This article first appeared in the May/June 2015 issue of The Toy Book.
Barnes & Noble is the largest retail bookseller in the U.S., with nearly 650 stores nationwide, as well as a thriving web presence. But in recent years, the bookstore chain has also been expanding its non-book offerings, balancing out shelves of New York Times bestsellers with educational toys, games, and collectibles.
On Friday, Lego Systems Inc. joined the White House in celebration of the Week of Making, scheduled for June 12 to 18, with a series of activities that amplifies the importance of play, prototyping, and making in the coming year. Lego Systems initiated hands-on, minds-on making activities at the National Maker Faire in Washington on June 12 to 13, and will again in September at World Maker Faire and the Innovation Festival hosted by the Smithsonian and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
In addition to LEGO Batman, LEGO Gandalf, and Wyldstyle, the three minifigure heroes used to start the experience, LEGO Dimensions will allow gamers to customize their experience post-launch and throughout the first half of next year with additional packs from brands including: DC Comics Team Pack, featuring LEGO Joker and LEGO Harley Quinn minifigures; three additional DC Comics Fun Packs, featuring LEGO Superman, LEGO Aquaman, and LEGO Bane minifigures; the Back to the Future Fun Pack with LEGO Doc Brown minifigure; and two additional LEGO Ninjago Fun Packs with Sensei Wu and Lloyd minifigures.
Legoland Hotel at Legoland Florida Resort opened on Friday, marking the expansion of the resort to become an immersive, multi-day experience for families. The grand opening was honored with thousands of colorful Lego minifigures blasting out of cannons atop the hotel, and a child discovering a key for opening the hotel built for kids.
The latest trailer for LEGO Jurassic World is overflowing with dinosaurs: big dinos, tiny dinos, friendly dinos, angry dinos, flying dinos, battling dinos, and even goofy dinos. Between the more than 20 different kinds of playable dinosaurs and more making an appearance, players will have plenty to do when the game arrives in North America on June 12 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and Windows PC.
On April 24, the Hippie Dirigible, by Russian designers Dmitry and Anna Selivanov, became the first design available for rental on Pley.com to Pley users. It took 82 days to gather 5,000 votes from Lego fans worldwide. Pleyworld has now fulfilled its purpose as a Lego fan crowdsourcing website that enables designers to create, share, and distribute their designs.
When it comes to creating great toys, games, or just about anything, it all boils down to the idea. Great things are often borne of flashes of inspiration, and more than ever, we’re seeing toy companies try to tap into the mental spark of their customers.