Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Little More on Kreo-O Dungeons & Dragons

I am still excited by the announcement of the Kreo-O Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) line coming out next January for the potential it holds. Up until this announcement Hasbro has been extraordinarily quiet of its ownership of Wizards of the Coast (WOTC) and through WOTC the D&D franchise. This has always struck me as strange in no small part because of just how well D&D can fit into the typical mold of multi-media franchising.

Back in the 80s (the heyday of D&D I’m told) there were arcade, computer and console D&D games, a toy line, a very well received animated series and commercials and print ads for the tabletop game as well as comic books and magazines (both professional and fan). It is plain to see that D&D was a juggernaut … at least for awhile … and was able to hold a market share of children’s activities.

I have always wondered, especially after the Transformers, GI Joe and Battleship movies (all properties owned by Hasbro) why Dungeons and Dragons was never more of a marketing priority to the giant toy maker. Done right a live action D&D could be on the level of Lord of the Rings instead of a SyFy original movie. Hasbro marketed properties to Hollywood not the other way around so lack of “shopping” D&D had nothing to do with Hollywood interest.

Later with the advent of Hasbro’s children’s network an opportunity was missed to release a new or re-imagined D&D cartoon. With the higher production values and more intelligent storytelling that exists in today’s cartoons (See Transformers: Prime, GI Joe Renegades, Young Justice) as well as the interest held by the general public and children for the fantasy genre the show would have been a hit. With the recent move (or backlash) by pre-teens away from electronics and back to playing outside and with toys (especially with girls) the show could have made Hasbro’s toy arm good money.

All of this is why I am stoked for the Kreo-O line. It represents an honest chance for Dungeons & Dragons to be brought once again into the main-stream and inject new blood and life into the property that has been highly missing. Older players bring there kids into the game and sometimes those kids bring their friends, but there is little “virgin” blood being brought in. If this Kreo-O line of Dungeons & Dragons products is well produced and interesting it may represent a new “golden age” for the property and reinvigorate the tabletop market as a whole.

I can only hope …

Yeah, and a big screen D&D movie that’s good would be awesome. Although I did enjoy “Wraith of the Dragon God”.

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