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Wednesday, January 04 2017 21:30

CES 2017: LEGO BOOST Allows Kids to Bring LEGO Creations to Life...

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The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is currently taking place in Las Vegas, and today the folks at the LEGO Group announced LEGO® BOOST, "a supercharged building and coding set that lets children bring their LEGO creations to life by adding movement, sound and personality." Expected to be available in August, these news sets take the STEM play that LEGO has long embraced into completely new levels. In fact, though it'll be awhile before I get to go hands-on with these, I'm going to say that LEGO BOOST is an early contender for my 2017 Holiday Wish Guide, launching in the Fall. Check out full details from the announcement below, and see some of what you can build - including an electronic guitar, and an awesome robot named "Vernie" that looks a lot like Short Circuit's Johnny 5!

Build the Toy You Want
LEGO BOOST combines the endless play opportunities of a traditional LEGO set with an endless variety of movement and sound capabilities made possible through an easy-to-use, app-based coding environment. LEGO BOOST was developed for children ages 7 and older by an international team of LEGO designers. Using familiar LEGO elements and simple coding language, LEGO BOOST delivers an intuitive approach and opportunities for quick success.

LEGO BOOST VERNIE

Powered by a Move Hub, a LEGO stud-covered brick with built-in tilt sensor upon which children can add LEGO elements, motors and a sensor that combines color and distance detection, LEGO BOOST brings movement to any LEGO creation. The set includes building instructions for five diverse models; Vernie the Robot, Frankie the Cat, the Guitar 4000, the Multi-Tool Rover 4 (M.T.R.4), and the Autobuilder, each designed to give children the basic building and coding skills needed to express their creativity by personalizing whatever they build.

LEGO BOOST Cat

"We know that children dream of bringing their LEGO creations to life, and our chief ambition for LEGO BOOST is to fulfill that wish. Once children build a LEGO creation, we give them simple coding tools to 'boost' their models by adding personality," said Simon Kent, design lead for LEGO Group. "We want children to first and foremost have a fun and limitless play experience, adding the coding opportunity is the means to get there."

LEGO BOOST

Coding Brings Your Toy to Life
LEGO BOOST introduces children to coding through a free downloadable app that contains the guidance, building instructions and simple coding commands to bring to life five LEGO creations, one at a time. Much like building with LEGO bricks, children build behaviors and actions by linking digital coding blocks in an easy-to-understand horizontal layout. To further personify the experience, LEGO BOOST lets children add voice recordings to their creations, adding personality without requiring spelling and typing. The app also includes more than 60 activities designed to inspire additional building, coding and play.

LEGO BOOST GUITAR

Creative Canvas Lets You Boost Any LEGO Creation
To further inspire creative building and coding, the LEGO BOOST app includes a "creative canvas" that includes basic building instructions for three simple base models that children can use to customize their own LEGO creations. The three bases available at launch include: a walking base for making animals like a dragon or a pony, a driving base for building vehicles like a dune buggy or rover, and an entrance base so that children can make their own castle, fort, or even a futuristic space station. Once children are comfortable with building and coding the various LEGO BOOST models, they can use the kit to "boost" any LEGO creation – from LEGO CITY and LEGO  Friends to LEGO NINJAGO and The LEGO BATMAN Movie.

LEGO® BOOST Includes:

Hardware

  • 3 BOOST Bricks:
  • Move Hub with built-in tilt sensor
  • Combination color & distance sensor
  • Interactive motor
  • 843 LEGO elements
  • Playmat, calibrated to the app, designed to facilitate mini challenges to practice simple coding trials

LEGO BOOST App

  • Free, downloadable app is iOS and Android tablet compatible

LEGO BOOST uses 6 AAA batteries. Alkaline batteries are recommended, but rechargeable batteries can be used, though may result in weaker power output.

LEGO BOOST will be available at most stores and online shopping sites where toys are sold, through select consumer electronics retailers, and at LEGO Stores and shop.LEGO.com in the second half of 2017 and will have a suggested retail price of $159.99 USD $159.99 (EUR) and $199.99 (CAD). For more information, visit www.LEGO.com/BOOST.

CES attendees can view a demo of LEGO BOOST as part of the Kids@Play Kids & Technology Marketplace from January 5-8, 2017 at the Sands Expo.

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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