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Sep
18

Battle of the Bricks

battleBricks

Growing up I distinctly remember my younger brother spending what felt like hours sifting through our toy bins, separating the LEGO bricks from the MegaBloks bricks,an act I never really cared for or understood. I mean sure I realized they were different but it didn’t actually affect myself so it didn’t matter; whereas he hated the MegaBloks and wanted to keep them away. As an adult now, walking down the brick-toy aisle its crazy how different they actually are…

Its not a matter of which is the most successful company, I mean there is a reason we refer to the bricks as LEGOs opposed to actually saying plastic building bricks! With that said, why would anyone even bother buying anything but? Well what it comes down to is the fact that bricks, do not a home make… know what i mean?

Let me give you some quick history on the two companies. Denmark, 1949 Lego launched their “Automatic Binding Bricks”, which pretty much changed the world of plastic toys as we know it, with the first mini-figure being released in 1978. MegaBloks, formerly known as Ritvik toys, currently known as Mega Brands, purchased by Mattel on February 28, 2014; started up in 1967. Lego has been trying to sue Canadian owned MegaBrands for many years, with no success. Most recently, on September 14, 2010, the European Court of Justice ruled that the 8-peg design of the original LEGO brick “merely performs a technical function [and] cannot be registered as a trademark”

Mega_Bloks_vs._LEGO

Lego definitely has the power and experience with being in the game for so many more years, years they have spent building the name and product into what has recently been dubbed the Biggest Toy Company in the World. The Lego Movie helped the brickmaker’s grow at a crazy rate, their sales are head and shoulders over the competition, and of course they also have a few theme parks around the world… all the while Mattel (MB’s parent company) is failing to keep up. More info from CNN on this can be found HERE.

Lmovie

Since I do not own shares in either company i could not care less about their financial situations; as a collector of assorted things and a gown man that likes playing with toys, the only thing i care about is WHAT they are putting on the shelves. I would argue that a brick is a brick is a brick, it comes down to the special parts, the minifigures, what am i actually building; of course i am talking about the liscenses. Ah the licensed themes, the official merch that drags a collector in simply because of the franchise they are based on. This is where things get interesting.

legovsMB

This would be an interesting fighting game.

Of course its a matter of preference but at this point I will have to give the WIN to Lego, they just seem to have the stronger properties. If this was Monopoly they would be rocking out in snazzy hotels at Parkplace and Boardwalk! I mean look at this roster, to name a few; Batman, Potter, Simpsons, SW, with the Avengers and Spidey its all A-listers! Multi-Billion dollar characters here!
Not to say that Halo, PowerRangers, Spongebob, WoW, Call of Duty and Skylanders don’t carry any weight… but they just are’t competing in the same league. MegaBloks did however have rights to some Marvel goodies sometime before 2011, that has apparently changed, save for a few movie-related licences. Which is a real shame because those were some really cool looking minifigures, I definitely feel for the collectors that are left with incomplete collections. :(

LGokck

POW! Right in the Spongebob!

Here is something interesting to note, probably one of the things that draws me to MegaBloks as a “mature” collector, or maybe I just like army building. Quote taken from Wikipedia:

“While there are sets which can be seen to have a military theme – such as Star Wars, the German and Russian soldiers in the Indiana Jones sets, the Toy Story green soldiers and Lego Castle – there are no directly military-themed sets in any line. This is following Ole Kirk Christiansen’s policy of not wanting to make war seem like child’s play.”

As much as I admire Lego sticking to this noble, yet dated policy, I cant help but think of how much they are missing out on; not that they need it. But on a personal basis, in regards to what I want on my shelf, not what I want my non-existent kids to play with… walking down that toy aisle, I am pulling towards the MegaBloks.

mBlksPunch

MINT! How you like THESE guns?!

I think we can all agree that both companies have some good selling points; Lego has kept strong all these years and deserves all the love it receives, but it cannot be ignored that MegaBloks, the underdog, is looking pretty tough. Just yesterday my brother and I found ourselves meandering around a ToysRus, while passing the aisle of bricks I mentioned to him that I was gonna write an article on this subject.
“I <bleep>ing hated those MegaBloks!” He says without me really asking him.
“I know, I know, but they have changed man, check out these new sets!” I laugh, gesturing at one of the new Call of Duty setups.
“Oh <bleep>!”
Cusswords aside I think he was pretty impressed with MegaBlok’s new minifgs. While Lego has maintained their iconic look, MBloks has pushed the levels of sculpt and articulation that can be built into these miniature characters. No they aren’t nearly as cute and classic as the yellow Lego folks, but as a collector of much larger figures, I must say I love how great they look!

minifhzz

Looking for action eh? ;)

These minifigures change everything in my books, its that moment in the movie when your hero is getting the nickels beat out of him/her and he/she gets hurled into the air, lands right by the weapon he/she had on him/her earlier… and manages to stab/blast/explode the villain just in time. This is how the addition of these figs play out in my heart, the moment that I am confident about walking away from the Lego life. In a perfect toy world MegaBloks would have the rights to Marvel and DC characters and create thousands of awesome minifigs… but since it is a perfect world, Legos would be severely discounted and I would just buy everything!
Until then I am happy with MegaBloks making awesome PowerRangers stuff, without completely destroying my wallet. But those are just my 2cents, feel free to build your own.

1 ping

  1. To the Moon! » Not Enough Nerds says:

    […] year I wrote a thing about the ongoing battle between building brick buds LEGO and MegaBloks, ultimately favoring […]

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