Watching Hasbro, once a multi-billion dollar toy company, come to the realization that it is in fact a multi-billion dollar games and media company is entertaining. Dungeons & Dragons is now clearly both a profit center and a cultural force, which is great for everyone — including investors, I reckon. But you can also see gears turning as the Rhode Island-based company begins an awkward period of experimentation to bring its past into alignment with its future. That’s how we got to now: Meet the Dicelings, transforming 20-sided dice that turn into miniature monsters. The $13.99 toys will arrive in the spring, hitting store shelves at the same time as Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves.
“We heard the kids like dice,” you can hear someone say in a board room. Likely the same board room where the world’s most horrid version of Monopoly was first pitched. But while these are not so offensive that Target will need to issue a public statement about them, they do seem a little off to me. Why aren’t they co-branded with Transformers? Why aren’t they quite the correct scale for using on the table with the rest of your miniature collection?
“PLAY OR DISPLAY IN EITHER FORM,” reads the product description. “Just don’t use this d20 for your tabletop game!”
Also, why do I find them so endearing? Where’d my fidget spinner go...
Folks got jazzed at the recent movie trailer in no small part because it embraced what makes D&D unique — weird monsters, powerful spells, a dash of heroism, and a heaping helping of good goofs. Someone in the toy division seems to understand that, but it will be interesting to see if the world embraces these little buggers. Otherwise, you’ll be seeing them on that clearance endcap sooner rather than later.
Pre-orders are open now, with product set to release in the spring.