Back in the day, building LEGOs was the jam. I’d ditch my dolls to help my neighbor build his castles and space ships and then imagine storylines to go along with what we built. Fast forward years later and here I am watching a commercial for
Just yesterday LEGO uploaded an Overwatch tribute video for the PC game’s characters that looked like it had been filmed using stop-motion. Just a few hours ago they posted a gameplay commercial of two kids using a mobile phone that activates their upcoming block sets clever AR gameplay feature.
The new set is called LEGO Hidden Side, which is a wordplay on the game’s underlying AR content which is hidden until a phone is in use. The game’s YouTube description is in Korean so I did a translation of the text: “A new LEGO play experience will be forthcoming soon. Join the frightened Ghost Hunter team? Meet the invisible beings in the bricks and experience the new game of Lego”.
The interesting thing about LEGO Hidden Side is that it’s still an imagination-powered toy. Kids, or um, adults who are kids at heart, still use their mind and fine motor skills to plan out and build items. The toys are influenced by the paranormal with haunting sets that have zombies and skeleton figurines. But the augmented reality part is where things get awesomely weird.
Once the set gets built, players use their phones to scan different areas to unlock different AR events and games. In one of the videos, the kids fight and capture ghosts (where the hidden side comes from) and other apparitions.
Gear Brain shares details that “each of the eight kits will turn into a different item, a school, a bus and even, of course, a graveyard.” They also say that each set builds a much larger LEGO town named Newbury, extending the life of the set and taking it to new heights.
The imaginative and otherworldly interactive element to the traditional block set signals LEGOs eagerness to ride the tide of today’s innovative new toys and games. Recently, tech-connected toys like WRLDS Smart Ball and UNTAMED ARena made their augmented reality apps an essential part to play time.
LEGO Hidden Side’s lead digital creative, Roberto Marchesi, told SYFY WIRE, “ We didn’t want to have a really cool game that was working in isolation from the sets”. Imagination is still a driving force behind the game. Marchesi continued saying, “That moment when you see the kids realize they can do more than just tap on the screen, that the set matters too, is really cool.”
With creepy ghosts, figurines, building blocks, and AR interactions that lead play time into new territory, what kids think and imagine outside of it is just as important as it’s always been. The times are changing, friends and LEGO is a part of the newest generation of toys tapping into AR.