Early in 2017, Mattel® Mega Bloks® went through a dramatic personality change. Deciding to use the “Mega Bloks” moniker to focus on pre-school age kids and below, the company took the more advanced construction sets in the brand and give them their own identity. And, thus Mega Construx™ was born. Nicolas Allaire, the Director of Global Brand Marketing for Mega Construx, was kind enough to take a few minutes out of his day to answer a few questions about Mega Construx, how it came to be, and where the future lies.
the Newsbox: Nicolas, thank you for taking the time to answer some questions about Mega Construx. Earlier this year Mega Bloks began re-branding into Mega Construx. What was the thought process behind that rebranding? Half a year in, how is the rebranding going?
Nicolas Allaire: February, we organized our big-block product line under the Mega Bloks name and introduced Mega Construx. Mega Bloks continues to inspire preschoolers to achieve their potential through building play. Mega Construx offers the most detailed and authentic micro-figures in the construction aisle. We wanted to create something that would immerse them in the worlds they love.
With product lines based on popular entertainment, toy and gaming franchises, Mega Construx aims to provide unexpected play experiences that empower fans to build their own worlds, re-define expectations, and discover new possibilities.
From top-quality design and manufacturing to authentic details, action-packed play features, innovative materials, and content that connects fans, we don’t just make toys, we create experiences.
Eight months in and we’re just as excited as ever about Mega Construx and what’s on the horizon for the brand.
the Newsbox: Construx has long held the license for Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. How do you keep that line fresh after so many years? What determines what sets will get made at any given time?
NA: Our design team works closely with licensors to ensure that all our toys are current and will appeal to fans. We typically look at how we can align our products with current pop culture trends, while staying true to the brand, so that we are delivering the kind of timely, high-quality designs that our fans have come to expect from Mega Construx.
the Newsbox: Mega recently introduced a black and white line of TMNT sets inspired by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s original comic books. What’s been the reception to those sets? Will we be seeing more of those black and white sets in the future?
NA: Eastman & Laird is the genesis of TMNT and we wanted to give a nod to the Collector audience. That said, there currently is no plan to develop additional E&L sets, unless of course our fans demand it.
the Newsbox: One of my favorite lines from Mega are the Kubros. The line is a cool spin on a variety of different characters in that “Minecraft/8-bit” feel. Where did the inspiration for the line come from?
NA: Our designers are awesome and pull inspiration from everywhere. The Kubros limited-edition line was the brainchild of one of our designers – it sat on his desk for 3 years before getting the green light to be produced! We developed the line as a nod to the pixel art, 8-bit and pop culture influence all while bringing known licenses into this unique format.
the Newsbox: There’s been an interesting mix of properties in the Kubros line: Star Trek, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Hellboy and even Peter from Fox’s Family Guy. What determined what properties got selected?
NA: During our Kubros planning process we looked at trends in pop culture, available licenses and paid close attention to our forums, social media platforms and YouTube channels to determine what fans were asking for.
the Newsbox: My two favorite Kubros so far are the Alien and Ripley/Power Loader from Aliens. How are characters selected to be made into Kubros? What’s the design process like? Are there any characters that were initially selected, that just didn’t translate well and were eventually scrapped? Can you give us an idea of what characters are in the next wave of figures?
NA: Our Kubros design process is quite simple…. We ask ourselves some important questions, such as: is it a top character or a character embedded in pop culture? Is it a cool build? There is a lot of trial and error that goes into our line of work. You would be surprised to see the expansive wall of Kubros prototypes that didn’t make the cut! As for next waves, we are not planning on developing any additional Kubros for the moment.
“During our Kubros planning process we looked at trends in pop culture, available licenses and paid close attention to our forums, social media platforms and YouTube channels to determine what fans were asking for”
the Newsbox: Are there any plans to expand any of the fore-mentioned properties (Star Trek for instance) beyond the Kubros line?
NA: We did have Star Trek as a line in 2016.. We had an amazing Starship Enterprise for the 50th anniversary of the Original series. It is always an option to continue to work with the Star Trek franchise in the future.
the Newsbox: Mega also holds the licenses for video games like Call of Duty, Halo and Destiny. What is the process of getting sets approved like? Does Mega come up with various ideas for licensor approval? Or does Mega have carte blanche to make sets/ships they feel will sell? Will we be seeing sets from the upcoming Destiny 2 video game in the near future?
NA: We have great relationships with all our licensors and our design team works closely with them to ensure that our products stay true to the properties. One of the things that makes Mega Construx unique is our ability to create authentic sets and figures that respect the aesthetic of the games. So far the feedback from all our licensors and fans has been very positive! As for sets from the upcoming Destiny 2 video game, you will have to stay tuned!