LEGO’s newest range is LEGO Vidiyo, which released this month. Aimed at children and created in partnership with Universal Music, it’s bright, colourful and relies on app integration to work. But what exactly is it? Obviously, we had to get our hands on it to find out.
So far, there are two types of Vidiyo product you can buy: a BeatBox, and a blind ‘Bandmates’ box. Priced at £3.99, Bandmates are essentially a series of minifigures. Each one also comes with three ‘BeatBits’ tiles. We’ll get on to them in a bit. There are currently six BeatBox sets available, with an RRP of £17.99 each. These contain 16 BeatBits tiles, a minifigure and a cool little storage case. It’s one of these – the Party Llama BeatBox – we got our hands on.
Essentially, the core of Vidiyo is the app. It’s free to download, but you’ll need at least one Bandmate (minifigure) to be able to do anything with it. It’s AR-controlled; you can scan your minifigure into the app, bringing them to life in the real world. A song will play, and essentially you’ll film a music video of your Bandmate singing and acting along to the track.
Those BeatBits tiles can also be scanned into the app, turning them into interactive buttons. Pressing them will add actions and effects into the video. Some will change how the video looks – one of mine added rainfall, while another made everything pixelated – while others will make your Bandmate do certain actions, like breakdance, do a guitar solo or, er, sing like a chicken.
Playing around in the app is pretty fun, and the more characters and BeatBits tiles you have, the more creative and wacky you can get. It’s clearly a product aimed at a young audience, as it’s all about fun and play. The annoying thing is, though, no matter whether you buy a Bandmates bag of a BeatBox, the BeatBits you get are random. BeatBoxes have two unique tiles, and each Bandmate pack has one. So the others you get could be duplicates. You might end up with several of the same tiles – we imagine the idea is to trade them with friends, the same way we used to trade Pokémon cards.
The app is easy to use, with it leading you through each stage very simply. The most difficult part is likely finding somewhere with enough space to be a ‘stage’ for your AR characters. It seems like LEGO expects kids to do this outside rather than in the house, though we made it work in our home office after a bit of fiddling.
Is Vidiyo worth buying as an adult fan of LEGO? There’s still a lot to like in the bricks, minifigures and design of the sets. The Bandmates in particular are worth buying if you’re a fan of minifigs; their designs are cool, and at £3.99 each they’re in line with the price of a typical minfig series back. An extra 49p for three cool tiles is worth it, in our opinion.
Those BeatBits tiles themselves are rather nifty, too. Printed with unique designs, we can see them being used in custom creations as wall art. It’s rare to see such intricate and colourful designs actually printed onto the brick.
Although £17.99 is perhaps a little steep for the BeatBox sets, considering they only contain one minifigure, their 16 tiles (which will at least all be unique within one set) make it an interesting proposition. And the buildable carry case it all comes in is rather nifty, too. There’s definitely space in in a LEGO fan’s collection for Vidiyo, even if they have no interest in using the app integration.
If you’re intrigued, the LEGO Vidiyo BeatBox kits are currently on offer at Amazon at £11.99 each. It’s well worth trying out for that price.