Unveiled today, the new LEGO VIDIYO products are the result of a partnership between the LEGO Group and Universal Music Group, which was announced last April. The new sets promise an “innovative music video maker experience,” meaning LEGO is making new attempts to include smart devices into play. According to the press release, the new theme is aimed at kids aged 7-10 who are keen explorers of play and music. LEGO also guarantees a safe virtual environment for young content creators.
LEGO has revealed Star Wars Droid Commander, a 1,100-piece set that lets you build and program three droids from the Star Wars universe including the iconic R2-D2, a Gonk droid and a Mouse droid. The set uses the LEGO Boost platform in combination with a new free app to help learn programming to achieve success in more than 40 pre-loaded missions. The set is expected to retail for US $199.99 | CAN $249.99 | UK £179.99 starting September 1st.
Today, LEGO launched a new social network app for kids called LEGO Life. The purpose of the network is to provide a safe environment for children to share their creations and meet other builders their age without potentially being exposed to the content and discussions oriented for adults that is typical on sites like Reddit, Facebook, Instagram, or Flickr.
The app is essentially the digital embodiment of the LEGO Club Magazine’s “Cool Creations” section merged with LEGO’s now-shut-down community message boards. (Interestingly, the company is launching a separate LEGO Life Magazine as well.) On the app, kids can create their own representative minifigure, post photos, complete building challenges, and comment on other kids’ creations. Continue reading
The LEGO Group have released NEXO Knights Merlock 2.0 App for Android and iOS. The app is free and there are no in-app purchases (phew!). Don’t forget to read our review of the physical Nexo Knights sets, too.
Game back-story: The game is set in Knighton, a peaceful and beautiful kingdom, where amazing technology reigns supreme and life has been good for 100 years. That is, until the evil jester Jestro lets loose the ‘terrible lava monsters‘ from the Book of Monsters. Only the five knights from the Knights Academy stand against the invading hordes of ‘terrible lava monsters‘, with the help of the digital wizard Merlok 2.0 who controls the NEXO Powers. They can have their powers upgraded to defeat the ‘terrible lava monsters’…
Each of the NEXO knights come with their own shield, which can be scanned into the game to give their digital avatars new powers. The app allows you to upload the various characters’ shield codes and additional codes into the game to “upgrade your power“.
The codes are not only available by buying the NEXO Knight sets, according to the NEXO Knights FAQ, but also may be found in webisodes, mini-movies and many other places at Lego NEXO Knights Home. And, of course, they can be found in LEGO brand stores and on LEGO® NEXO KNIGHTS™ products. There is a power in each new episode of the LEGO® NEXO KNIGHTS™ TV-series and the LEGO Club Magazine.
I was invited to try out the new minifig app, MiniMi, while it was still in beta. It is a fun, novelty app and I actually spent quite a bit of time trying different comibinations of figures, making myself, my family members and what-not. My kids absolutely loved it. Overall, it is well made and pretty intuitive to use. It’s an entertaining app, in and of itself. Also it is free to download, which is nice. There are also expansion packs, such as Space and Castle (yay!), which cost 99 cents each.
However, I think this app has the potential to really shine as a customizing tool. How so? Because it has the only minifig face generator of which I am aware (feel free to correct me in the comments if I am wrong). Switching hair, hats, torsos and colors in the app is pretty straightforward but the face generator is something unique. You can choose from a selection of eyes, eyebrows, mouths, facial hair, glasses and so forth to create unique faces that don’t actually exist on official minifigs. Because the app has built in share functions, you can export your fig image…isolate the face…resize and print it on decal or sticker paper.
Currently the number of elements in the app is limited but the expansion “packs” remedy this somewhat and the team is planning more. If they expand the library of facial elements, I think this app could be something really special. I would also like to see a feature added to where the user could resize and/or change the colors of the various facial features but this may come with time.
Download it here.