The LEGO® Group is the world’s most reputable company. They are also the most popular brand on YouTube. Such success brings about many opportunities for partnerships and branching out. However, does the constant branching out eventually lead to overly fragile twigs? If so, can twigs support the weight of the behemoth that is the LEGO® Group? I found myself pondering this very question after the launch of VIDIYO. Along with the original announcement months ago, we got a link to a video with flying llama heads, cartoonish backgrounds, and pool toys galore. However, I did not see a single brick. I decided to reserve judgement until I tried VIDIYO for myself. Unfortunately, it left me with VIDIYO woe.
Let us get a little context before pushing forward. VIDIYO is a music centric partnership with Universal. Downloading an app allows you to scan purchased Minifigures and create augmented reality music videos with them. Additionally, each minifig comes with Beat Bits. Subsequently, scanning those brings new costumes, effects, backgrounds, and the like into your videos. As part of the app’s release, the LEGO® Group partnered with Universal, Astrowerks, and artists Ne-Yo and Carmen Deleon to create a new single and music video. “Shake” is the name of the song. The video also features a dancing llama aptly named DJ L.L.A.M.A.
VIDIYO Woe #1: D.J. L.L.A.M.A.
L.L.A.M.A. is a person wearing a llama mask. He is based on one of the new Minifigures from the VIDIYO line. “Based” is the operative word. While endearing in Minifigure form, L.L.A.M.A. is somewhat creepy in “real life”. Had I not read the press release and known it was a collaboration with the LEGO® Group, I would not have known the LEGO® Group was involved in the process at all. The video does not contain a single brick or Minifigure.
The LEGO® Group announced many new partnerships over the last year. Among them, we saw BYGGLEK from Ikea, and apparel from Adidas, LEVI’s, and Hype. Do not get me wrong, I love the stuff. I went a little crazy with all of those lines. Additionally, I bought the whole BYGGLEK line the day it came out. However, even I wondered if it was too many partnerships in too short a time. Then came L.L.A.M.A.
VIDIYO woe #2… the blind box.
To be fair, I decided to try VIDIYO. I requested a few odds and ends to review from the LEGO® Group. Specifically, I asked for one Beat Box and three Bandmates. Let us begin with the latter. Two words: blind BOXES. I had a negative experience already trying to order Minifigure blind bags during the pandemic. Consequently, I decided never again. I am all about feeling the packages in store (sanitizing my hands both before and after of course). This technique allows relative certainty in what you get. Conversely, Bandmate boxes are totally up to chance whether you order online or shop in store. In my order of three characters, I got a duplicate. Additionally, none of the Minifigures I got were actually the ones I wanted.
My Beat Box experience was better. I picked my box, thus picking the Minifigure at the same time. The box comes loaded with new pieces with great MOC potential. Getting a few more of these could lead to some interesting builds. Additionally, I like the Beatbits. I dream of a MOC record store for my city. These make great album covers for the store racks. You get Beatbits with Bandmates as well. However, the blind box completely turns me off of those. The downside to Beat Boxes is the price: $24.99 CAD. My Beat Box comes with 73 pieces. Consequently, the cost-per-brick is $0.34. Ouch. My average is $0.14/brick. Each piece in this Beatbox costs more than double what I usually pay. Build time? Let’s not even go there… suffice to say it was limited.
VIDIYO Woe #3: Beatboxes are pricey.
What about the app? I hoped to debut my first VIDIYO video with this article. However, I cannot get the app to work. When I first downloaded it, it made me work through the tutorial to build a video. If you do not work through the tutorial, the next time you start the app, you also start the tutorial all over again. That was my first beef. Tutorials have to be optional. Once the tutorial finished, the app simply stopped working. Every time I load it, the app freezes. I have yet to scan or enter any of my characters or make a proper video outside of the tutorial.
VIDIYO Woe #4: I could not get the app to work.
Ultimately, VIDIYO did not meet my expectations. I cannot get the bandmates that I want, the Beatboxes are overpriced, and I cannot get the app to work. Additionally, I think D.J. L.L.A.M.A. strays too far off brand. A second wave of VIDIYO is coming. That wave promises actual sets in the form of stages. Buildable stages are truer to the LEGO® Group’s core product than DJ L.L.A.M.A. However, this experience left me uninterested in trying the second wave out. Have you had better luck with VIDIYO? Are the perspectives of your kids any better? Feel free to comment below or reach out on social media.
Until next time,
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2 thoughts on “VIDIYO Woe”
I don’t understand why Lego is doing augmented reality tie ins.
My kids have shown no interest in these. It’s not what they go to Lego for.
Still Lego caters for a huges range of tastes very successfully. So it makes sense that not everything suits everyone.
Though, take the Botanical range. I would never buy it. But I entirely see the appeal and can understand why people would love it.
I don’t really get it either… Neither of the forays in AR have provided a robust enough app to support the product. But, like you said, I guess they’re trying to appeal to a broad audience.
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