Mega Bloks gets Halo license [LOL!]

In news sure to disappoint unsupervised tweens everywhere, knock-off construction toy company Mega Bloks announced that they’ve won the license to produce toys based on the Halo video game universe.

DRIVEN magazine has a roundup of the reaction from around the gamer community, but what does this mean to LEGO fans? What effect will this have on BrickForge (and their “Space Marine” armor) and BrickArms (with their sci-fi weapons)?

What do you think? Sound off in the comments (here or over on DRIVEN, if you like). Thanks for the tip, Eric Grant!

22 comments on “Mega Bloks gets Halo license [LOL!]

  1. Andrew Post author

    Okay, I’ll start. We have to acknowledge that LEGO’s primary market is children ages 7-12. Halo simply isn’t appropriate for LEGO, no matter how many parents there are out there who don’t have a problem letting their 9-year-old play an M-rated game.

    Don’t get me wrong — I’m a Halo fan myself (and there are far worse M-rated games kids could be playing), as well as the high-quality accessories from BrickForge and BrickArms meant to be used with LEGO.

    I have no problem with Mega Bloks getting the Halo license. I just hope that all those “LEGO Halo” fans out there are LEGO fans first, and Halo fans second.

  2. David4

    People are still Halo fans? Halo is so 2003. :)

    I couldn’t care any less than I do. Isn’t Halo dead? It seems like the excitement over it has died down now that MS is whoring it out like Nintendo does with Mario.

    Would I have liked to see what LEGO would have done? Of course, but I’m liking the way Space Police is shaping up so no big lose.

  3. dover

    I think that’s a bad choice on MS’s part.

    #1 MEGA brands are rampant with safety recalls. They can’t really be trusted to do a good job.

    #2 Halo might just be popular enough to keep MB afloat for a little longer when they should have drowned a looong time ago.

    #3 C’mon, Microsoft, you’re in Redmond, and everyone knows the seattle fans are the coolest ;) Wouldn’t that be any influence to go Lego or go home?

    #4 “I just hope that all those “LEGO Halo” fans out there are LEGO fans first, and Halo fans second.” Well said Andrew

  4. Dean H

    I don’t give a you know what about Lego not picking up the license, and I won’t get into the debate about whether Halo is good or not. Either way, it’s a very strong IP, and I’d rather some other competitor than Mega had picked it up. Maga is the only competitor who really has the market presence to steal sales from Lego.

    I just hope the accessories are usable.

  5. Dr. X

    Well… it’s not like they beat LEGO to it, or anything. LEGO wouldn’t take Halo if they were offered it, just as Andrew said.

    I’m actually sort of glad MB got the license. I doubt it will have any impact on BrickForge/Arms, and they’ll probably make some new Halo parts we can use in our MOCs (Halo or otherwise).

  6. Andrew Post author

    ^ Nice find. I tried, but didn’t turn any images up (not that I would’ve ever included images of Mega Bloks in a TBB post).

    Readers, well worth the click through to Epic, epic FAIL! on the Master Chief figure.

  7. lalabox

    Wow, even though it doesn’t quite fir the criteria, Doyle should log that for Friday Fail. It is HORRIBLE.

  8. TooMuchCaffeine

    The worry here is that the Megabloks legal guys might go after BrickForge/BrickArms and get them to stop their Halo stuff.

    Whilst I’ve never bought Halo customs, I figure Forge/Arms make a fair bit of their cash out of it. I’d be disappointed if any run-in with Megabloks caused them to lose out and put the stuff I do or might buy in jeopardy.

    Is the Forge/Arms Halo material small enough business that Megabloks will let it slide, or will the custom producers stop voluntarily? They might reckon that any Lego Halo fan has bought their stuff already by now if they were going to?

  9. Falleen9

    Honestly Halo may be a bit mature for LEGO, but come on guys It would have been a much better quality product. Mega bloks are terrible shams of building blocks and aren’t even close to as good as LEGO. But hey it’s not like Microsoft has made bad decisions in the past.

  10. gigahound

    I hope it does well. Mega Bloks have done well in differentiating themselves from Lego. Their parts are more detailed, the sets are more dense, and the over-all product often looks better and sometimes even more fun.

    I think I’ll be buying some for my kids. I would like them to not develop the kind of brand adherence that I have come to know. As far as quality goes, Lego may be a step above, but these days, not by much. We have shown Lego that we will continue buying their product even as the quality continues to plummet.

    Then again, maybe I won’t buy them, but my reasoning stands.

  11. Hawk

    Personally, I don’t give a load of dingo’s kidneys about all this. I don’t play Halo, I don’t build Halo MOCs, I don’t buy Mega Blox, and all the Brickforge/Brickarms Halo customs I own are promotionals that I got for free. This effects me in the least.

