Lego’s ‘Vidiyo’ is the toy I wish I had when I was 7

There could be more building, but the companion app is great

Lego Vidiyo is the coolest looking collection of Lego sets I’ve ever encountered, but does the play experience live up to the sky-high style?

The latest collection of Lego sets aim to help spark creativity in children by allowing them to make their own music videos with songs from Universal Music and a surprisingly capable companion app.

Each set comes with a collection of tiles called ‘BeatBits’ that allow you to edit your music video with different effects. You then combine this with the new lego characters to make fun videos.

Lego says it’s marketing Vidiyo to children that are roughly around the age of seven. While the music premise and cool designs might attract those who are kids at heart, the real playtime in the app is definitely something that younger kids will get more value out of.

Adults likely won’t enjoy it as much.

So can you build anything?

The answer to this question is, yes and no. If you’re looking for the classic lego building experience, this isn’t where you’re going to find it — at least on the surface.

The Vidiyo collection includes two main offerings. There are larger core sets with 16 BeatBits and a character, plus a fun little carrying case with a lego pannel you can customize. This carrying case is called a ‘BeatBox,’ and customizing one side of it to be used as a backdrop in your video is the extent of the building process.

The smaller kits only come with a random bandmate and three BeatBits. All the sets include a stage that comes into play later.

To be clear, this isn’t really a bad thing since there is still lots of play time to be had in the app.

On an aesthetic level, all of the BeatBoxes look awesome. The same goes for the accompanying Mini Figures. They feature appealing, fun colours, and their music props and backstories are great.

How do we make a video?

Once you finish familiarizing yourself with the characters and BeatBits, you can download the Vidiyo app. It’s free on both iOS and Android, and parents can take solace in knowing that Lego has locked it down to ensure children can’t share videos of themselves or their faces.

You can use the app without purchasing any of the Lego Vidiyo sets, but you’re limited to using six random BeatBits and a random character. When you load your own characters in, you can customize them and have three band members. You can also use 12 BeatBits.

The BeatBits are the real bulk of the experience, allowing you to queue up what happens and how your band members act during the shoot.

For example, the yellow Bits apply dance moves to your band. So if you add a few of those to your video, you can trigger your band to dance at select times during the video.

  • Pink BeatBits dress up your characters in matching costumes
  • Aqua Bits apply sound effects
  • Orange adds comedic moments to your video
  • Black BeatBits are video effects
  • Green Bits change the scenery and background

To choose what BeatBits you use during your video, you need to apply them to your stage piece and then scan them before starting the video. You need to do this before every video.

Once you’re filming, you can tap on the BeatBits on the side of the screen to apply your chosen effects. There are no real editing functions, but if you pause the video while you’re filming you can reposition mid-shoot.

In terms of music, there are 22 songs in the app right now with more coming in the future, says Lego. These range from older classics like ‘U Can’t Touch This’ by MC Hammer, to expected hits like ‘Me!’ by Taylor Swift and ‘Blinding Lights’ by The Weeknd, so there’s likely something for everyone within the limited selection.

When you’re done with your video, you can share it in the Vidiyo app or export a clip to share with friends and family.

Simple enough for a kid, too simple for me

I wish I was seven again whenever I play with this app and the accompanying sets. I know that I would have spent hours trying to make videos in the app and staring at the excellently designed BeatBits.

Even the simple hook of the more you play with it, the more it rewards you with an in-app currency that you can spend on new outfits and stuff for your bands, is compelling. Parents will also be happy to know that there are no in-app purchases.

The app itself isn’t the most easily accessible platform I’ve ever used, but I think kids will be able to grasp it well enough.

These Lego sets release on March 1st for $24.99 CAD.

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