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LEGO and Mega Bloks – New York Comic Con – Why We All Win (Hey What About KRE-O?)
As we walk the floor of New York Comic Con 2012 many thoughts and ideas come to mind, but what struck me this year as I walk past the LEGO and Mega Bloks booths, is how lucky we are that both of these companies exist in competition, and there is no longer a huge block monopoly like when I was growing up. Competition creates innovation and for all the block heads we are in a golden age of LEGO and Mega Bloks with a new comer KRE-O looking to take a fair chunk of market share with its already in place license agreements.
What I look at next is a lot of conjecture and opinion on my part, but I feel as if it makes sense at least in my mind why we are in the golden age of brick building as both LEGO and Mega Bloks are going strong. With movies, television, and video games being so huge with kids today, the amount of licenses that are up for grab in this arena is extremely high. Would a single company want to take the chance with a large amount of licensed product? Probably not, and the three company measure means that we get more licensed product. The Hobbit by LEGO and Skylanders by Mega Bloks are both HUGE licenses in two totally different arenas. KRE-O has the build in licensing setup with all Hasbro products and who does not want some KRE-O GI Joe products? Hopefully we will get to see them at Toy Fair. Would we even see products like GI Joe or Skylander without the other two companies? I would have to think the answer would be no. I was super impressed with the Skylander Mega Bloks products, so much so that would say I wanted to play with them and I know my kids will be excited to start putting them together.
Video Games, Video Games, Video Games… LEGO has decided to take the avenue of making their own video games out of high-end movie products. Mega Bloks has decided to take the hottest video games and design sets around them like Halo, Warcraft, and Skylanders. KRE-O is just in its infancy, but the licensing they are using already have a fair amount of video game deals in place already, and since Hasbro have a more diverse product line in general they may make a quick jump to the video game arena as well to get a piece of this market. We have already seen Roblox dip their toe in the water with some free KRE-O Battleship Gaming.
With this extreme competition we have enough licenses to go around now, but what I think the other players in the market have done is make LEGO take a look at itself and realize it needs to be a bit more innovative to keep the large market share that it had. I will never been like it was before since that block building money is being split around, but would we have LEGO friends or Monster Fighters if LEGO wasn’t being pushed by two other companies? While we really would never know that answer, LEGO did have to have something to combat the introduction of KRE-O and the fact that Mega Bloks got the Warcraft license and with it millions of instant fans.
So what do you think? Do we live in the Golden Age of Brick Building with all three companies contributing to the greater good?
You can see LEGO at 34:53 and 31:50 and Mega Bloks briefly at 33:15 in the video we took of the New York Comic Con Showroom Floor
You can also find a gallery of some pictures from both booths LEGO and Mega Bloks below.