In reference to the upcoming Pixar movie Toy Story 4, LEGO as they have done for other productions, advertised the main characters as LEGO versions on a poster. After seeing the design it got me thinking that Toy Story would be the perfect choice for the next LEGO game with the last Disney/LEGO release being 2018’s The Incredibles and before that The Pirates of the Caribbean in 2011.
Now obviously Disney own Star Wars amongst other well-known franchises (Marvel) and there has been a LEGO Star Wars game since the new ownership (as well as a newly announced one for 2020), but I am talking original Disney franchises here. This means any movies that were made by Disney directly or Pixar Studios. LEGO first started their cross-over games when they gained the Star Wars license back in 1999 in the run up to The Phantom Menace. Since that deal which unleashed LEGO’s cross-over games, the only time we have seen Disney included in their games are the two aforementioned titles. Certain Toy Story and other Pixar characters did appear in The Incredibles LEGO game so there are pre-existing designs.
Obviously this game would be released after the Toy Story 4 movie and previous to that the movies have built up a franchise of characters that would benefit a LEGO game. My idea would be for the game to follow the four movies like other LEGO games have and each zone will involve different characters and not just Woody and Buzz. Some of the main highlights of a LEGO game are collecting, unlocking and the characters. Usually a LEGO game has about six stages per movie tie-in and that could work out in the first movie as an example.
You will have the first part of the movie where Buzz is introduced to the other characters and could include them roaming around Andy’s home like in Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear To The Rescue. Other stages that would be suitable would be another relevant moment at Andy’s house, Pizza Planet, Sid’s house, Sid’s garden, and reaching the moving truck. The beauty with previous Toy Story games like Toy Story 2 is that you don’t have to follow the movie and can create new toy-like worlds with brand new mobs. However, with the first Toy Story you have plenty of extra characters in Andy’s and Sid’s rooms. There are plenty of mini game and space options which can be thrown in at Pizza Planet including the claw machine, and even a vehicle operated situation involving RC or the Pizza Planet van. Mobs in the game could include crude creations from Sid.
I would imagine the second film having stages such as the yard sale, Al’s apartment, Al’s Toy Barn, the vent, getting to the airport and the plane scenes. The toy mall in Kingdom Hearts 3 looks incredible and take some of these areas from the Toy Story 2 game, Al’s Toy Barn would look great with LEGO graphics. The characters are so lovable that so many movie scene gags can be included, easily with the use of Mr. Potato Head’s body parts, Woody retrieving his arm and the Zurg scenes. An idea for a fight scene could take place in Al’s Toy Barn or the elevator with Zurg and multiple minions or a group of other Buzz Lightyear’s. I may be waffling a little bit, but the possibilities are endless. There are usually fighting parts throughout LEGO games which is understandable why this franchise might not have been used, but surely adding in some defunct toys wouldn’t hurt.
Toy Story 3 visited a lot more areas that could be used as video game locations. I would start with the nostalgic playtime that sees the characters in a futuristic Old West. Moving on from there I would choose the following locations: day care day, playground, day care night, incinerator/dump and Bonnie’s house. The third title helped introduce plenty of new characters and the day care alone with have plenty of items to smash up and collect studs from. The movie has plenty of enemies to come up against so there would be no issue with fight scenes here or options for mobs. Clearly the main showdown will be with Lotso and there you can use his cronies as mini bosses.
LEGO games don’t have to stick to the same formula every time in terms of their collecting exclusive bricks in the majority of their games. The Incredibles introduced a new game mechanic where players must complete character requests in the city. In the example of a Toy Story LEGO game, you could have toys situated around a location needing missing parts such as batteries or need you to collect a missing toy. Puzzle mechanics will work well here for situations in the films such as getting around Andy’s room, the elevator and retrieving Buzz in Toy Story 3. The ideas are endless and you don’t want to include too many options as the game is quite full with four movies worth of content.
I, as of writing this piece, have yet to see Toy Story 4 due to its release being imminent. From the trailer alone you can see a multitude of areas and situations the characters find themselves in that would work as levels. Obviously not knowing the story plot or structure I cannot pan out the way in which the game should play out, yet plenty of new characters are there to choose from as well with both good and bad being represented.
With LEGO games you don’t have to worry about voice actors which is lucky seeing as previous Toy Story games don’t include all of the traditional cast. In the lead up to Toy Story 4 there have been plenty of LEGO toy lines released including scenes and vehicles from mainly the upcoming title but also other film moments such as the Pizza Planet van and the old Western railway.
Disney Interactive are the owners of the Toy Story games so a partnership with LEGO, developers TT Fusion and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment would be great to see. These are my thoughts on what I’d think could go into a LEGO Toy Story game and let me know what you’d like to see whether it be a future LEGO or general Toy Story video game in the future. Some might argue it is too late now to announce a Toy Story LEGO game, but I think we’d all be excited no matter when announced!