I usually write about baby through preschool topics on this blog. But every once in a while there is something worth stretching this niche for and this is one of those times. It fits in with my theme for product reviews that they should be from a grandparent perspective and often are about a new twist on a product that we remember well. We all remember Legos and many of us – including me – have kept Duplos and some favorite Lego sets in the attic just sitting and waiting for grandchildren. I have some of those and will be writing about new Lego sets in the Fall.
Today I want to introduce a new product line by Lego – Lego games. There is a move back to families spending more time together and away from having kids overprogrammed in organized activities. Our town even has a monthly family night – the fourth Wednesday of every month when there is no homework, no sports or other organized activities scheduled and families are encouraged to eat a family meal together and spend the night in family activity. I know, I know many of us think of family dinner as a nightly event but for many families today this is a once a week or once a month activity.
At the New York Toy Fair that I attended in February, bloggers (That’s mommy bloggers and one grandma blogger to be exact) were invited to a special after hours party sponsored by Lego to introduce their new game line. Besides being able to stroll through their entire exhibit without the crowds, they had a sit down time where we got to play a couple of new games. Lego is introducing 10 games – some will be introduced in the Fall and some were just introduced in March. The games are pretty sophisticated and featured a Lego building construction pad with a template that you build yourself.
The game we played is called Minotaurs. You each have three micro Lego characters and start at the edge of the board and work your way to the middle to win. The dice has colors and numbers. You move toward your goal when you roll a number, and when you roll a color you may get to jump a hedge, block the path of another, free up your path or swoop in and send another player’s piece back to start. There’s strategy, logic, guessing and good old luck at work to become the winner.
I enjoyed playing the Minotaurs game and in fact I won at my table. Did that contribute to the fun? Well, perhaps. It reminded me of playing with Legos with my kids and it doesn’t have any music or flashing lights – my favorite features to be absent in toys. If you know a child who likes games such as checkers and chess this may be a perfect gift for them. This is the kind of game that you get better at the more you play and develop a winning strategy. It is a good game to play across generations also as children as young as five and as old as – whatever – will enjoy playing. So I give it an A+ for “family engagement.”
This new set of Lego games should be available everywhere. They were recently featured in a Toysrus email I received. This game retails for $24.99 and it is also available at a discount at Amazon.com – click on the ad below for more information.