LEGO Fusion: latest attempt from LEGO to blend physical bricks with digital play

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Town Master

Town Master

©2014 LEGO Group

I've been out for part of the day today and have been bombarded with emails about LEGO Fusion so I thought I had better post something here to stem the flow :-)

LEGO Systems Blends Physical and Digital Play with New LEGO FUSION
New Play Experience Moves Children Seamlessly Back and Forth Between Physical and Virtual LEGO Worlds Via Hands-On Brick Building and App Gaming to Delight LEGO Builders and Casual Gamers Alike.

NEW YORK (June 19, 2014) – LEGO Systems, Inc., makers of the world’s leading construction toys, today introduced LEGO FUSION, a play experience that combines traditional LEGO brick play with familiar app-based game themes. LEGO FUSION leverages new technologies—and children’s fascination with them—to create an entirely new way to engage in LEGO brick building and app game play for children ages 7 and up. Available later this summer, the LEGO FUSION collection will include four distinct titles: LEGO FUSION Town Master, LEGO FUSION Battle Towers, LEGO FUSION Create & Race and LEGO FUSION Resort Designer.

Each LEGO FUSION experience consists of a distinct set of LEGO bricks, a corresponding free downloadable app and the new FUSION capture plate, a small brick building plate with a printed design that enables a smart phone or tablet’s camera to identify the size and colors of the LEGO bricks built onto it. In response to game prompts, children build vertically in 2-D on the FUSION capture plate, enabling the app to ‘see,’ import and transform the creation into 3-D in the digital world.

You can read the whole press release at Eurobricks. There are four sets that will be out in September.

24 comments on this article

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By in Germany,

The Town Master set/game sounds like SimCity. :P

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By in United States,

Sounds awesome. Want the Town Master set and maybe the racing one.

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By in New Zealand,

I feel like this is the successor of the Master Builder Academy. There's been no news on the MBA sets for this year.

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By in United States,

Hmmm, I'd like some of those red Palisade bricks.

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By in United States,

This looks pretty cool, especially at that price point for all the play you can get out of this. I assume if you mix and match pieces from two or more different fusion sets the app will still be able to recognize each piece? I.E. when scanning you don't have to say this build is from Town Master or this is from Battle Towers?

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By in Poland,

@binaryeye
lol we could just use bricks from our collections but with correct colors! :D

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By in Canada,

Yes, because after you've spent hundreds of dollars buying your child Lego, the first thing you'll want to do is hand your child your several-hundred-dollar Ipad so he can play a video game on it... NOT!

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By in United States,

^ it's an entirely different way to lean! using a different part of the brain. My kids will like it. They still like to play Life of George.. It's our Vacation Toy they get to have along on trips.

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By in United States,

Oh my glob! Is that a sand green masonry brick?

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By in United States,

I'm not planning on buying this.

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By in United States,

Life of George was played with exactly one time by my kids before they were completely done with it, I am not going to be making the same mistake twice.

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By in United States,

@asksol -- in the Battle Towers set? Yes, I believe it might be O_o

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By in United States,

Speaking of new lego video games, Marvel Superheroes just came out on the App Store. I just got it, though it's under the name Lego Marvel Superheroes: Universe in Peril.

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By in United States,

^That's the name of the handheld versions of the game. I've played a bit of the 3DS version, and I can say it would be better to get it on a console than a handheld.

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By in United Kingdom,

Seems like a good idea. However questions come up:

You build the facade, and the app fills in the rest. Can you "play" in the house, or only certain structures (or none)?
This is a release from America, so will it be available in Europe/Asia/Australasia, etc. at the same time, or like MBA, available a year after release in the USA, and still not available?
Will there be expansion packs available, as people want to build new types of buildings, or will this be a new theme set in the future?

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By in United States,

Seems like another promising concept for Lego. It's success hinges on the strength of the app of course. The app designers will have to take into consideration that kids will want to mix in other bricks, so there will have to be some sort of error detection system where it can tell you which bricks are invalid, or just remove the bricks automatically from the virtual scan. If all it does is give an error code, this concept will fall flat before it even launches. No kid likes to keep separate piles for loose bricks and no kid has the patience to sort out "valid" pieces just to play these games. It's going to have to be more flexible than that.

Over time though, it would be neat if they could add support for most or all system bricks and allow for some very large, complex creations. I can tell you right now that the tower defense game and the town planner game would be incredible on a large scale if I were allowed to use my own bricks. The popularity of the app would skyrocket if they were able to incorporate any Lego elements.

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By in Netherlands,

*looks at coin amount on the top left of the tablet*

Eeehhmmmmm....

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By in United Kingdom,

Nope - another failure that should have been stopped long ago. You can only build a flat fascia, and only using bricks from that set? That's not LEGO as I understand it. How long are kids going to be able to keep those pieces separate?

Come on LEGO, what's the problem with letting kids build virtual models on computer then interact with them as a minifig chracter? You know, like LEGO Universe promised to do before you let it get railroaded into a cheap combat game despite all the AFOLs you'd recruited to help out begging you to put it back on track. And then coming back with an even cheaper combat game with any sense of creativity burned out of it. I wonder if you even know what your own product is sometimes.

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By in United States,

i think i'll get the battle towers set... probably gonna pass on the other three...

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By in United States,

@Psymon: It's not trying to appeal to kids who don't use tablets or mobile devices. It's trying to appeal to kids who are ALREADY using tablets and mobile devices instead of LEGO. And there are a LOT of kids like that, who might love LEGO building if it had the same level of interactive engagement they get from things like Minecraft. This gives them a motivation to build their own creations that they can relate to and understand.

Beyond that, there's nothing wrong with kids (especially older kids) using tablets and mobile devices if they're being taught to use them responsibly and in moderation. There are many far worse hobbies out there than digital gaming.

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By in United States,

Interesting.

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By in United States,

Meh. I really don't understand why they have to "bridge the digital divide". The only time I really use my smartphone with my hobbies (diecastand Lego) is when I photograph it and send it over Bluetooth to my computer.

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