Holiday Gift Guide 1: Let’s Get Physical!

It’s been quite interesting living in an all-too digital world and seeing how gifting has changed for many folks who go that route with nearly every purchase. Me? I like giving and receiving actual product for the most part unless it’s a case where the only way to get something is via a code voucher of some sort. That said, I feel kind of bad for kids raised in this era where some parents or other tech-savvy adults seem to hate on the very idea of handing a kid something nicely wrapped that’s NOT another gift card that devalues over time if not used up for a place they’ll never visit in person. So, in the interest of getting you out of the house and offline for oh, maybe an hour or two, I’m tossing a few suggestions your way (which are also available in digital form if you like).

Lego Worlds PS4_NALEGO Worlds (PC/PS4/Xbox One/Switch)- Ever-busy developer TT Games pulls out all the stops in this great sandbox game that’s packed with content and a ton of freedom once you get past the tutorial and early story missions. This is one of those great family games that’s so much fun to play you’ll want to sneak in some time alone once that kid is asleep.

On the other hand, you’d very likely want to play this with your kid or at least have a second controller handy as the game supports up to 2 players in either online or offline modes. Hours will zip by when this is on, but at least you won’t need to worry about stepping on loose LEGO pieces or having the family pet making them disappear after they smack part of what you’ve built under the sofa.


Crash Bandicoot PS4_NACrash Bandicoot N. Sane Game & Sock Bundle Pack (PS4)- Can’t decide on getting games or socks for the holidays? Got a relative who auto-buys you socks because he or she has zero clue about games? Why not get BOTH with this bundle of completely remastered PS1 classics that include the first three games in the series lovingly reworked by Vicarious Visions with tons of new HD specific features?

Between the redone visuals, the ability to play as Coco Bandicoot in all three games and a bunch of great stuff only those true masters of unlocking will get to see (yes, the games are as challenging as ever)l you get SOCKS you’ll probably actually wear at some point. But don’t try and stuff those stockings on the box with the game, as that would make for weird gift to receive and probably stretch out one of those socks in the process.

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As Always, TT Games Has A LEGO Up On The Competition



For my money (and most likely yours, if you’re also a fan of their work), London-based TT Games is one of the most reliable game developers working today. Working with their own proprietary engines, their long line of licensed LEGO games has brought millions of players of all ages far too much fun for their money. The great thing about a LEGO game is you know on one level what you’re getting, but where you go with what you get is completely up to you. WB Games bought three of the newest LEGO titles to NYC along with a few folks from TT Games to show press and a bunch of lucky kids what’s headed their way in 2017 and yes, the operative word here was FUN (and lots of it).
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Want a LEGO Build to End All LEGO Builds? Here You Go.

Not that you’d have the time or space to actually build an life-size Death Star out of 435 TRILLION (yikes) LEGO bricks (not to mention the only way to get that many bricks in the first place requires a working time machine and a black hole suitcase to hold all those bricks), but the folks at Ebates decided to figure out just how many LEGO it would take to whip up some of sci-fi’s most recognizable items. I’m gathering certified LEGO expert, Matija Puzar has access to those two items noted above, as he’s actually crunched the numbers and came up with those insane figures in the infographic below:


WHAT?! no Serenity from Firefly? How do you have The freakin’ Heart of Gold, a Borg Cube, AND Spaceball One but not Serenity? Boo. Ah well, maybe next year. I’m actually not all that inclined to the construction business, as I prefer to watch stuff being built or get someone a lot less easily distracted to tackle the heavy lifting. Of course, those planet-sized builds would require a lot of labor and an actual planet to build them on, so perhaps there’s something to all this “we’re going to Mars!” nonsense after all. The moon is a better idea, as it’s closer and you could probably watch the construction from your roof with a good telescope. That and my own storage space is limited here at the home office. As in I only have room left here for stuff like Santoki’s extremely cool and very useful LEGO Stationery lineup, coming to a store near you soon.

Some Batman Day Stuff To Drive You Batty

batman day 2015

So, it’s Batman Day tomorrow and yes, a few (well, more than a few) sites are having some nice sales on some fun to funky items. I’ll give a shout out to a handful below:

Mezco Batman Day Sale

MezcoToyz is offering up an awesome deal of mystery randomness with its 1-day ONLY Batman themed Mystery Box. $19.39 (yes, the year Bats first appeared in comics)nets you a box that will contain assorted Batman and DC Comics related merchandise. You may get something common,but you may also snag something super-rare and guaranteed to have the Joker pop by with a can of Smilex gas while you’re sleeping. Hey, he collects toys too… at your expense, of course! This sale runs from 12:01 AM on September 26th to 12:01 AM on September 27th and yes, supplies are LIMITED. Oh, and if you’ll be in NYC for the event, make sure to visit Mezco at New York Comic Con (booth 1754).

