Mattel has teamed up with Pixel Press and Lucasfilm to release Star Wars Bloxels, a video game creation platform that lets users play the role of game designer, artist, storyteller and publisher using tools of basic coding and programming to build a Star Wars video game.
Star Wars Bloxels has launched at US retailers including Mattel Shop and Target for US$49.99, and comes with a Star Wars-themed game board, 320 blocks and a quick-start guide. The build-and-play platform uses brightly colored blocks and a Death Star-themed game board to customize, build and share games.
It comes alive in a retro arcade-style Star Wars Bloxels app, which is only available with purchase of the kit through Apple, Google and Amazon phones and tablets. Using the app, kids need to upload a preliminary design they created with the blocks and then customize the game’s graphics by choosing Star Wars galaxy locations like Hoth, Jabba’s Palace, Mos Eisley, the Ewok Village or the Death Star. Once the game is created, users can publish it for others to play and explore. They can also unlock more content through Story Mode games.
Pixel Press launched Bloxels in 2015 as a video game development platform, and school programs have since used the kits to teach programming, analytics and storytelling skills. Mattel first partnered with Pixel Press in September 2016, and is using the platform to create more play experiences through connected tech initiatives.
The product rollout comes only a month before Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theaters on December 15, and follows the three-day global fan event Force Friday in September. Film-inspired merch includes other tech toys like a new droids collection of robotic characters from Sphero controlled by apps for iOS and Android devices, as well as a Droid Inventor Kit that includes R2D2 from New York-based startup and 2016 Disney Accelerator participant littleBits.