Lego company is combining real life Lego bricks with iPad and Android apps to make building Lego structures fun across both real and virtual worlds. This is the first foray into the app world for Lego, but it’s one that kids may want to check out – especially if those kids are already hooked on tablets.
One World for All
One has to wonder if kids really separate the “real” world from the virtual world. Kids are so used to tablets and apps that those things are really part of their real world already. So, being able to turn physical Legos into virtual Legos might simply be a logical transition for most kids that are already app-focused.
With the new Lego app, kids can take a photo of a physical Lego creation, and that image will be automatically uploaded to the app in virtual form. From there, kids will be able to access four virtual worlds including a car racer game, a medieval tower game, a resort designer, and a simulated town. Lego is hoping to cover all possible virtual bases with these four options, and hopefully the company’s target market (kids ages 7-12) will bite.
The Fine Print
Kids can’t just use any old Legos that they have to play in the virtual Lego worlds. They have to buy a Lego Fusion Kit, and that costs around $35. Each Fusion Kit comes with roughly 200 pieces, and these are the only Lego pieces that the app will be able to recognize. The apps, however, are free, and Lego will make one app for Android and one for iOS, so all parties will be happy (well, most parties).
The concept of letting kids turn physical toys into virtual games isn’t entirely new if you look at games like Skylanders where kids have to purchase the plastic toys that can then be used in virtual worlds. But, kids love Legos – in fact, Legos are one of the few toys that never really go out of style.
I mean, didn’t you love Legos when you were a kid? Plus, the towers and other creations that kids have to make in order to play in the virtual worlds aren’t complicated (basic boxes will serve as towers, etc.). All in all, it’s a good idea for Lego to go the virtual route, and it’s one that kids will likely love (though parents might not like the idea of buying new Lego kids, but that’s to be expected).
If your kids love Legos, you’ll want to look for the new Lego app and Lego Fusion Kits later this summer. When the apps do launch, you will be able to play around with small game demos for free, and the apps are also free to download. Unfortunately, you will have to buy those $35 Fusion Kits if your kids want to play in both the real and virtual world. For more details, check out the Lego website.
Toymakers are starting to jump into the app world because the kid market is a lucrative one – and Lego is no exception to this rule.