First Impressions Of The New LEGO ‘Hidden Side’ Sets
The new 'Hidden Side' Lego sets are a real game changer.
Whether you love Lego or have a little one that loves them, be sure that whoever you get this for has access to a smart phone. You don't NEED to have a smart phone to build the set and play with the mini figures just as you would any other Lego set, but downloading the app and playing the augmented reality portions are really cool.
I'm going to go through the thought process of every aspect of the set I purchased.
There's a lot of different kinds of Lego fans. People who love to throw out the instructions and build on their own, people who like to build a set and display it proudly, people who build a set, tear it apart, and then use the pieces for other sets, and people who just like to collect the mini figures. I am someone who loves all of it, but there's something about collecting all the different mini figures that I love the most.
These characters are super cool. I love the hood over hat look of what seems to be the main protagonist. The scientist lady has goggles on her purple-ish hair, and the (I'm guessing) maintenance guy comes with a separate head to be transformed into a possessed ghoul.
The set I got is called J.B.’s Ghost Lab and is recommended for ages 7 & up. My kids will have to wait 2 more years before they can play I guess.
It was easy to build, but the coolest thing about it is that the final set acts as an AR anchor of sorts. Once you download the app and point it at the set, it recognizes where your set is on the surface top and builds more around it with a digital atmosphere.
You can then move your phone all over the set and get an inside look of J.B.'s extended lab.
The AR Game
Wow! Your phone works as a scanner of sorts that shows you the augmented reality. Lego even made it so it's part of the story line that the characters can only see these hidden ghosts by use of their smart phones. It's pretty meta how you are basically getting to do the same things that the mini figures are supposed to be doing.
There are two main modes where you can either play as the ghost hunters or the ghosts. If you play as the humans, you use your phone to find the ghosts floating around your Lego set and you zap them into submission.
If you play as the ghosts, it's the opposite. You play a 3rd person game controlling a ghost and you're trying to destroy a 3D rendered Lego set while a giant phone appears in the sky and tries to kill you. It's two games in one, but again, if you set your phone down and just play with the toys, it opens up way more possibilities.
While this is super cool, I'm worried that kids will only play with the set long enough to experience the augmented reality aspects, and then cast the set aside.
Lego toys are meant to be played with over and over with infinite possibilities so I'm hoping people remember to use their phones to enhance game play while continuing to use their imaginations.
With Halloween coming up, it's great that these new sets are showing the more paranormal side of Lego. With Christmas coming up, you may want to get your hands on these as soon as possible.