Alright look, here’s the thing about LEGO Dimensions: it was always going to have an ENORMOUS advantage in the toys-to-life marketplace. The “toys” part is being handled by LEGO; arguably the best toy brand on the planet. How anyone can expect plastic, immovable figurines from Skylanders and Disney Infinity to compete with actual LEGO sets for a kid’s attention is laughable. You want to know my theory? When LEGO Dimensions arrived on the scene (rather late in the toys-to-life genre’s existence), Disney took one look at it and pretty much bowed-out of the marketplace. Disney Infinity is dead; not even the largest entertainment company’s massive stable of franchises can stand up to LEGO. The fact that heaps of Disney’s franchises are already part of the LEGO brand (Star Wars, Marvel, etc.) is beside the point. Or maybe it’s entirely the point? Maybe Disney Infinity got canned because Disney knows they could just license LEGO Star Wars to Warner Bros. for the inevitable LEGO Dimensions sequel, and then sit back and let others do all the hard work while the cash piles up.
Marketplace segue aside, LEGO Dimensions is the new undisputed king of the toys-to-life genre. Depending on how you look at it, it’s either the safest new IP in the genre, or the most ingenious. Pessimists would say it’s a game that sells itself safely on the LEGO brand. While it does do that, it also turns out that the actual GAME is brilliant. It’s smart, hilarious, and it does new and very clever things with its portal.