Product: LEGO Life is a social media app for kids who love all things LEGO. It is available on iOS and Android devices. Kids can share their LEGO creations, see what other kids are making, watch videos, take polls, and engage in community challenges. It is free to use, but requires registration with a LEGO ID and parent approval.
Glows: LEGO Life aims to create a safe space for kids by moderating all content and avoiding private messaging features. It’s a fun and social way for kids who are obsessed with building to share their passion and get some positive feedback from peers. It can also spark creative endeavors for kids who are out of ideas.
Grows: There isn’t much to do other than post and comment about LEGO-related topics so kids who aren’t LEGO-obsessed may not want to stick around. The safety/anonymity features make it difficult for kids to really connect, even with those they know offline.
Bottom Line: Kids who spend their days planning their LEGO builds can get inspiration and feedback from their like-minded peers but may defect for other less-restrictive forms of social media and chat as soon as they are able. But since it is free, it is worth a look from fans of anything LEGO, from building to video games to movies.
Rating: 3/5 stars
How to Get Started with LEGO Life
LEGO Life users all need to start by registering for a LEGO ID. The good news is that those who have played other LEGO games online, or even shopped in the store, are likely to already have a LEGO ID. If not, kids can sign up for one using a parent’s email address. The adult will receive an email asking them to approve their child’s account.
Once logged in, kids choose a screen name. Once again, those who are familiar with some of the LEGO online games will recognize this process. Screen names are made up of three words and kids can opt to randomly select them or scroll through until they find a fun name that catches their eye. They might end up being known as “SenseiMedievalSwan” or “WizardGoldenAvocado.” While kids can’t choose their own names exactly, they will have fun creating a silly combination from the options available.
LEGO Life will then ask kids if they want to join any groups. The groups control what type of content they see in their stream and include various LEGO franchises such as NINJAGO and Friends, themes such as “Hero Stuff” and “Holidays,” and types of content like polls, music and events. No need to stress about what to choose as kids can easily add and remove groups later on in their profile area.
The last step is to create an avatar. Kids can create more than 20 different avatars so they can swap them out depending on their moods. Each avatar is given a gender and a skin color (light or dark). Kids can then customize them as they would any minifigure by adding hair, a face, a body (shirt), legs, and up to two handheld accessories, such as a teddy bear or a skateboard. The accessories available are based on the type of minifigure chosen and some have additional clothing items, such as armor or a hair bow.
Having Fun in LEGO Life
LEGO Life has two sources of content: LEGO-generated content and user-generated content. LEGO posts webisodes for kids to watch and polls for them to take part in. There are quiz questions where kids need to think about the best answer. LEGO also posts user challenges that ask kids to build something around a theme. It could be that they can only use blue blocks, or they could be asked to build a specific type of vehicle. These are great for helping kids move past kit-building to creating their own designs.
Kids are also encouraged to post their own creations and questions. Kids tend to share LEGO creations that span from the simple to the highly complex so all kids should feel welcome to share, even if they are new to building. Other kids can comment on posts using a wide range of emojis and stickers, including some lively LEGO minifigure images. Kids whose accounts are approved by parents can actually type out their replies, but others are limited to images. Everything that’s posted beyond the emojis and stickers is held for moderation and checked before going live.
Kids who enjoy what other kids have posted or said can send friend requests. This allows them to easily find each other’s content and also see a record of their activities in a special notices area. They cannot send private messages to each other. Kids who know each other offline will need to swap screen names (user names won’t work) and search for each other to send friend requests.
Kids’ Health and Safety Features/Concerns on LEGO Life
- Parental approval required for full account access
- Moderated images and language
- No private chat
- No outside advertising or links
- Above and beyond the already commercial nature of the app, LEGO posts product ads and movie trailers
- Kids should understand basic Internet safety and behavior guidelines before joining
- Some profile settings and information are behind a parent gate that requires solving multiplication problems