I’ve been a Lego fan for the better part of my life. I’ve enjoyed almost everything they’ve put out-Bionicle, Ninjago, Star Wars, Power Miners, Atlantis, Chima, and…a certain other theme that we’ll get to in a minute. Even though I’ve still enjoyed Lego into my young adult years, I feel like it’s been losing some of its touch. On the front of cool building sets and minifigures, it still delivers-especially where minifigures are concerned. But in recent years, the massive amounts of licensed themes, as well as the rehashing of Ninjago and City police, have completely taken over the face of Lego. Not that those things are “bad” in and of themselves, but we basically get the same thing every year, and it kind of feels repetitive.
Looking around the boards and other fan forums, I can see I’m not the only one who thinks this. Lots of people want Lego to stop milking Ninjago’s cash cow and farm out licenses with Minions, Trolls, Avatar, whatever. Admittedly, it’s largely the “We want Bionicle back!” campaign on the TTV Message Boards, but plenty of other people want more Castle and Space-related themes from Lego. As you may have gathered, I agree with these fans. I feel nostalgic for 2007 Castle, 2009 Space Police, Galaxy Squad, Pharaoh’s Quest, Knights Kingdom II…you get the gist.
However, there is another Lego theme that I feel nostalgic for-Indiana Jones. I was in Second Grade when Lego rolled out this theme, and I just loved it. I thought the idea of an archaeologist with a fedora, whip, and shoulder bag going on globe-trotting adventures and fighting bad guys over priceless ancient artifacts was awesome, and I spent many hours playing with the Lego sets. I still have all my old Lego Indiana Jones sets…even though they’re pretty worn from all those hours of play.
Then recently, reports surfaced that Lego Indiana Jones was coming back next year to tie in with the new movie. What? Can this be true? After all these years, Lego’s taking another swing at Indiana Jones? Oh my glory! This is gonna be so cool! We’ve seen Lego evolve their building styles, and put out lots of new pieces, since Indy’s original run ended in 2009, so I can only imagine what these new sets might look like!
But wait a minute…Indiana Jones is a licensed theme, isn’t it? Haven’t I been fighting against licensed Lego themes for a while now?
Now, let me repeat myself by saying: LICENSED THEMES ARE NOT BAD IN AND OF THEMSELVES. My problem is that they’re practically all Lego has to offer. Back in the 2000s and early 2010s, there certainly were licensed themes, but they weren’t drowning out Lego’s original and classic themes. While it’s fun to see franchises I like (Star Wars, Marvel, Harry Potter, etc.) get the Lego treatment, there’s just so many licenses, nothing really surprises me anymore. We’ve had Lego Scooby-Doo, Lego Minions, Lego Trolls, Lego Disney Princesses, and now Lego Avatar. Plus, Lego Ideas has opened up the door for Home Alone, Sesame Street, Doctor Who, Ghostbusters, Back To The Future, Wall-E, and a plethora of others. Plus, there’s the Lego Minifigures that has two licensed series every year. At this point, it’s not a matter of IF a certain franchise gets Lego sets-it’s a matter of WHEN.
Which isn’t the best lead-in to my point, but here it is: should I really be excited about Lego Indiana Jones coming back? My initial reaction to the news was excitement, but now I’ve lost some of that excitement after realizing that I’m essentially getting excited about something that I “shouldn’t want.” I’m asking for Lego to ease up on the licensed themes, aren’t I? And if they bring back Indiana Jones, that’s adding in another licensed theme, isn’t it? So isn’t it kind of contradictory for me to plead for licensed themes to fade out, then get excited when Lego puts out another licensed theme?