s the wonderfully designed Ghast, with a firing mechanism and changeable faces. I’m often impressed by LEGO designs, but the Ghast really is a treat of blocky design.
So what cool features are there in the set? There’s a falling stream of lava, a hinging walkway which lets the full set move open up, and plenty of scope for battles against the dark forces with treasure chests and swords and jewels.
And another thing in its favour is that whereas many branded LEGO sets tend to suit keeping the model intact, (I mean, if you’ve built a LEGO Snowspeeder, you’re always going to want to keep it as that, aren’t you?) Minecraft actively encourages you to rebuild and create your own inventions. It’s message is pure LEGO to its core.
I have first-hand experience of how much kids love Minecraft, and seeing it realised in toy form is a truly wonderful thing. I’m certain many parents will be excited by the prospect of giving their child a toy that tears them away from the xbox game. The LEGO set is so close to the ‘real’ experience of playing Minecraft, that apart from the cost involved in buying extra pieces, it may even be better.
(Thanks to lovely folk at LEGO for the review kit!)