In the aftermath of the SuperBowl, I came across a range of licensed NFL (and also NHL, NBA and MLB) sets and figures under the Oyo Sports brand.
It’s not yet available in the UK (you can’t even have it shipped to the UK from the official Oyo Sports website), but I managed to get an NFL Endzone set delivered to the UK off Amazon.
It certainly is an intriguing brand. They are present on social media, and there were several SuperBowl specials released following the Denver Broncos win.
Having the official licenses from the major four US sports make this an attractive proposition, and it will be interest to monitor its global expansion.
As someone who had the Lego Football series as a youngster, I have always been surprised that Lego hasn’t expanded its sports range and made a bigger deal out of it. They did of course briefly dabble with NBA and NHL sets, but these weren’t readily available in the UK and are few and far between, fetching a fair amount on eBay.
Oyo Sports clearly think they have found a gap in the market with the official licenses.
Box & Packaging
The packaging is very appealing. It carries the branding, the figures in action and details of what inside (including the number of pieces). The back of the box sets out explicitly what is inside, including dimensions.
The lid and the sides lift up to open the box and the pieces were wrapped inside. The box was perhaps a little bigger than it needed to be, which may lead some customers to have a negative reaction when opening. I have seen a few comments on Amazon where people have been disappointed with the size of the set.
It was pretty much how I had expected.
The end zone set includes 59 pieces that enable you to build up a team branded end zone, including goal posts, as well as three mini figures and accessories.
The pieces were virtually identical to what you would expect of LEGO, just perhaps a little lower in quality but not that you would notice. A “compatible with leading brands” message is carried on the packaging, which basically means “compatible with LEGO”.
The minifigures (Oyo’s version of Lego’s minifigs) look very similar on the outset, but there are some differences. For instance the arm is made up of an extra joint, and then there are feet on the Oyo figures, that are manoeuvrable (if not detachable) from the legs.
I did find it awkward to attach the figures to the base because of this make up. Without knowing how the game is meant to play (if indeed it is at all), maybe there isn’t a massive need to move the players.
A nice touch was the way that the ball has the grooves inside enabling it to clip on to a mini figures hand to replicate the throwing action.
The detail on the mini figures with the club branding and the helmets is good. Both players have the number 00 though – perhaps a sticker sheet could have been included enabling fans to put their own numbers on, or even if they were random different numbers, it at least gives a reason to collect others.
The only point worth noting was that one of the pieces was wrong – so one of the players has three elbows and one hand, rather than two of each! A minor mishap, but one I’ve never come across in a Lego set.
The instructions were very clear, though this set was of course very simple to put together.
I was surprised and disappointed to see that there was no information included within the set about other sets available. This is surely a golden marketing opportunity being missed.
The other disappointment for me was the fact that there was no real instruction on how to play the game, making it more ornamental than a toy. Even if there was something that said “this fits in with sets X, Y and Z” that would have been better than nothing.
The only thing including was a promo to get a “free NFL mini figure” with a code to enter on the Oyo Sports website (unfortunately useless to me, as they don’t ship to the UK).
I like this set, and I like the promise of the series, but I can’t help but think, what now?
I’ve got this set, and I’ve no clue what goes with it. If I buy another end zone set, it won’t go together because we’ll be the middle third of the field missing. And there doesn’t seem to be an indication that the middle part of the field can be bought.
The Lego sets always had a purpose, and I think this is where the Oyo Sports sets are lacking at the moment.
Price wise, I picked this up on Amazon for £20.99. That’s not a bad price, though it is really just an ornamental toy at the moment. The big set seems to be the Gametime sets, and at present these are high priced at around £150.
There’s a reason I bought this product, and it’s because the licensing and branding creates intrigue. Whether it becomes a worldwide hit is going to be dependent on how Oyo Sports can develop the range and make it worth playing and collecting. There’s certainly room for improvement based on my first impressions.