Launched in January 2021, LEGO VIDIYO combines physical LEGO elements with augmented reality to make music videos. The first wave included small sets called BeatBoxes and collectible minifigures – both with printed 2×2 tiles (called BeatBits) that could be scanned by the app. While the minifigs and printed tiles are nicely designed, unfortunately, the sets are very expensive and the app is buggy and only compatible with a few phones and tablets. The theme has been criticized for providing little in terms of traditional building experience and the excessive pricing.
The second wave of LEGO VIDIYO is scheduled to release next month with larger building sets, more printed tiles, and wacky characters. While this upcoming wave is received with more enthusiasm by LEGO fans, unfortunately, it seems like it’s too late for LEGO VIDIYO to recover. In fact, rumors have been circulating that the theme is going to be retired early. To respond to the rumors, LEGO released the following statement via their Corporate Communications team:
We wanted to provide you with an update regarding LEGO VIDIYO.
As you know, we launched LEGO VIDIYO in January to connect with children in a completely new way, blending music, digital play, and LEGO building in a fun and unique way. The product tested extremely well during development and has received really positive feedback from those children and families who have played with it.
We’ve seen a positive response to the launch, but we’ve also received feedback from people that we could make the play experience across the app, BeatBits, music, and minifigures even simpler. So, we’re taking that onboard and together with Universal Music Group are going to pilot some new ideas in 2022, then release new play experiences in 2023 and beyond.
LEGO VIDIYO is very much still available, the current products will continue to be sold in stores and marketed globally, and we’re continuing to support this fantastic play experience, including new updates and fun challenges to the app to inspire children’s creative music video making.
Thank you for your continued support of the LEGO brand, we hope for your understanding behind this decision.
To translate the corporate talk, it appears that the currently available and upcoming sets are still released and marketed as scheduled, however, nothing new will come out of the theme until LEGO and UMG go back to the drawing board and figure out how to continue the theme. Combining LEGO and music may not be a bad idea, but it may need to be done from a different angle for a better experience. We will see…
We discussed the LEGO VIDIYO sets released so far (see links at the end of this post), and you can also check all the already released and upcoming sets at the LEGO VIDIYO section of the Online LEGO Shop.
What do you think? How do you like LEGO VIDIYO? Do you have any of the sets? Have you used the app? Would you like to see the theme continue? What changes would you make? Feel free to share your thoughts and discuss in the comment section below!
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So basically Vidiyo is done, but they still have a contract with Universal music so they gonna do smth else. Better not have an app, LEGO seems to forget such wonderful selling themes such as Fusion, Life of George, or to a lesser extent Hidden Side.
Did Hidden Side really perform that badly? It had about 20 sets produced for two years, and was rather reasonably priced as building sets alone, without considering the app. It seems to have had a decent run, for a non-evergreen theme.
Otherwise, I find that many of the figures and tiles could work in sci-fi or cyberpunk settings, but the sets largely seem too overpriced for what you’d get. (I bought some of the more colorful hairpieces separately on Bricks and Pieces.)
Maybe Lego’s stricter security demands prevented them to do something TikTok-like. All of the internal restrictions could probably stifle the creativity for older users.
Any product that’s been announced is too far into the development/manufacturing process to abandon, but beyond that, yes it’s easier to kill a line as flawed as Vidiyo. The character designs are wonderfully creative, but they probably crippled themselves by not releasing anything that could be considered a real “Lego set” until the second wave of product.
Other App-related themes like Nexo Knights and Hidden Side could at least still be enjoyed on their own as good sets in their own right. Plus, those Apps were games. With Vidiyo, since the toys only existed to unlock features in the app, it feels more like the app is the main product, and it just seems like the novelty of “making your own music video” with cookie-cutter cartoon characters will wear off within an afternoon.
The app aside, you’re left with what might be considered the most elaborate and expensive mini-fig series ever. Plus those decorated tile “BeatBits” that promised to be a nightmare for anybody wanting a full set. To quote a famous movie, the only way to win that game is to not play.
Maybe toy companies are close to getting past this need to coordinate toylines with apps. Hasbro did it with one line of Transformers and a wave or two of My Little Pony, icons on the toys could be “scanned” but otherwise didn’t interfere with the toy itself. Very similar in fact to how Nexo Knights worked. Hidden Side was a step up by introducing AR functions, but it seems that AR is something that never quite caught on. Nintendo’s 3DS headlined its AR potential and came with several on-board AR-based games, but the capability was used in only a handful of games released after that.
Anyway, Transformers and My Little Pony subsequently gave up on the app gimmick and went back to being good enough on their own, which they certainly are. Nexo Knights had its third series of toys cut back to only one wave with no accompanying television episodes. Hidden Side released what seemed to be its planned final wave, but they were apparently made in small quantities and were “retired” so quickly that you missed them if you blinked. Meanwhile Ninjago, with no app whatsoever, continues to be a juggernaut.
Should we even get into Lego Dimensions? That entire sub-industry of toy-based console games seemed to collapse all at once. Skylanders kept it going longest, while Lego Dimensions and Disney Infinity pretty much got in just before the bubble burst. Nintendo Amiibo is the only one that kept at once the crash happened, and it’s notable that those things aren’t even needed to play the relevant games, they usually just provide power-ups or whatever the hell the Smash Brothers functionality is.
If you’re a toy company, make toys. If you try to overshadow the toys with an supplementary app, you’re pulling attention away from the value the toys have on their own. If the toys are just tokens to make the primary product (an app or game) work, then they cease to be toys and instead are a physical version of DLC (downloadable content) which adds cost but little benefit.
I’m actually a little surprised, the second wave seemed so much better than the first wave. I would think they would have waited until those were out and had sold well or not before any announcements. But overall not that surprised. The whole thing is kinda wacky and seems to ride heavily on the app to justify the high price point.
For sure need to get me some of the fairy wings though…
Corporate guys looking at the bottom line can be pretty short-sighted about that. I’m still shocked there were no “stage” sets in the first wave, so I wonder if was rushed into production while they were still being developed. It does prove, though, that the gimmick of the app wasn’t enough to carry sales. I’m not sure that the stage sets will make the app any more exciting, either. I might be wrong but it seems like the main appeal of them is the cute designs, and actually getting to build something.
I’ve seriously been this close the entire time to going in on Vidiyo just for the novelty of the character designs, but the worthlessness of the app and the looming frustration of “gotta collect them all” beatbits has kept me on the fence.
Hidden Side was probably the best theme where an app was invovled. The sets were fine by themselves, and the app was a non-essential add-on. I’m fine with more sets like that as I can ignore the app and enjoy the sets. None of these apps ever worked on my phone.