28 May 2021

LEGO® VIDIYO™ review: 43109 Metal Dragon BeatBox & 43110 Folk Fairy BeatBox

Caz Mockett (@cazmockett) reviews two LEGO® VIDIYO™ BeatBox sets for you: 43109 Metal Dragon BeatBox & 43110 Folk Fairy BeatBox. Buying these? Consider using our affiliate links, New Elementary may get a commission: UK LEGO Shop | USA LEGO Shop | Australia LEGO Shop, for other countries 'Change Region'. Products in this article were provided by LEGO; the author's opinions are their own.


The LEGO® VIDIYO™ theme launched in March 2021 with a series of six BeatBoxes, similar in size and shape to the LEGO Friends play cubes, along with a collection of 12 different BandMates supplied in blind boxes. In the second wave which will be available from 1st June, two more BeatBoxes will be released, along with five larger buildable sets. The LEGO Group sent us the two new beat boxes to examine, and I have added components from the first wave releases from my own collection so that I can give you a comprehensive rundown of the new moulds and colours available to AFOLs.

It is easiest to list the sets here first, and I will just use a short version of their name later in the article:

  • 43102 Candy BeatBox - Mermaid
  • 43103 Punk Pirate BeatBox - Pirate
  • 43104 Alien DJ BeatBox - Alien
  • 43105 Party Llama BeatBox - Llama
  • 43106 Unicorn DJ BeatBox - Unicorn
  • 43107 HipHop Robot DJ BeatBox - Robot
  • 43109 Metal Dragon BeatBox - Dragon (available from June 1st)
  • 43110 Folk Fairy BeatBox - Fairy (available from June 1st)

Exclusive New Moulds in VIDIYO BeatBoxes


As you can see from the image, there are a wealth of new elements to discuss, some more useful than others! Common to all of the BeatBoxes is a transparent top for each pod, a base which this clips into, in one of five colours, a curved-corner 8x8 plate in one of five colours, a right-angled hinge bracket and two hinged plates (in 4 and 5 colours respectively), a rubbery strap in a selection of 4 colours and a couple of 4x4 dish pieces (5 colour options) which help to hold the straps onto the pod top by means of a new turntable base with clips. Hopefully the following table will give you a clearer idea of which piece comes in which colour in these eight different BeatBoxes.

Item
(Design ID)
Colour
(Element ID)
Mermaid Pirate Alien Llama Unicorn Robot   Dragon Fairy
Transparent Pod Top (65128) Trans Clear (6317507) x x x x x x x x
Turntable Snap (65146) White (6317514) x x x x x x x x
Pod Base (65129) Bright Pink (6317521) x






Coral (6317509)
x




x
Dark Purple (6317523)



x


Lime (6317519)

x x



White (6317522)




x x
8x8 Plate, Rounded Corners (65140) Black (6317540)




x

Coral (6317513)



x


Dark Turquoise (6317543)
x x



x
Light Aqua (6317541) x






Red (6317542)


x

x
Hinge Bracket 4x5x5 (65132) Black (6317524)
x x


x
Dark Turquoise (6317525)



x

x
White (6317510) x






Yellow (6317526)


x
x

Hinge Plate 4 x 6 (65133) Coral (6317511)


x



Dark Turquoise (6317531)
x





Light Aqua (6317534) x


x


White (6317532)

x

x x
Yellowish Green (unknown)






x
Strap with End Rings (65130) Black (6317515)
x

x
x
Medium Lavender (6317508) x






Yellow (6317517)


x
x

Yellowish Green (6317516)

x



x
Dish 4 x 4 with 4 Studs (65138) Black (6317538)




x

Coral (6317512)



x


Dark Turquoise (6317535)
x x



x
Light Aqua (6317536) x






Red (6317537)


x

x

Most of the new elements are included in two or sometimes three BeatBoxes, but a handful only appear once. In addition to the above, three of the components also appear in the larger buildable sets in the June 1st wave of VIDIYO:

  • 8x8 plate, rounded corners comes in Black in 43115 The Boombox, Coral in 43113 K-Pawp Concert and Dark Turquoise in 43114 Punk Pirate Ship
  • Hinge Bracket 4x5x5 is available in Black in the Punk Pirate Ship and The Boombox, Dark Turquoise in K-Pawp Concert, White in 43111 Candy Castle Stage and Yellow in 43112 Robo HipHop Car
  • Hinge Plate 4 x 6 comes in Coral in The Boombox, Dark Turquoise in the Punk Pirate Ship, Light Aqua in both Candy Castle Stage and K-Pawp Concert, and White in Robo HipHop Car

The other two elements which are not unique to the line are:

  • Dish 4 x 4 with 4 Studs which comes in Dark Turquoise additionally in 43181 Raya And The Heart Palace and 43184 Raya And Sisu Dragon, and in Coral in 41692 Vet Clinic Rescue Helicopter

Printed Pieces

One of the things which excited AFOLs about the new VIDIYO theme was the inclusion of many printed tiles, known as BeatBits. The original wave of BandMates saw one unique tile per BandMate and two more randomly selected from a pool of 80 different designs (not shown) - see our BeatBits Guide for more information. 

