One of LEGO’s big gambles this year is Hidden Side, a brand new theme that blends augmented reality technology with brick-built LEGO sets against the backdrop of the haunted town of Newbury.
In an effort to bridge the digital and physical play divide, you can download the Hidden Side app (on iOS and Android) for an augmented reality game that brings completed LEGO Hidden sides to life, to haunt or hunt ghosts.
I’ll be reviewing the game in detail shortly, so keep an eye out for it.
I’m a big fan of Horror and Paranormal-themed LEGO sets (such as Monster Fighters or Series 14), and I also love it when LEGO choose to invest in original IPs and concepts instead of relying on licensed properties.
I picked up a couple of the new August releases from Build and Play Australia, my preferred Aussie independent LEGO retailer. Their current pricing of Hidden Side is one of the best on the market and I’ve always been very happy with their service and speed of delivery.
For my first LEGO Hidden Side review, I’ve decided to check out 70419 Wrecked Shrimp Boat!
Name: Wrecked Shrimp Boat
Set Number: 70419
Price: AU$49.99 | US$29.99 | £24.99 – Buy from LEGO.com [AU] [US] [UK] [Amazon] [Amazon Australia]
Exclusive to: NA
Theme: Hidden Side
Release Date: 1 August 2019
First, let’s take a look at the sticker sheet. If you hate stickers, you’re going to dislike this set as there are a ton of stickers which give the Shrimp Boat its details.
I do like that they’re made of the transparent decal material, but there are so many stickers in odd shapes that this was a huge pain to apply most of them, and I made so many mistakes which you’ll see soon.
The set comes with 4 minifigures, Jonas Jr, Captain Jonas as well as, his possessed ghost form (Captain Archibald?), and our two protagonists, Parker and Jack, as well as Spencer, their adorable ghost dog.
The minifigures are one of the strongest features of this set, and maybe the theme, and I’ll be honest, it’s been awhile since I got overly excited by minifigures in a set.
Meet Parker and Jack, your resident Newbury ghosthunters. They’re painfully contemporary, and exude a geeky kind of cool, with their smartphones and streetwear inspired outfits.
Parker has a beanie and bright purple hair, along with ripped jeans and a bumbag tied across her chest, all elements that any self-respecting millennials would have.
Jack meanwhile has a cap and hoodie on at the same time, because you can never have enough protection for your head. His headgear which has the hat and hoodie fused together is a really cool new accessory, though.
Both minifigs have alternate faces, Parke with an annoyed look, and Jack who’s clearly spooked by something.
Both minifigs have a very respectful level of printed detail across their bodies, but sadly no arm printing.
Parker and Jack both have smartphones, to emulate the Hidden Side app, and is what they use to hunt down ghosts.
Like all millennials, their life-force is connected to their battery life, and you literally Game Over once your “in-game” phone battery runs flat.
That said, the best thing about this set has to be the inclusion of Spencer the Ghost Dog. It’s one of the frontrunners of cutest LEGO animal of 2019 (and likely winner) and I just love the entire concept of a spooky but adorably cute doggo.
The LEGO Ghost Dog has some really cool features, such as the milky translucent lower-half of his body, and levitates just above the ground thanks to a single stud.
The Wrecked Shrimp Boat is led by Captain Jonas, and his first-mate, Jonas Jr, which I’m assuming is his son and not just a random crew-member that coincidentally shares the same name.
They’re both dressed in bright orangey yellow outfits, and I especially love Captain Jonas’ parka, and cable-knit sweater underneath. The Captain also rocks an awesome Rain Hat to complete the look.
Unfortunately, Jonas Jr’s torso colour doesn’t quite match his pants, as its printed on a blue base instead of a yellow base, which detracts from his look slightly.
Here’s a look at their back printing and how his rain hat looks from behind.
The Captain becomes possessed by the ghost of Captain Archibald, a spooky tentacley spectre, which suddenly takes hold and transforms him into an awesome-looking ghost.
You get a special translucent head for Captain Archibald (who is also the Ghost Boss of the Hidden Side level), and he gets these awesome new trans-green tentacles that attach to his body, and a pale green cutlass.
Captain Archibald looks seriously cool, and I love the effect that the tentacles provides, making him a really fun minifigure to own.
For the second smallest set in the wave, the minifigures included are really solid, and I just love all the new elements and accessories introduced, especially how cool the Ghost Captain looks.
Jack and Parker paddle around in a kayak to investigate the Wrecked Shrimp Boat. The Yellow Kayak is really neat, and kind of rare, having only showed up in a small City set earlier this year.
I don’t own a yellow LEGO kayak, so I was pretty to get one in this set.
An albino LEGO crocodile/alligator is included in the set, lurking amidst the haunted shipwreck.
It’s a really cool alternate colour for a crocodile, and the albino nature of its adds to the spooky nature of the theme, especially with its evil-looking red eyes.
