Computer games and Lego combine to create more fun
TOY tie-ins with movies are a decades old idea that have always been popular with children (albeit less so with their parent's wallets) - but in recent years we're seeing toys tying in with block- buster video games as well.
The most recent game to get a toy connection is Blizzard's hugely popular team shooter Overwatch, with the publisher teaming up with the iconic Lego company to create a line of Lego kits based on the game.
Given Lego stuff is usually excellent, and Overwatch is a fun game too, it seemed like a great combination and one my six-year-old son was very keen to experience too (he likes watching daddy play Overwatch).
There are several of the Overwatch Lego kits available and the folks at Blizzard sent through an impressive one representing the map Watchpoint Gibraltar, in which one team is trying to escort a satellite to a spaceship launchpad.
The Lego kit focuses on the spaceship launchpad itself and includes the large spaceship, launch gantry, and Lego minifigures of the characters Winston, Mercy, Pharah and Reaper.
It is a big kit with 730 parts, and took my son and I several hours to put together. What impressed me was how the spaceship is quite large - it splits into two stages - and is a good Lego spaceship in its own right, even without the Overwatch connection. The cargo bay on the rocket opens up and can hold minifigures, and both cockpits are accessible too.
The instructions were relatively clear (although it was sometimes difficult to tell grey blocks from black in the illustrations) and my son had no trouble following the simpler parts. There's a few unique parts in the kit (although not as many as is often encountered in modern Lego kits, which I liked).
The major issue I had was with the Mercy minifigure's face - in the game (and on the box), it is normal skin colour, but the kit comes with a grey face that makes her look like some kind of zombie or robot.
Having assembled the kit, my son let his imagination run wild - he knows most of the Overwatch heroes but seeing the play scenarios he came up with (many of which had nothing to do with the game) was very rewarding, and he was soon adding in characters from other Lego sets to create some interesting scenarios like Overwatch heroes vs Knights and Overwatch and Ninjago vs Assorted Baddies.
The satellite from the game is available as an extra purchase, and includes the Widowmaker and Tracer minifigures as well.
Other kits in the series include some based on the characters Bastion (a robot), Reinhardt (with massive armour) and D.Va (who has a mech-robot); there are also sets based on the El Dorado ma (with McCree and Soldier 76) and the Japanese temple where Hanzo and Genji face off.
As both a Lego kit and an Overwatch toy I was impressed with the Watchpoint Gibraltar kit, as was my son, although with an RRP of $139.99 it's clearly for dedicated fans of the game or people who really want a new Lego spaceship.