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Lego Dimensions hits Sept. 27, includes DC, Back to the Future, Wizard of Oz

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Following this morning's leak, Warner Bros. Interactive today confirmed Lego Dimensions, a toys-to-life console game that hits Sept. 27 and will blend a variety of universes together including DC Comics, The Lord of the Rings, The Lego Movie, The Wizard of Oz, Lego Ninjago and Back to the Future.

More properties will be announced in the future, according to the press release. The game is in development by Travelers Tales Games and is coming to the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and Wii U. The starter bundle will cost $99.99, according to Toys R Us.

In addition to the game, the Lego Dimensions Starter Pack will include the Lego Toy Pad, which allows players to transport special LEGO minifigures and other LEGO objects into the game, bricks to build the LEGO Gateway, three LEGO Minifigures, including LEGO Batman from DC Comics, Lego Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings and Wyldstyle from The Lego Movie, plus the LEGO Batmobile.

"When kids play with Lego bricks, they build beyond the singular brands, intermixing all of their favorite characters and universes, and we have come up with a way for players to experience that in games," said Jon Burton, Founder and Creative Director, TT Games. "Now for the first time in a videogame, Lego fans can play in the virtual world and in the real world — combining everything without restrictions. Imagine putting LEGO Gollum from The Lord of the Rings behind the wheel of the Lego DeLorean Time Machine in New Ninjago City — the creative play is endless."

In addition to the three minifigure heroes used to start the experience, Lego Dimensions will allow gamers to customize their experience with additional expansion packs, according to Warner Bros.

Lego plans to sell level packs, team packs and fun packs that will include new buildable characters, vehicles, tools and gadgets, as well as game content with new mission-based levels and unique in-game abilities. All expansion packs will feature well-known properties and provide gamers the opportunity to use everything interchangeably, anywhere throughout the game.

Packs planned for release in 2015 include:

  • A Back to the Future Level Pack with a Lego Marty McFly minifigure
  • A Lego Ninjago Team Pack with Kai and Cole minifigures
  • Three Ninjago Fun Packs with Jay, Nya and Zane minifigures
  • Two DC Comics Fun Packs with Wonder Woman and Cyborg minifigures
  • Three The Lord of the Rings Fun Packs with Lego Gollum, Lego Gimli and Lego Legolas minifigures
  • Four The Lego Movie Fun packs with Emmet, Bad Cop, Benny and Unikitty characters
  • A The Wizard of Oz Fun Pack with a Lego Wicked Witch of the West minifigure

Additional packs to round out the 2015 assortment will be announced in the months leading to launch. Further waves of expansion packs will be released regularly following the launch of the game and into 2016.

Future expansion packs will work with the starter pack "even in the fall of next year," according to the press release.

The new Lego game enters a market that was both established and dominated by Activision's Skylanders games. To date, the Skylanders franchise has brought in more than $3 billion through the sale of video games and 240 million toys world wide. Last year, Skylanders was the top selling children's video game and action figure line worldwide. The franchise is currently ranked as the fifteenth top selling of all time.

The nearest competitor, Disney Infinity, was outperformed by 30 percent globally, according to Activision Blizzard. But Disney's entry into the toys-to-life market is no slouch either. Three months after its release, the first game sold more than a million copies.

Where Skylanders is based on entirely new creations, Disney Infinity uses established characters from Disney's many movies, cartoon and television shows. In its second iteration, the franchise introduced Marvel super heroes to the game.

Nintendo recently began dipping its toe into the genre as well with amiibo toys which can augment existing video games.

While Lego is getting into a competition with three well-established brands, the company isn't coming empty handed. Thanks to the long partnership with Warner Bros., any game created with the two companies will have access to a wide variety of properties including DC Comics, The Matrix, Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and the incredibly successful The Lego Movie. It's unclear which of those rights would include the right to create video games. Most recently, Warner Bros. purchased the rights to the video game franchise Five Nights at Freddy's.

Reached for comment, Activision didn't seem too concerned about losing ground to Lego, or any of the others in the growing list of competitors.

"Thanks to our fans, Skylanders is the number one kids' videogame franchise in the world and outsells all top action figure toy lines," Josh Taub, senior vice president of product management for Activision Publishing, said in an emailed statement. "The secret to our success has always been our commitment to bringing new magic and innovation to each and every Skylanders game, and we can't wait to unveil what's coming up next. The popularity of the Skylanders franchise has been unmatched even with new entrants."