Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Building Blocks for Grown Ups

Watch out LEGOKRE-O & MEGA BLOKS there is a new brand of building blocks creeping onto store shelves this fall looking to take a bite out of your sales.  McFarlane Toys has partnered with AMC's The Walking Dead television show to produce a new line of building block play sets based upon the popular television show.  These building block play sets will be available starting in October, just in time for the beginning of The Walking Dead Season 5 on AMC, and will be sold exclusively on Toys-R-Us' website and at its retail stores.  The McFarlane Toys' The Walking Dead line will initially include 3 play sets:  Daryl Dixon with Chopper, The Governor's Room, and Prison Tower with Gate.  These play sets will retail between $9.99 and $64.99.  Additionally, blind bags for $2.99 each will be available to purchase that will allow people to buy additional scaled figurines of show cast members and zombies to include within their play sets.  The fall lineup of blind bags will include Michonne, Carl Grimes, Riot Gear Walker, Michonne's Pet Walker, and Herd Walkers.  Additional play sets and blind bag characters are expected to come out in the future.

While these are building block sets they really aren't aimed at a children's audience so McFarlane won't really be competing with LEGO and KRE-O.  The McFarlane Toys' The Walking Dead build block line is really aimed at adult building block hobbyists, toy collectors, and fans of the television series.  Unlike LEGO and KRE-O these building block sets will have very detailed figurine sculpts and accessories.  For example the Governor's Room play set will have the walker head aquariums from the television show that actually light up.  These new building block sets will probably be more competitive instead with MEGA BLOKS who have some brands like ASSASSINS CREED, HALO, and CALL TO DUTY that are marketed to teens and adults.  Interestingly, McFarlane Toys has the action figure license to 2 of these brands MEGA BLOKS is currently selling building block toys for HALO and ASSASSINS CREED. 

 As you can see from the picture below, McFarlane Toys building block aspect of these play sets will be mostly focused on the core scenery base with figurines/accessories probably playing a larger part in the appeal of these toys than their constructable features.


Here's the press release by McFarlane Toys announcing this new brand of building block:

Famed artist and award-winning toy designer Todd McFarlane and McFarlane Toys are unveiling a revolutionary evolution in brick building toys based on television’s most watched drama, AMC’s The Walking Dead. Known as a game-changer for its realistic action figures, including those based on The Walking Dead, McFarlane Toys is adding a new licensed category to the company’s portfolio. The new The Walking Dead toys will extend McFarlane’s high standards of artistic vision, realistic accuracy and incredible detail into the brick building toy aisle alongside of other leading manufacturers. McFarlane Toys’ The Walking Dead building sets and figures will be available this fall only at Toys“R”Us stores nationwide and online at

The initial McFarlane Toys’ The Walking Dead brick building line will feature realistic sculpts, light-up and shaped features, iconic environments, and dozens of your fan-favorite characters and walkers. Both collectors and fans of the cult phenomenon can literally recreate their favorite scenes with this new highly detailed and realistic The Walking Dead product line.

“Twenty years ago I walked into the action figure aisle, saw an artistic void, and asked, can these toys look cooler? The answer was yes, they could, and I’ve survived twenty years next to the big boys creating those artistic toys,” said McFarlane. “Now I’m walking into another aisle with that same question, and the answer is still yes!”

“Will these be the best building sets out there? I’ll leave it up to the consumer to decide,” said McFarlane. But, will it look cooler? Yes. Will it be more detailed? Absolutely. Will it be more realistic? I guarantee it!”

Are you ready for the building block apocalypse?! Keep an eye out for the zombies as they'll be roaming toy store aisles during this year's Christmas holiday shopping season.

Photos provide via McFarlane Toys website & facebook page for publicity purposes

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