Lego launches amazing new toy range that comes to life through an app

An app using so-called augmented reality (AR) – the technology that make Pokemon Go a hit – brings the Hidden Side models to life.

Kids point their phone at the toys, which launch this summer, and see animated characters and buildings on screen that they interact with.

The playsets can be used just like normal – with the “build and roleplay fun of any LEGO play theme”, the firm said.

LEGO says it is the first time physical toys have been combined with computer gaming this way.

The theme of Hidden Side is how Newbury, the imaginary hometown of two characters Jack and Parker, appears normal but is in fact haunted.

Kids build the eight sets, such as a school, bus or graveyard, that make up the town as it appears in daytime.

By looking at the playsets via the app, the kids see the town through the eyes of Jack or Parker – and how it is actually haunted by night.

They can see and then solve paranormal mysteries. The app prompts kids to hold their phone up to the physical LEGO models and interact as, for example, virtual ghosts appear that need to be caught.

LEGO’s Tom Donaldson explains: "Physical manipulation of the LEGO models alters the AR experience – add the AR experience prompts new things to discover in the physical models.

"This creates a deeply engaging reciprocal play experience in two worlds that has never been seen before."

Toy expert Andy Robertson, who runs the FamilyGamerTV YouTube channel, said: “Many parents love LEGO because it is a real, physical toy that in their eyes keeps their kids away from a phone or tablet.

"This move might annoy them as it seems to encourage youngsters to use those screens – and dents their nostalgia for classic toys.

“But it is a positive step for LEGO.

"I think it will attract screen-loving kids, who perhaps play Minecraft all day, back to the joys of playing with real toys and building things.

“Plus of course it extends the fun for existing LEGO fans”.

The eight building sets go on sale in August for between £17.99 and £109.99. The Hidden Side app is free and can be downloaded online.

If you have an old LEGO set gathering dust in your attic, you might want to take it down as it could be worth up to £8,000.

There's lots of other unwanted junk that could make you money too. We've rounded up the best examples.

Meanwhile, Amazon has pulled a slime toy from sale over fears it's dangerous for kids.

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