New LEGO sets are designed for people who are always glued to their smartphones

One of the biggest complaints of parents is that their children are always glued to their smartphones; it’s almost as though the world now exists just as much digitally as it does physically. That hasn’t phased LEGO, though, despite being widely known as a manufacturer of toys – physical toys – and its latest kits now blur the boundaries of physical and digital play.

Those kits are LEGO Hidden Side, a series of ghost-themed sets (that, notably for LEGO, aren’t based on a pre-existing franchise)… that take on a second life when you’ve made them. This second life is on a Hidden Side smartphone app, which lets you interact with the sets using augmented reality (AR).

On the app, you have to solve puzzles by interacting with the set, by using your smartphone camera to scan the set and recognise the changes you make. Take a look at all eight Hidden Side sets on LEGO’s website.

So you may fondly remember playing with your LEGO Knights, Rock Raiders or City kits, opening up the buildings, playing with the minifigures; but your kids might remember doing the same thing while looking at their smartphones. 

That’s not a sad sign of the times though, or the indication of the death of a beloved toys manufacturer – instead, it’s just another side-effect of the digitization of our lives, and an example of a long-running brand innovating to stay with the times. 

What’s it like to play with a LEGO set on your phone?

If you’re scared of your kid spending even more time…