Toy Fair 2013 Logo

LEGO Legends of ChimaThis year, LEGO launched a new franchise in Legends of Chima, centered around animal tribes and their ripcord-powered Speedorz. The Speedorz can be used to perform tricks, for racing, or in jousting-like tournaments over CHI crystals. Chima playsets will be accompanied in 2013 by an animated TV series on Cartoon Network, a free online CHIMA game, and a mobile game app.

Basic Speedorz tournaments proceed in two phases. The first involves two opponents running their Speedorz at each other over some piece of terrain and then rushing to grab a blue orb that should be knocked free. In the second phase, the person who grabbed the orb is given the lead in a War-like card game, with CHI crystals as the prize.

Chima Starter Sets (with Wolf and Lion tribe minifigs) are already available at retail, as are some of the basic action sets—including Ring of Fire and Boulder Bowling—and a variety of construction sets—including the Razcal Glider and the Eris Eagle Interceptor. The 609 piece Cragger’s Command Ship includes six minifigs, four CHI weapons, missiles, jet bikes, CHI crystals, and a ship with lots of teeth!

March will see the release of Ice Tower, Nest Dive, and Jungle Gates action sets. Each comes with one minifig, one Speedorz, two CHI weapons, five cards, six CHI crystals, and an 80-100 piece orb-holding obstacle.

Looking out to the summer releases, there’s the Skunk Attack set, which debuts the Skunk tribe, the Eglor’s Twin Bike set, which starts as a motorcycle but converts to a jet, and The Lion CHI Temple set, which comes with over a thousand pieces and seven minifigs. My favorite by far, though, has to be Gorzan’s Gorilla Striker, a 500 piece set due in August, which is essentially a walking mech for the Gorilla tribe.

Also in August, LEGO will release Legends of Chima Constraction sets, constructable action figures like the LEGO Hero Factory line, and a Legends of Chima board game.