These aren't your mom and dad's Legos.
The Lego Group has introduced a new series of eight "haunted" building sets paired with an AR app that adds some intriguing virtual areas to explore. The Lego Hidden Side sets are priced from $20 to $130 and include models like a graveyard, school, and bus. Each Lego figure looks like it would in the normal world, but when you use the AR app with them, you'll see an eerie side to them with ghosts roaming around each item.
The free companion Hidden Side app lets kids pick which characters they want to embody to explore the sets, and it's all viewed through a first-person perspective. Kids must use an iOS or Android device to scout out the ghosts and capture them, though. Kids will need to shift around the sets in the real world to find additional ghosts and "discover" new areas by manipulating the pieces.
“At our core we focus on tactile building,” said Lego SVP Tom Donaldson, “but AR presents opportunities to enhance physical LEGO play with new action and mastery elements. We’re breaking the mold of gaming-first AR play experiences to create a new type of play where the physical world actually influences the AR layer, instead of the other way around.”
The Lego Hidden Side playsets will mark the first time Lego has bundled a "play" theme as a service, and there will be additional content coming after the first sets hit stores. New ghosts, challenges, and randomized gameplay will continually be sprinkled in to keep things interesting for kids even after they've seen much of what there is to see with each set. The Hidden Side sets are coming to stores late summer 2019, and iOS and Android apps will be coming to their respective stores around the same time.
If you're interested in picking up a set for yourself or your kids, keep an eye out for these – they seem like exciting additions to the toy world, and could have interesting applications for the way we play and look at games in the future.