Lego Legends of Chima Goes Mobile

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, The Lego Group, and WB Games Montréal have launched Lego Legends of Chima for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod. Playable with a Wi-Fi connection, the game is free to play and both extends and complements Lego Legends of Chima products, including construction sets and vehicles.

In the online Chima universe, players take on the role of an animal warrior in the Lion, Eagle, Gorilla or Bear tribe. After creating and customizing their character, players explore massive environments, uncover hidden secrets and treasures, build weapons and gadgets, and collect studs and gold bricks that will help expand their outpost.

Lego Legends of Chima is currently downloadable at the App Store.

Toys “R” Us 2013 Holiday Strategy Highlights Education, Tablets, and More

toysrusToys “R” Us Inc. will enhance product categories that have experienced sales growth over the past few years, such as education, tablets, and construction, as part of their 2013 holiday strategy.

This season, a dedicated Imaginarium shop will set in-store, and each store will have a whole aisle dedicated to new educational products, such as microscopes and telescopes from Edu Science and language-learning programs from Little Pim. Meanwhile, capitalizing on the growing construction category, the company will install a “Shop within a Store” in approximately 300 locations, showcasing construction brands such as Lego and Mega Bloks. The company will also feature approximately 70 Lego exclusives this holiday season, including Legends of Chima The Croc Swap Hideout and Star Wars Jedi Defender Class Cruiser.

After experiencing increases in sales of tablets and tablet accessories, Toys “R” Us will add easy-to-navigate 32-foot shops that will showcase 25 tablets that can be tested and engaged with by kids and parents. These shops are expected to set in the majority of Toys “R” Us locations by October. The company also has exclusive tablet products, such as the Kurio 10s by Techno Source and its recently announced tabeo e2, and will be launching a dedicated online tablet guide.

Finally, online shoppers can now place a “Buy Online, Pickup In Store,” order on toysrus.com and it will be ready for pickup in under an hour, and “Ship to Store” orders will now be available for pickup in five to 10 days. Later this fall, stores will be equipped with a secondary in-store pickup location, and “Ready for Pickup” emails that are sent to customers once their order is available will include a map of where the pickup location is positioned within the store.

COMMENTARY: Legends of Chima: More Than Just a Toy

locLego’s Legends of Chima was first introduced as a series of play sets featuring classic Lego designs similar to Lego’s Ninjago. However, the toy has branched out beyond action figures with a new TV series bearing the same name. Cartoon Network has started airing weekly episodes of the series, and before the show is ruled out as just another form of advertising for Lego toys, it’s worth a closer look.

Prior to actually watching, I was a little wary. I was never really a big fan of Lego toys, and the cartoons were even less appealing to me. My justification was that the hands on their characters were shaped like a “c.” I always found myself asking, “Where are their fingers?” Needless to say, I was skeptical when the 6-year-old I babysit insisted we watch the premiere. I was expecting another feel-good show with a few laughs here and there, and was pleasantly surprised at what I saw.

The show is an animated series made in the same vein as most children’s cartoons, with a charismatic hero. Legends of Chima, however, follows a group of animals at war in the land of Chima, and the hero at the center of it all is a lion name Laval. Laval is the prince of the Lion Tribe, who suddenly finds himself and his tribe at war with his best-friend-turned-enemy, Cragger, and his Crocodile Tribe.laval

The plot sounds simple enough, but the show also explores heavy themes such as conspiracy, emotional manipulation, and prejudice. These are, of course, introduced at an age-appropriate level, but teach a message nonetheless. At the end of each episode, kids are taught important lessons, such as being altruistic, compassionate, honest, and merciful.

The issue between Cragger and Laval stems from Cragger’s misuse of Chi. Chi is an energy source that randomly appeared in the distant past. Different groups of animals drank from the mystical pool of Chi and evolved to be smarter forms of their predecessors, and now walk on two feet. A caveat however is that an animal from each tribe did not drink from the pool, and therefore remained “pure.” It is said that these legendary animals will return to Chima one day when they are needed.

Every tribe is given Chi, even if the lions who guard the Chi don’t agree with their views (another important lesson). In spite of this, rather than waiting until his coming of age ceremony to get his Chi, Cragger tricks Laval into showing him the Chi pool, and proceeds to use it, even though he’s not ready. This leads to negative consequences, and ultimately war between the lions and crocodiles and their allies.

Besides the interesting storyline, Legends of Chima also offers laughs characteristic of any clever children’s show. Laval doesn’t just defeat his foes, but does so with witty banter that even adults can appreciate. The show is aesthetically pleasing, and well crafted, making way for beautifully designed toys kids will no doubt want to play with.

cragger

For more commentary from Abby, check back often. Views expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Toy Book as a whole. We hope that you will share your comments and feedback below. Until next time!