LEGO Unveils New Ghost Hunting Theme, Bringing Augmented Reality to Brick Based Play [Preview]

In the run up to this weekend’s New York Toy Fair, a surprise announcement: the release of a new theme: LEGO Hidden Side

On display for the first time at the NY Toy Fair, this new theme takes the physical play of a brick built set, and combines it with an augmented reality game, while our heroes Parker and Jack explore their hometown of Newbury, solving puzzles with the aid of their mobile phones. There will be eight new sets, due for release around August, which can be used in conjunction with the phone app to enhance the play experience.

Kids, LEGO bricks and puzzles to solve: what’s not to love?

What do we know?

Jack and Parker: I love the new hoodie/cap element as well as the beanie/purple hair. New tile prints for the phones are also good to see. And a new dog! I can’t wait to see what else the sets will bring!
  • The LEGO® Hidden Side universe takes place in the fictional town of Newbury
  • The main characters, Jack and Parker, are teenage bloggers; through an app on their mobile phones, they can see the unseen
  • The play mission:LEGO Hidden Side challenges children to join a fearless team of ghost hunters, ​who dare see the unseen ​and help turn a haunted world back to normal​ one ghost at the time. 
  • Through the game, children can explore the hidden, solve mysteries and catch the ghost
  • Ages: 7+
  • The product launches globally, though launch dates may vary depending on markets .
  • iPhone 6s and up; Also on Android
  • The app works on both mobile and tablet devices. However, the play experience has been designed with mobile in mind, to facilitate children’s ability to play with one hand in each world – playing with the LEGO set and holding the device at the same time.
  • More information, as it comes to light on the new theme’s web site: https://www.lego.com/en-us/themes/hidden-side 

Details of the sets, as well as the press release follows the break.

Eight New Sets:

I’m sure images will surface over the weekend at the NY Toy Fair, but for now, this is what we know:

  • Lab 174 pieces €19.99 $USD19.99
  • Boat 310 pieces €29.99 $USD29.99
  • Graveyard 335 pieces €29.99 $USD29.99
  • Truck 428 pieces €39.99 $USD39.99
  • Diner 579 pieces €49.99 $USD49.99
  • Bus 689 pieces €59.99 $USD59.99
  • Train 698 pieces €79.99 $USD79.99
  • High School 1474 pieces €119.99 $USD129.99


LEGO GROUP Introduces LEGO® Hidden Side™, Combining Building with Augmented Reality to Create a New Way to Play

-Company pioneers experience where kids play with one hand in two worlds-

NEW YORK (February 14, 2019) – The LEGO Group today unveiled LEGO® Hidden Side™, an augmented reality-enhanced LEGO play theme where kids must turn a haunted world back to normal, one ghost at a time. It is the only play experience available today that fully and seamlessly integrates augmented reality (AR) with physical construction to reveal a hidden world of interactive play. Developed for children 7 years and up, LEGO Hidden Side is showcased to buyers, media and influencers for the first time at American International Toy Fair Booth in Booth 1335 of Hall 3B at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, February 16 -19. 

LEGO Hidden Side includes a series of eight “haunted” building sets full of awesome functionality and secret surprises that, on their own, provide the build and roleplay fun of any LEGO play theme. Activating the bespoke AR app developed together with the theme brings the models to life, revealing a hidden world of interactive mysteries and challenges to solve. When combined, the two worlds make each other even more compelling and fun.

“Our years of experience pioneering the convergence of technology and physical play have taught us that kids expect exciting play experiences that move seamlessly between physical and digital worlds – something we call fluid play,” said Tom Donaldson, senior vice president, Creative Play Lab at the LEGO Group. “At our core we focus on tactile building, 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.”

Core LEGO Building Experience

LEGO Hidden Side building sets deliver everything kids love and expect from a LEGO building experience – the challenge of the build, a detailed model with functionality, and minifigure characters set in a story-driven universe. Each model can be built as it appears by day – a school house, bus, or graveyard, for example – and has transforming functionality to become the haunted version of itself. 

Truly Augmented Play 

The app lets kids assume a first-person perspective and play together with the two characters – Jack and Parker – as they explore their hometown of Newbury, using their mobile phones to see and solve paranormal mysteries beneath the surface of their environment. Game play prompts kids to hold their phone up to the physical LEGO models and interact with various elements, or “points of possession,” which release virtual ghosts that kids must then capture in the AR game to stop the haunting. Numerous scenarios create dynamic gameplay that requires kids to keep one hand in each world to progress the play. 

Donaldson added, “As we have designed LEGO Hidden Side, physical manipulation of the LEGO models alters the AR experience, and the AR experience prompts new things to discover in the physical models, creating a deeply engaging reciprocal play experience in two worlds that has never been seen before.”

The app also consists of a digital game that kids can play independent of the building set.

After launch, the app experience will continue to expand with the addition of new ghosts, new game challenges, and randomization of gameplay so the experience is different every time kids play.  

Donaldson noted, “We’re leveraging some of the best elements of mobile games to keep the experience fresh, encouraging kids to return to their LEGO sets time and again to see what is different. With the thoughtful integration of LEGO building and AR technology, we can deliver a truly innovative play experience that taps into the everchanging landscape of fluid play, where children constantly find new moments and forms of play.”

LEGO Hidden Side will be available globally in late summer 2019. Physical sets will range in price from [SRP] to [SRP]. The LEGO Hidden Side app will be a free download from the App Store and Google Play.

For more information, visit https://www.lego.com/en-us/themes/hidden-side 

I am excited by this new integration between physical play and the digital realm. At least there is total integration between the bricks and the app, unlike NEXO Knights, where the app was primarily a way to power up your characters within the game. I expect we will hear more about this new theme over the next few days…

Until then, Play Well.

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