Published on February 17th, 2021 | by Emergent Enterprise0
Lego’s Wild New Toy Lets You Bring Figurines to Life
If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. In the early part of this century, like many toymakers, Lego found themselves losing their audience to video screens. In response to that, Lego is trying to have the last word by leveraging the very platforms that were distracting users. This post at Fast Company by Elizabeth Segran reports on how Lego is using augmented reality to engage their buyers. Once you buy the product, you reach for your smart phone or tablet to enhance and improve the user experience. Brilliant. Emergent technologies such as augmented and virtual reality or artificial intelligence are not the competitors or enemies of brands, products and services. They are the enablers, the enhancers, the engagers. Brands are well-served to determine the best ways to leverage these technologies instead of thinking they need to outperform them.
Photo courtesy Lego
At first blush, Lego’s newest toy seems like the same brick-building fun you know and love. You follow the instructions and build a cute little box to carry around a Lego figurine. But then, things get weird. You’re told to snap a picture of that figurine from the accompanying smartphone app, and, like magic, it comes to life on the screen, dancing and singing to the latest pop tunes. It’s a dream come true: You’ve animated your plastic Lego character.
This new toy, Legos Vidiyo, hits shelves March 1. Vidiyo, made in collaboration with Universal Music Group (UMG), allows kids to create music videos starring a new slate of quirky Lego characters. Geared toward kids ages 7 to 10, it seamlessly blends physical and digital play and is Lego’s latest effort to appeal to a new generation of digitally native kids.
THE QUIRKY, CHAOTIC WORLD OF VIDIYO
In some ways, this new toy is a radical departure from the plastic bricks of the past. After initially building the box and scanning the figurine, kids will play almost entirely on an augmented reality video game. To start with, they find a fun spot in their home for a concert and pick a song for the figurine to sing. To take things to the next level, they can even create special effects during the song: One makes your figurine sound like a mouse, another makes her play a sax solo, a third creates a confetti shower.
The app is free to download, and you can create a bare bones music video even without buying the physical toys—but the more components you buy, the more tools you have to create your video. When you buy a starter set for $19.99, you get a box and a character, like a mermaid who plays pop music, a pirate punk rocker, an alien into electronic dance music or a raggaeton-loving llama. You can buy additional bandmates that come with special effects for $4.99.