    Although, I suppose, TooMuchCaffeine’s worries are valid. A good amount of Brickarms’ income probably does come from their Halo lineup, and even though I, personally, am fond of brick-built weapons, I would hate to see Will’s business get hurt, and the occasional Brickarms part is always nice.

  12. peterlmorris

    I don’t think Halo is that strong of an IP. If it were, MS wouldn’t be dropping game ideas for it left and right. So I don’t think this is a smart move by Mega, especially with the economy continuing to crumble.

    However, it will be quite interesting to see what kinds of awesomeness nnenn unleashes with the new parts.

  13. Tananavalley

    Microsoft would have buried Brickforge and Brickarms if their designs infringed on there copyright, so Megablocks going after them is a moot point.

    Andrew>LEGO stopped being “appropriate” a long time ago. I have always been sad LEGO went from space exploration to “kill all Martians”.

    The Batman line introduced us to realistic modern firearms for those 7-12 year olds.

    The Star Wars line is base on enjoyable but very violent movies with LEGO producing characters who commit mass murder.

    Now before someone misunderstands me, I like many of these new sets, but lets not pretend LEGO is something that it is not. Their supposed moral high ground dissapated when they went from swords to flintlocks and then on to uzis.

    I understand that conflict is a major element to play design that goes into these sets, and HALO would fit very nicely alongside all their other lines. Not all LEGO sets use violence as a play theme of course, but I feel there could be less.

    I purchased a old classic space set for my son so he could see when LEGO first ventured into space, it was for exploration. The play design of human curiosity was plenty for me when I was 8 years old.

  14. Andrew Post author

    I have no inside knowledge, but I highly doubt that Microsoft had a great deal to do with the licensing deal with Mega.

    First, I believe Bungie owns Halo, not Microsoft (Halo was already in development when Microsoft acquired Bungie). Although Microsoft retained a share in Bungie and Microsoft Games Studios remains Bungie’s primary publisher after the two companies went their separate ways in 2007, Microsoft no longer owns Bungie.

    Second, in much the same way that Harry Potter’s licensing is handled by Warner Brothers (rather than J.K. Rowling or her book publisher), the Mega press release (which I didn’t bother linking to) indicates that the licensing agent for the Halo franchise is Twentieth Century Fox.

    @Tananavalley: You definitely have a point — a point I’m inclined to agree with.

  15. Tananavalley

    Microsoft owns HALO with Fox having the product licensing rights (acquired when Microsoft and Fox had plans for the now defunct HALO movie)

    Bungie originally made games for Apple computers starting 1991. HALO was actually being devoloped for Macs when Microsoft acquired Bungie and tied them to the X-Box platform. Bungie left Microsoft in 2007 to pursue broader interests with Microsoft retaining ownership of the HALO franchise.

  16. mikepsiaki

    WOW, those images look awful, even if they are preliminary. The funny thing to me is that megabloks could have totally ripped off any number of the awesome LEGO halo creations on the interwebs, instead they decided to make crappy versions of everything…way to go! (specifically the warthog and the tank)

  17. Optimystic

    Despite those many Halo Lego filled dreams I never thought Lego would do Halo, but I think that by giving megabloks (note how it’s not capitalized) the Halo rights Microsoft/Bungie are insulting themselves. Even if I were a Halo fan first I would not touch these with a 10 foot bargepole. Of course the parts are much, much more detailed, just like action figures are. I think they should change the name from “megabloks” to “megablok”.

  18. the enigma that is badger

    My expectations weren’t high when I heard MEGA had picked up the HALO license, but I have to say these pics didn’t even manage to clear that low bar. I can’t see a single element that might be useful in building that isn’t currently available from TLG or a custom vendor. A case *might* be made for the few purple bricks that are included in some of the sets, but beyond that, “juniorized” doesn’t being to cover the complete and utter lack of building design in these sets which are disappointingly similar to MEGA’s POTC line.

    Speak of custom vendors, in regards to how this line might affect custom vendors that offer similar items, looking at these figs and their accessories, I’d have to say these sets won’t affect custom accessories one bit. None of the accessories appear to be compatible with TLG minifigs, and those that might be are not in keep with the scale and aesthetic of TLG minifig accessories.

    If builders are looking to equip their figs with these types of weapons and accessories, I think they’ll still know the places to go for compatibility and quality!

  19. DonSolo

    I think this is good news for Brickforge – because with the MB Chief sucking as hard as it is fans are going to be jonesing for a better looking alternative.

  20. the enigma that is badger

    “because with the MB Chief sucking as hard as it is fans are going to be jonesing for a better looking alternative.”

    And I’d say the same thing certain applies to BrickArms and some of Will’s sci-fi weaponry that HALO fans have always found very useful. The accessories in these sets look as bad as the rest of the sets, and like you said, when fans realize just how accurate and useful custom items are for building in the HALO theme, they’ll want to add some to their collection!

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