By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
LEGO’s mighty empire is going to get scarier with the inclusion of Scooby Doo into its line of licensed franchise properties. This deal will certainly reignite interest to some degree, but for fans who loved the darker take in Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated, the chances of that kind of continuation will be sorely missed.
With the next cartoon, Be Cool Scooby-Doo, scheduled for broadcast later this year, the back to basics approach will have a selective appeal by older fans. Younger viewers will most likely eat it up, but the worry is with Warner Bros. Animation producing a 22-minute animated LEGO special featuring the characters. If it’s going to follow in the same direction as the painful to watch LEGO Yoda Chronicles than the excellently written Ninjago or Legends of Chima, the characterizations of the beloved Scooby gang are going to suffer. The series might take on a familiar design tone like in Scooby-Doo! Adventures: The Mystery Map, where puppets were used.
The character of Shaggy will never change, and he would be the only character than can work as a tongue-in-cheek character. But for Fred, Velma and Daphne, most likely not. The careful use of humor can go a long way but when overdone it can make any series feel terrible.
When comparing the idea with the older series that included a laugh track, the idea may seem sound, but the enthusiasm is just not going to be there.
The toys that are going to be released does make for a great start. The Mystery Machine is a must build. Five playsets are planned. The mummy museum and a haunted lighthouse are most likely going to be the first to become available over the Summer, but as for what’s next, hopefully LEGO will offer more glow in the dark custom bricks that are not limited to mini-figure designs. To co-opt them for other builds (think TRON) will be perfect. But then, for serious LEGO enthusiasts, these custom bricks will become available for bulk ordering.
Only time will tell if bringing Scooby Doo into the LEGO universe will work. Everything is not necessarily awesome here.