Top 5 Franchises That Should Get A LEGO Spinoff

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Anyone seen a preview for LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean? Looks like lots of fun. Ever since LEGO Star Wars hit the gaming market back in 2005, developer Traveller’s Tales seemed to have found their stride in this formula and have been riding it ever since, giving us LEGO versions of Indiana Jones, Batman, Rock Band (that one still confuses me) and most recently, the first four books/movies of Harry Potter. While the quality of the gameplay can be debated, I’ve always felt the biggest selling point for these games is in the presentation. Traveller’s Tales has done an excellent job of finding that perfect medium between respecting each source material, while still taking liberties to implement a special brand of humor only LEGO could provide. If anything, the curiosity of seeing how they plan on reworking that ridiculously convoluted, plot-hole ridden… plot (if you could call it that) of the third Pirate movie is alone enough to make me want to play this game. Plus, who can really say no to a LEGO Jack Sparrow?

"That's LEGO Captain Jack Sparrow to you"

Anyway, it got me thinking: since this craze is still rolling in numbers, why stop now? There are tons of franchises with universes that could be Legoized incredibly well. Therefore, allow me to state the first five that come to my mind. And much like my article on Wanted Smash Bros. Spinoffs, I will end each franchise with my professional opinion of what I believe to be the odds of said game actually coming about.

5. Avatar The Last Airbender

Hmm... yup. The Finale still looks awesome.

Before anyone asks, yes, I’m probably going to put Avatar on every Top 5 Franchise list simply on principal alone. But if you all could please give me a minute before you label me biased and move on (fun fact: All of us here at Toy-tma are biased), I believe I have some valid points to why I think this would work as well as I believe. Avatar was one of those series where all the adventures were in groups (even the main antagonists Zuko and Uncle), so it’s perfect for 2 player co-op. Previous LEGO games, specifically the Star Wars games and the Harry Potter one, used Force Powers and Magic Powers to manipulate the environment, and I can very easily see how bending the elements in Avatar can be applied in the same way, and seeing how each of the characters either bends a different element or uses a special tool, it provides ample opportunity to create environmental puzzles. Plus, I think it would be really funny to see a cutscene of LEGO Aang bend an air scooter, ride it, then crash into a statue and have all his pieces fly in different directions.

Odds: Moderately Low

As to be expected, THQ pretty much has a tight grip on the Avatar franchise, so Traveller’s Tales would have to do serious haggling to get the rights, and that’s even if they wanted too. Unfortunately Avatar still isn’t popular enough to get its foot in the door. Maybe it would be if the movie had been any good, but unfortunately that turned out not to work in our favor. As it stands, there’s probably a better chance of ol’ Jimmy boy’s Avatar being made into a LEGO game than this. Sad but true.

But, to quote the actress who played Katara in the Ember Island production, “hope is all we have, and we must never relinquish it, even to our dying breath.” Maybe next year if Legend of Korra is successful and the buzz is good, Travelers Tales just might consider it.

4. Transformers

Hasbro's war. LEGO's world.

I’m sure War for Cybertron had it’s fans, but in all honesty, I feel this would be the best way to approach making a video game based on Transformers. Seeing as they started off as toys, why not make a game that places them in their toy forms, and place the humans and the world in LEGO form. This way, it accentuates the massive size and destructive power of the Autobots and Decepticons and how easily they can make buildings and landmarks crumble into tiny LEGO pieces. And this is one franchise where it doesn’t necessarily have to be based on the movies or the TV show; it could just go crazy and do whatever it wants as long as we get transformations, some exploration, and large scale battles with lots of LEGO-esque destruction.

Odds: Moderate

A premise like this literally sells itself. The big question would be if Hasbro and LEGO, two of the biggest rivaling companies in the toy industry, would be willing work cohesively on this one project. But hey, if Nintendo and Sega can do it with their recent party games, I’d say anything is possible.