BatmanCover LEGO Batman 3 Complete Bundle

If you prefer something a bit more interactive, Bundle Stars has you covered with two cool Bat-bundles of PC games with the Caped Crusaders and friends. Ten bucks nets you the first three Batman: Arkham games along with three huge DLC packs or Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham plus SEVEN nice DLC packs.

Meanwhile, the PlayStation Store, Sony is running a Batman Day sale on a slew of Barman titles for the PS3, PS4 and Vita. Boogie on over to that link above and let your wallet fly around the room for a minute before you wring it out until it’s all dried up and you’re buried in more than enough Bat-games to keep you occupied and out of trouble for quite some time. Or IN trouble because you’ve stopped going to work and have taken to wearing a cape, boots and utility belt you’ve designed on those trips to the bathroom. Remember to duck when you throw that homemade Batarang for the first time, as it’ll swing back and crack you upside the head before you can react.

I suppose you can do some reading as well, but I’ll let you poke around online for assorted sales. I do know DC Comics is doing something fun (as always) I haven’t read a decent Batman comic in ages, so I’m kind of need to do some poking around myself. Hmmm… it looks as if I’ll be hitting up the library here tomorrow or a nearby comic shop for a few freebies.

LEGO Dimensions Gets A Doctor (Or 12) In The House


Remember that Doctor Who episode where he goes into the LEGO universe and everything is turned into plastic bricks? No? Well, either you’re not paying attention or you haven’t got your copy of LEGO Dimensions yet because you can’t time travel and haven’t already played the game. Silly you. Okay, for mere mortals who don’t have the ability to travel through time (or who don’t know a certain other Doc named Brown), the game is out September 27, 2015 for PS3/PS4,Xbox 360/Xbox One and Wii U, is developed by TT Games (who else?) and looks pretty darn awesome.


The cool thing is not only do you get the current Doctor to play around with, expect to be able to regenerate into the eleven other Doctors (whee!) during the game. That alone should get console owning fans of the show to snap up and step into LEGO Dimensions when it ships out. Oh, as for the new season of Doctor Who, BBC has released a nice and long teaser trailer that packs in a few surprises:


The modern era of “Toys to Life” category started by Activision’s Skylanders has gotten even huger over the years thanks to later competition from Disney with its Infinity line, Nintendo’s Amiibo figures and now LEGO stepping into the fray. LEGO has a wild edge as the “new” kid on the block thanks to the massive popularity of the blocks and instant appeal to all ages. TT Games is also key to their success thanks to years of making some incredibly FUN games nearly anyone can pick up, play and have a total blast with. Expect Dimensions to be another winner on a few fronts. Well, it looks as if I know how my Saturday nights will be spent for a few months.

Some Games for Your Mad Monday, Mister or Missus?

Yeah, you know the drill by now. Sometimes you absolutely need a pleasant diversion on a manic Monday, so here’s some of what’s up on a few of the usual bundle selling suspects you should be frequenting regularly because they have deals you just can’t pass up:

IndieGala EMB 12152014 IndieGala Every Monday Sale: Six games for ONLY a measly $1.89? How DO they do it? Well, no matter because it’s always a great deal even if you only actually play one or two of the games you buy. This week gets you some adventure games, a strategy game, a hidden object game and more fun all for a song. I’ll bet you that $1.89 that you’ll be happy with at least one of those games…

Bundle Stars LOTR BundleBundle Stars has a small army of The Lord of the Rings games in this week’s bundle, so get ready for the silliness of two LotR games and their DLC and the straight up seriousness of War in the North and the online only competitive madness that is Guardians of Middle Earth. To paraphrase one Gandalf the Grey, “YOU SHALL NOT PASS (this offer up)!” A ha and ha-ha. Okay, enough with the puns, as I don’t want the Eyebrow of Sauron to raise itself any higher than it’s gotten after reading that last line.

Pley Goes Live: So, Wait… You Can Rent LEGO Sets Now?

At PleyYeah, my face probably looked like the little girl on the left of that picture I swiped from the website as I read the email I got from the company’s PR person. Yes indeed, you can actually sign up to get an account there and if you’re approved, you’ll get genuine LEGO sets to play with in the mail (well, at home or wherever you get it sent to – playing with your unopened mail is probably some sort of crime) and send back once your done. The mind boggles! Pley even (*gasp*) SANITIZES the pieces so you’ve no need to worry about getting a box full of already stuck together with peanut butter and banana sammich parts to pull apart and put back together.

