Now that we’ve had the official reveal, here are some super early thoughts on VIDIYO – LEGO and Universal Music Group’s new app-powered theme, which has a global release date of 1 March 2021.
In a nutshell, the name is a blend of DIY and Video, and this is yet another LEGO theme that attempts to bridge the physical and digital divide via an app.
LEGO Vidiyo harnesses the power of augmented reality, pop music, and a do-it-yourself music video smrtphone app.
Think of this as LEGO meets TikTok, but with LEGO minifigures being the stars.
With its bright visuals, zany colourful minifigures, and Universal’s massive library of pop music, Vidiyo is very much laser-targeted at tweens (7-10 year olds) who will no doubt be entranced by the vibrant art direction of the theme and app.
The exact list of tracks available is unknown at this time, but a peek at the app in the launch video suggests a Spotify-esque user interface, with the following artists and tracks:
- 5 Seconds of Summer – Youngblood
- Meduza – Piece of Your Heart
- Mabel – Don’t Call Me Up
- Marshmello – Happier
- Imagine Dragons – Believer
All massive chart-topping pop songs from the last 2-3 years. Even if you don’t care for Top 40 music, it’s a great selection of some of the biggest pop songs from the last few years that you’ll probably be familiar with.
How does LEGO Vidiyo work?
There are 2 things that power LEGO Vidiyo – the smartphone app, which will be available on Google Play and the Apple App Store from 16 February 2021, and these printed tiles called BeatBits that you scan with the app to unlock new editing special effects.
You then select a song, scan your minifigure and Beatbits and begin editing your music video, before sharing them on the Vidiyo feed, which is a built-in kid-friendly and child-safe social media feature where you can discover and interact with other Vidiyos.
This includes video styles and scene changes such as black and white bling
effect, confetti shower and X-ray vision, music production such as DJ
scratching, mouse voice and sax solo to fun signature character moves
and gimmicks such as cool breakdancing or making their character surf
on a shark.
The augmented reality function, also allows your kids (or yourself) to get in on the fun, and be part of the music videos, which is pretty genius as kids at that age love seeing themselves in videos.
Collectability is also built into the theme, with the seemingly massive array of BeatBits to collect – details on the actual Vidiyo sets are a little scant right now but they’re likely to be sold in a format similar to the LEGO Friends Cubes – so I’m expecting them to be relatively accessible and inexpensive.
Check out this ultra-peppy video, showing off LEGO Vidiyo.
If you’re rolling your eyes at this point, you’re probably not the target audience.
As a dad to a 4 year old girl, I can immediately say that this will be right up her alley and I expect will be very, very popular with younger digitally-savvy and pop music-obsessed kids.
The zany new characters like the Party Llama (not the official name, but I’m naming him) and Ice Cream Cone dude look like a lot of fun, and will likely appeal to adult/minifigure collectors.
They all look so crazy, my pet theory is that the designs were probably from some LSD-inspired Collectible Minifigures theme someone made as a joke inside LEGO. Until Universal Music came knocking..
LEGO doesn’t exactly have the strongest track record with app-driven experiences – sorry, but that’s the truth. Themes like Hidden Side, have not exactly set the world on fire, and have been prematurely killed off, so I’ll be interesting to see how well this works.
With Universal Music as a partner, I expect the app and support to be much, much, much more polished given the investment, and I really think that this could be a game-changer for LEGO.
My concern, and I’m sure a lot of parents with young kids will feel the same way is the introduction of an app, and more screen-time to their lives – something that I imagine most parents struggle with given the addictive nature of mobile devices on younger, less developed brains.
That said, children are also inherently creative, so I’m personally interested to see what my daughter can come up with using the app. This is also probably good training on how to shoot and edit videos, for her eventual career as a TikTok influencer. Kidding.
Personally, I don’t hate this, and I have to commend LEGO for trying to innovate in this space. The collaboration with Universal Music, and the ability to leverage some of the biggest artists and songs on the planet cannot be sneezed at, and I think if executed well, could be a great success for LEGO.
Anyway, that’s my first impressions of LEGO Vidiyo. I’d love to hear what you think of LEGO’s new venture, especially if you’re a parent! Do you think this will be a hit or flop for LEGO?
LEGO Vidiyo will be released on 1 March 2021 – in the mean time, learn more about Vidiyo on the LEGO website!