3. Men in Black

The Bricks are Back... In Black

How do you beat a LEGO Johnny Depp? How about both a LEGO Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith? Eh… maybe not quite, but pretty darn close. Men in Black (the first one) was one of my favorite classic sci-fi films growing up. The effects were authentic, the aliens were unique and creative, and likewise for the weapons. In a LEGO Game, this would be perfect for co-op, as the buddy relationship between Agent K and J would indeed bring some charming cutscenes. Seeing as they are essentially detectives, the focus on exploration can easily be implemented. One change they can make is instead of swapping characters with different abilities, have K and J obtain new gadgets and weapons throughout the game like we’ve seen in the movie and the old Kids WB cartoon series.

Odds: Very Low

I could see a game like this being a real hit back in the late 90’s when this movie came out, but now, I’m not sure if enough kids (the target audience for these games) would be into it so much. I could see something similar with a much larger niche audience being made, (the big one that comes to mind being Ghostbusters), but the MIB seem a little too obscure now. Maybe they shouldn’t have nuralized so many people.

2. Spider-Man

LEGO Octavious commands you build this game at once!

I love Spider-Man. I loved the Spider-Man cartoon series from the 90’s, I enjoyed most of the Spider-Man video games I’ve played, and I also really like Sam Raimi’s trilogy of Spider-Man movies in the last decade. All of them. Yeah that’s right, even the third one. (I know, that essentially just includes me, the Nostalgia Critic and the Angry Video Game Nerd [Pranger’s note: Also Pranger!], but whatever, screw all the haters out there ). And if there was a LEGO Spider-Man video game, I’m sure I would like that too. It would be cool if they made it like the Spider-Man movie games and kept the open sandbox style of mission play. There’s something about the idea of swinging through an entire LEGO-built version of Manhattan that sounds really appealing to me. Plus, I have always had the idea of a cutscene where LEGO Spider-Man punched LEGO Sandman in the stomach and a bunch of tiny LEGO bits scatter on the floor, then a bunch of other LEGO bits build up around Sandman’s hand to create a giant fist. Admit it. That would look really sweet.

Odds: Moderately High

If there was one thing holding back this premise, it’s that it doesn’t bring itself to create a decent co-op experience, which is what the LEGO games have specialized in for quite some time. I for one wouldn’t mind at all having a single player LEGO Spider-Man game based on the trilogy, but I know a lot of people like the multiplayer in those games. If they wanted to rework it to have the Black Cat be Spidy’s co-op partner, that could work really well.

I mean seriously, what could possibly work better than Spider-Man? 

1. The Avengers

Curses! I had to remind myself how badass this is, didn't I?

Do I really need to explain why this is a good idea? All the best heroes Marvel Studios has to offer- a weapons/tech genius, a gamma radiated monster, a Viking god, and a World War 2 super soldier all in one movie- now in brick form? Easily made into four player co-op? If they pull this off properly, it could quite possibly become the most epic combination of cute and badass in video games since the debut of Little Big Planet.

Odds: Very High

How could they possibly pass this up? HOW?!

So there you have it. A few more fresh ideas for Traveller’s Tales to wrap their heads around. However, I’m sure there are dozens of other franchises out there that would work just as well, so if you have any, please leave a comment. Until the next one comes out, look out for LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean, with content based on all four movies (yup, even on the newest one, On Stranger Tides) set to release May 10th of this year.

Want more video game ideas? Check out these:

5 Games I’d Like To See On The 3DS Without 3D

5 Games That Would Work Well With The 3DS’ 3D

Becoming One With the Triforce: Speculations on the New Zelda 2010

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3 Comments

  1. And I guess I’m an idiot…I thought this was franchises that need *real* LEGO sets. Well…my list still applies…make them as real LEGO first then turn them into video games. I’ll play with them all either way 🙂

  2. Do they have GI Joe LEGO sets? I think a little LEGO Storm Shadow would be pretty sweet.

    Transformers just lends itself to LEGO…heck, that’s what I was making with LEGO anyway! I couldn’t have enough hinged pieces.

    There’s enough characters that you could have a Metal Gear LEGO theme…AND you have giant robots too!

    I think any Marvel/DC theme is a no-brainer, especially as we are in overkill mode anyway.

    A Tron LEGO would be cool too because you could put a little glow-in-the-dark stuff on each brick and person and there you go.

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