These days, video games have a gimmick – a trick to keep you coming back for more. Some of these are within the game, while others are outside of the game in a more physical trait. One of the early examples I recall from the early days was “R.O.B. the robot” that was for the original NES. This was a robot that you set a controller into the base, and then you maneuvered the robot to spin discs that you would them have him pick up and plop onto pistons, which then lowered or raised barriers in the game “Gyromite” to get your character through a level.
My opinion of that one………a pretty sizeable pile of rubbish. It was a high-priced gimmick that worked for one game (there may have been others, but this was the one that was marketed).
The music games were next on the block with two large entries – Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Both have recently come out with brand new versions with all shiny new peripherals, but………..what do you do with the older stuff? Do you still keep the older instruments around to play with the previous titles, or do you toss them out to make room for the new stuff? Also…….what happens when eventually, the instruments poop out? How do you replace them? Admittedly, they are fun to play, and they have a pretty sizeable catalog, so these peripherals have their uses – I will give them that.
The “toys to life” category is the latest on this block, and yes, I know I have talked about this subject before, but this one is about what happens after the love of the game has left (many hope it never does), and after checking into the main four titles that have come out so far, I can honestly hope that Lego Dimensions has a longer lifespan, because even after all the love is gone from the game at some time in the future, you still have Legos! Legos can be used to build MANY things – not just the stuff in the game, so there is some value to the toys after the games have long since gathered dust on your shelf – after all…………Legos are fun!
The other ones? If you don’t play with them in the game, then perhaps you know little kids who love colorful toys to play with, or perhaps you can admire them as they look pretty cool on your shelf. Just give them a good dusting once in a while. The Skylanders, Inifnity figures, and Amiibos just have a really limited use outside of the game. Amiibos also just don’t add as much to a game as the rest do, which is a shame. I have avidly collected Skylanders figures through four different games, and have enjoyed them all, but unless you play them many times, you just lose usefulness for the figures, and with the mishaps over the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th games from Activision and Toys for bob, I’m just not as impressed with the attention to quality that they seem to have glossed over.
The other issue is the secondary market – whether it be eBay, Amazon, your local pawn shop……..this is the toys-to-life graveyard. The secondary markets are literally flooded with figures from previous iterations from games to the point where no one is paying hardly anything for them if you get bored with them. Look on eBay – you see people selling huge lots for a mere fraction of what they originally paid for them, and the game companies are laughing all the way to the bank on that one. They got their money from your pockets already. With games themselves, you can still play them, provided you have the hardware to play them on, and they still work, but if you don’t have the games these specific toys went to, they are just knick-knacks on your shelf………….all but the Legos – they still work elsewhere as the bricks they are so famous for. If you have lost all love of the game (and I doubt you will for a while), then just pick up a cheap tub of bricks, and add these to it! Now you have more bricks and minifigs that you can build more worlds with with your kids or friends!
So I must tip my hat to Lego. I wasn’t sure they would hold up in the toys to life thing as well as the rest, but they didn’t……….they did far better!