Toymaker Lego has been involved in incorporating AR into its playsets and mobile apps since the launch of ARKit.
The latest product is taking the brand’s approach to combining physical toys and virtual content and remixing it for a generation obsessed with the kind of homegrown music videos common in apps like TikTok and Snapchat.
From the stage to the right is Vidiyo, a series of playsets featuring characters from an MTV / Nickelodeon-inspired fever dream that, when scanned by the companion app, give kids the ability to direct their own AR music videos.
With six playsets available at launch, each Vidiyo Beatbox is characterized by a specific character and genre of influence, namely Alien DJ, Candy Mermaid, HipHop Robot, Party Llama, Punk Pirate and Unicorn DJ. There are also 12 minifigures, or band members, sold separately.
The kits come with a stage background and interchangeable tiles called BeatBits that allow for various AR experiences, including digital effects, video and music styles, and character animations, when scanned. The AR experiences can be scaled between mini, medium and mega sizes. Once the 60 second video is complete, kids can download or share the clip on a kid-safe social feed.
In addition to capturing the user’s AR footage, the Vidiyo app includes a curated selection of 30 songs from the Universal Music Group library. As part of the partnership (and further blurring the lines between physical and virtual worlds), Universal Media Group’s label Astralwerks has signed a deal with Los Angeles-based DJ and producer LLAMA, a true counterpart to DJ Llama Minifigure .
Shipping starts on March 1st and each Vidiyo Beatbox playset costs $ 19.99 and the Bandmates packs are $ 4.99 each. The corresponding mobile apps from Vidiyo are available for free from the App Store and Play Store.
“Play and music are both universally appealing and have a fundamental impact on children’s development,” William Thorogood, VP and executive producer of Lego Vidiyo for the Lego Group, said in a statement. “With Lego Vidiyo, we can now provide children with a child-safe space to express their playful creativity by creating video clips to develop these new skills.”
TikTok has really put the tech industry on edge with its mix of viral short videos and AR camera effects. For example, Facebook and Snap have set up their own responses to keep users and win back TikTok converts.
I’d be lying if I said I expected Lego to respond with their own version of TikTok, but this fits the strategy of selling kids and their parents physical toys in a digital age, with their Hidden Side, Playgrounds, and AR Studio also offers a mix of blocks and AR to keep the young and young at heart entertained.