Hands up if, at any point in the past few months, you’ve wandered past LEGO’s recent BACK TO THE FUTURE DeLorean or GHOSTBUSTERS Ecto-1 sets on a shop shelf and felt an overwhelming sense of pure, child-like joy overcome you.
I think it’s a fairly safe bet that a decent number of you are now sitting at your desk, on the train or even on the lavatory with a hand thrust in the air, much to the bewilderment of those around you (that last bit’s less likely if you are indeed on the loo right now). THE LEGO MOVIE catapulted the company back into the eyes of kids, adults and collectors, and there’s plenty for film fans to get involved with.
Since introducing licensed franchises in 1999 with the immensely successful LEGO STAR WARS range, which is still going to this day – and will be until at least 2022, when the license expires (probably to be renewed again, as it was in 2011) – The LEGO Group has turned around its flailing fortunes at the turn of the millennium.
In the past decade-and-a-half we’ve seen classic characters including Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, Batman and even SPEED RACER served up in plastic, miniature form. And as this writer was shown for THN on Tuesday at London Toy Fair 2015, this year promises nothing less.
The timeless STAR WARS franchise continues into its 16th year, with a new wave of split focuses: more miniaturizing of Disney’s latest TV show Rebels, and bookending the classic saga as we move into the new trilogy with STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS in December (and undoubtedly some new LEGO sets to go with that, too).
To that extent, we’ll be seeing new LEGO versions of the Imperial Shuttle and the final showdown between Luke and Darth Vader in RETURN OF THE JEDI; a Naboo Starfighter and Flash speeder from THE PHANTOM MENACE, and a new ship introduced in Rebels – the intimidating Imperial Assault Carrier, complete with mini TIE fighters to carry around.
Meanwhile, AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON will be getting its own wave in March, featuring everything from Iron Man’s Hulkbuster suit to a brand new (blue!) Quinjet. All the main cast are present, including a new, movie-accurate Hulk figure and Ultron’s various iterations. An ANT-MAN-based set is also due in the summer, though for obvious spoilery reasons it wasn’t on show.
The big news this year is the introduction of two new franchises: classic TV show Scooby-Doo and mega-sequel JURASSIC WORLD. The former delivers on every front you’d expect: the main gang, the Mystery Machine, spooky monsters and plenty of bright colours. There’s a lot to love and I’m sure fans will be excited by the prospect of getting Shaggy, Scooby and co. in LEGO form.
The latter range, while commanding fairly high price tags (a common theme across all the ranges, in fairness), does bring with it a handful of brand new dinosaurs to terrorise your pets with. The JURASSIC WORLD wave is due out closer to the film’s release in June, while you can get your hands on the Scooby-Doo range from August.
Elsewhere, Corgi will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of GOLDFINGER with a die-cast replica of James Bond’s original Aston Martin DB5 toy released in 1965. The model car was originally designed in silver (as per the film version) but was switched to gold at the last minute, so the new version will be available in both varieties.
You’ll have to be quick if you want to get your hands on one, though: only 10,000 silver versions and 2,000 gold versions are being produced, so you can expect it to become highly sought after in the secondary market. A whole host of SPECTRE merchandise will also be produced later in the year, though once again – spoilers be damned – none of it was on show, save for the promise of a new Scalextric kit.
All in all, 2015 is shaping up to be an exciting year for collectors of film merchandise. Check back throughout the year for a closer look at some of the best stuff to get your hands on, and let us know in the comments if there’s anything you’re particularly interested in (or want more information on) and for the bits we’ve covered so far, well, head over here!