Like the Kayak, that’s another tick in terms of cool new elements included in the set.
Here’s a look at the Shrimp (it pain me having to refer to this as shrimp instead of prawn) Boast, which is a delightful little compact build.
I love the rust-bucket look of the Shrimp Boat, with plenty of wooden elements throughout. The build relies a lot on stickers for detailing, but I do like the presence of the floats on the sides of the boat, as well as the sand-green parts to give it a bit of colour.
The size of the Shrimp Boat also works remarkably well – I love the scaling and how the minifigs fit on the vessel.
The Shrimp Boat’s name is Maria, a bit of detail that’s achieved via stickers on both sides of the hull. The transparent decals don’t really work well here, as the material clouds up, making it stick out in a not so nice way.
If you dislike stickers and/or have very clumsy stickers (like me), this set is going to be a massive pain in the butt getting the stickers right.
In the back of a boat is a motor, and a crate full of the day’s catch – in this case, fish and some prawns. The prawns are made with red horns, and two round studs – you do need to exercise your imagination, but it does an okay job of appearing like a prawn.
There are also two dark blue pedestals on the boat, where you need to position the minifigures when playing the Hidden Side game to scan them.
Speaking of Hidden Side functionality, that’s what this colourful wheel on the back of the boat is for.
Granted, it looks like a pedal or part of the engine which you can swivel around to change the wheel’s colour which allows the Hidden Side game to detect it and trigger different game events.
On the roof of the boat is an illustrated Shrimp logo, which is honestly quite adorable.
There are also some cool little details like a lantern hanging off the side, and an exhaust pipe that leads into the roof.
Last but not least are some rocky cliffs, which can also be haunted. There’s a fair bit of foliage which is a nice touch but it’s a pretty simple build.
The haunted bit of rocks gives this section a bit of character, and the pale green elements look really nice BUT like every other pale green element in the set, I was quite disappointed to find that they didn’t glow in the dark.
The pale green elements does mimic the glow in the dark green, but no glow in the dark elements in this set is such a huge, huge miss, considering the horror/ghost theme.
The cliffs also serve as the location for the Shrimp Boat to shipwreck itself. The boat easily splits into two once you separate the Technic pins that connect both halves, and you can place them on the two cliff sections.
It makes for a nice alternative way to display the set, but to me, the boat looks much better intact.
What I liked:
- All the new minifigs, especially Captain Archibald are amazing
- Spencer the Ghost Dog!
- Albino Alligator
- The boat is really well designed
- Good value for the price
What I didn’t like:
- Too many awkward-shaped stickers
- Awful box design
- No glow in the dark pieces
- Printing on Jonas Jr’s torso is drab and discoloured
Final thoughts: As a lover of all things paranormal, Wrecked Shrimp Boat was a very nice introduction into LEGO Hidden Side.
The concept behind the theme flows through exceptionally strongly throughout the set, and it has made me want to explore the other sets even more.
For a brand new theme, I can really appreciate how much the Design team invested into the new minifigures, which are the highlights of the set.
I do like Parker and Jack’s contemporary looks, which are quite on-trend with how more fashion-forward youths dress these days, especially with the heavy streetwear influences.
Spencer the Ghost Dog is a gem, and one of my absolute favourite new LEGO animals of 2019 just because of how cute he looks.
That said, the ghost of Captain Archibald takes the cake as the best thing about the set, and I love how great his tentacles look. Minor complain, but I found it weird that he wasn’t coloured red like his in-game version.
The Shrimp Boat is a solid LEGO model, and I had fun putting it together. It exudes a strong New Orleans vibe, and I love that it actually looks like a shabby fishing boat.
As a LEGO toy, the minifigures combined with the ability to shipwreck the Shrimp Boat makes for quite a lot of play possibilities, and I think younger kids will love the entire ghost/spooky theme of Hidden Side.
One of the things I really dislike about the new Hidden Side sets (apart from the stickers in this one) is just how badly the illustration on the front of the box looks, which is frankly quite confusing.
I guess it does a good job explaining the concept, but it really doesn’t show you what the LEGO set actually looks like, and you have to turn to face the back of the box to see what you’ll actually get and build.
I guess this is one of the flaws of a standalone review, without considering the Hidden Side app/game, which is part of the entire experience.
That said, as a LEGO set, this was a huge breath of air, and I fully enjoyed the entire experience. It’s not mindblowing in any sense, and this set won’t become an instant classic, but I really liked the entire package.
If you’re tired of LEGO Super Heroes or the endless cycle of recycled Star Wars sets, do give LEGO Hidden Side a look.
Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed this first look into LEGO Hidden Side.
Keep an eye out for a review of the Hidden Side game too once I get to that next.
Have you tried out any of the LEGO Hidden Side sets, or are you planning to? Let me know what you thought of this set and review in the comments section!
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