Anyway, subscriptions range from $15 to $39 per month, so if you’re big into all things LEGO and have not a lot of space for all those sets you want or you just like the idea of fun stuff popping up in the mail that you KNOW you’ll enjoy, well… stop reading this post and go Pley around already!

Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham: TT Games’ Next One Will Be Out Of This World…

LB3BG Cover MultiLEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is coming to PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4/PS Vita, Xbox One/Xbox 360, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and PC on November 11, 2014. That’s pretty much all you need to know as TT Games and WBIE have absolutely MASTERED the art of whipping out a LEGO game to mostly rave notices and delivering the goods with a family-friendly set of titles that have infinite replay value and make for instant “BUY ME!” purchases whether as gifts for oneself or a bunch of lucky kids.

Seriously, all you need are a couple of controllers and anyone can have a total blast. for the longest time, the LEGO series has been a “pick up and play” festival and with each installment, TT Games has been adding neat stuff like fully voiced characters, bigger maps to explore and loads of additional costumes, characters and plenty of hidden secrets for those willing to play until they fine everything.  Oh, and here’s a word from Braniac and a few pals in case you’re showing any form of disinterest in this one:

Yeah, soooo… don’t let the Joker put the earth in his pants (ewww!)… BUY THIS GAME when it comes out and knock some sense into that ever-grinning nut-job, I say!

SDCC 2014: Hey, Lego! Why Can’t We ALL Have Nice Things?

SDCC 2014 Batmobile

Photo: LEGO

Well, I guess this post goes out to all the companies giving away or selling convention exclusives like this. It’s Batman’s 75th birthday and of course, the number of cool stuff from all over ranges from easy to nab (public libraries all over gave away Batman-related goodies yesterday) to “Unless you’re at the convention or pay a fortune on eBay when you cave in and throw your wallet at the screen” goodies like that awesome classic Batmobile above and that SUPER rare Batman of Zur-En-Arrh below. While the Batmobile will be on sale at the show (and people are already “pre-selling” it for over $200 on eBay (even though they probably don’t have one yet – caveat emptor!), that oddball Batman minifigure will be a totally RANDOM giveaway based on scanned convention badges to pick winners.

SDCC 2014 Batman of Zur-En-Arrh

Photo: LEGO

Photo: LEGO

Photo: LEGO

Of course, I’m not asking for a massive mass production of these figures to the point where they’re stocked to the rafters at your local retailer. It would just be nice to see some of these cool toys pop up in some stores without the SDCC logo and perhaps stamped somewhere that they aren’t “exclusive” to that event. No company producing any of these giveaways of for sale items makes a penny off the secondary sales market, but they certainly can brag that “Figure X” has sold for up to $—-” to some collectors” at future media events if someone at one of these companies keeps track of that stuff.

Now, I’m not complaining at all, kids. Heck, I avoid conventions these days because the dopes who run them have made it rough for smaller sites like mine to cover them (despite me having NO trouble getting a media pass previously for a few years running AND even working at a friend’s booth). If I were to complain at all, it would be with certain con organizers who treat the smaller press like cattle, forcing us to pile in with the public (which is HELL for making appointments on time). That and I just got tired of the mob scene, some really stinky people and that infamous “convention flu” crap a lot of folks take home from so many people crammed together, not all of whom are healthy.

Eh, maybe I won’t miss that Batmobile after all. I can just buy a bunch of Lego sets and look up plans online to make a custom one, I guess. That way, Lego will still get some of my money (and probably more than the $39.99 that convention exclusive costs) and everyone’s happy at the end of the day…

LEGO The Hobbit In Stores Today: CG Plastic Playground Beats CG Movie FX Any Day of the Week…

While I’m not a huge fan of the fantasy amusement park thrill rides that are The Hobbit films, TT Games has never let me down with their takes on the Lord of the Rings franchise and a bunch of other games they’ve done up with the full on LEGO treatment. While production values have been beefed up considerably since the first LEGO games, the same sense of silliness and all-out fun is intact, as is drop-in drop-out co-op play, loads of secrets and probably so many characters to play as that the game’s replay value is way off the charts if you’re one of those folks who wants to see it all and doesn’t care how long it takes to unlock everything. Anyway, this one’s available NOW for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo 3DS and PC, so round up the family and go grab a copy, I say…