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Warner Bros. unveils Lego Dimensions, a Skylanders-style toy-game mash-up

Warner Bros. unveils Lego Dimensions, a Skylanders-style toy-game mash-up

Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham

Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham

Above: Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham

Image Credit: WBIE

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Warner Bros. is joining the battle for modern kids who are growing up in the digital age. And it is doing so with Lego Dimensions, a Lego-based hybrid of toys and video games.

In Lego Dimensions, players buy Lego pieces that can be used to build characters, cars, and other ‘things’ that appear in the game.

If this all sounds familiar, you’ve been paying attention to one of the hottest trends in video games: combining the power of physical toys sold at retail with video games that can bring those toys to life.

Word leaked out in March when VideoGamer.com reported that Travellers Tales, the maker of a number of Lego video games, was working on the toy-game products for Warner Bros., which has a rich history in games, ranging from its acclaimed Batman titles to its newest mobile games. As such, it’s one of the rare Hollywood companies that really understands gaming.

Activision has proudly noted that it create this “toys-to-life” genre with the Skylanders franchise in the fall of 2011. Since that time, Activision has sold through more than $3 billion of Skylanders toys and games at retail. It has sold more than 240 million toys, worldwide. In 2014, Activision claims that Skylanders was the No. 1 kids video game franchise, counting games, toys, and accessories in North America and Europe.

Disney entered the fray with its Disney Infinity characters, followed by Rovio with Angry Birds toys, and then most recently Nintendo barged in with its Amiibo characters.

Activision said that Skylanders outperformed its nearest competitor by 30 percent in 2014, and Skylanders is now the 15th most-popular game franchise of all time.

Launching on September 27 2015, Lego Dimensions was developed by TT Games and published by Warner Bros, and will be available on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and 4, and Nintendo’s Wii U, according to the press release.

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