Each BeatBox from the first wave, and these two new releases, comes with two unique tiles per minifigure, and another 14 selected at random from the pool. All of these BeatBits, when used in conjunction with the accompanying Augmented Reality app, will unlock a unique sound or visual effect. Unfortunately, an update to the app, which may have shown us what the new BeatBits from Metal Dragon and Folk Fairy might do, was not available at the time of writing. Below, I have photographed the minifigures from all the BeatBoxes together with each of their unique BeatBits so that you can see which comes with which.

Minifigures in the VIDIYO BeatBoxes

At present, all of the main components of the minifigures are unique to the VIDIYO line.


From left to right, the first four minifigures are as follows.

Candy Mermaid:

  • Minifig Hair, Long Swept Left with Curls, Magenta Highlights Print in Light Aqua (6331788 | 75647) - a new mould in the March 2021 release but soon also available unprinted in Bright Pink in Candy Castle Stage
  • Minifig Head Candy Mermaid, Dark Pink Eyebrows and Eye Dots, Light Aqua Eyeshadow, Dark Pink Lips, Open Mouth Print in Yellow (6331598 | 3626)
  • Torso Bright Pink Dress with Magenta Diamonds, White Curvy Belt, Magenta Sea Shell Print, Yellow Arms and Hands (6337370 | 973c)
  • Tail, Mermaid Curved Right with Ice Cream Cone, Magenta and Light Aqua Frosting with Sprinkles Print in Medium Nougat (6331791 | 75648) - this is a new mould for a mermaid tail which additionally comes in Dark Turquoise with printing in the Punk Pirate Ship

Mermaid’s unique BeatBits are:

  • Tile 2 x 2 with Groove, Theater Style Print in Dark Turquoise (6325299)
  • Tile 2 x 2 with Groove, Ice Cream World Print in Lime (6325293)

Punk Pirate:

  • Minifig Bandana with Hair, Dark Turquoise Mohawk Pattern in Coral (6323560 | 72245) - dual moulded in this exclusive shape for the first time
  • Minifig Head Punk Pirate, Dark Turquoise Eyebrow, Eyepatch with Skull, Open Mouth with Tongue Sticking Out Print in Yellow (6331605 | 3626)
  • Torso Vest Jacket, with Anchor Badge, Open over Dark Turquoise and Coral Undershirt with Skull and Crossbones Print, Yellow Arms with Pirate Skull Tattoo Print, Yellow Hand Right, Dark Bluish Gray Hook Left in Black (6337447 | 84638)
  • Left Leg, Reddish Brown Right Pirate Peg Leg, and Black Hips with Dark Turquoise Checks, and Chain Print in Black (6335632 | 970e)

Both the torso and legs have some nice metallic silver printing, and the arms also have tattoo details.

Pirate’s unique BeatBits are:

  • Tile 2 x 2 with Groove, Pirate Voice Print in Dark Turquoise (6325314)
  • Tile 2 x 2 with Groove, Grunge Filter Print in Black (6325306)

Alien DJ:

  • Minifig Head Special, Alien DJ, with Trans-Blue Opal Visor Pattern in White (6331272 | 75485) 
  • Torso Jumpsuit with Lime and Dark Azure Detailing Print, Dark Azure Arms with White Zigzag Line Print, White Hands in Medium Azure (6331606 | 973)
  • Legs and Hips with White Boots Pattern and Dark Blue Pockets, Lime Knee Pads and Feet, White Zigzags and Circles Print in Medium Azure (6331276 | 21019)

The Alien’s head mould first appeared in this BeatBox in March 2021 but will also appear in  Transparent Green with Opalescence / Satin Trans-Green Visor Pattern in Dark Bluish Gray variant in The Boombox on 1st June, which I have already reviewed. And just like its green counterpart, the blue spiky head shape does glow under UV, although it is not a very strong effect.

Alien’s unique BeatBits are:

  • Tile 2 x 2 with Groove, Glow Stick Dance Print in Yellow (6325372)
  • Tile 2 x 2 with Groove, Light Speed Print in Black (6325346)

Party Llama:

  • Minifig Head Special, Llama with Dark Pink Triangles and Medium Azure Glasses dual moulded in Bright Light Orange (6331402 | 75503) - another new and exclusive head mould for the VIDIYO line
  • Torso Vest with Dark Purple, Azure, and Lime Design, Necklace with Whistle Print, Bright Light Orange Arms and Hands in Coral (6332145 | 973c)
  • Legs and Hips with Lime and Dark Pink Stripes, Coral Knee Pads Print in Medium Azure (6331401 | 970c)

Llama’s unique BeatBits are:

  • Tile 2 x 2 with Groove, Samba Style Print in Dark Turquoise (6326140)
  • Tile 2 x 2 with Groove, Tropical Plants Print in Lime (6326138)


The reverse of each minifigure also has printing on the torso, shown in the image above.


From left to right, the last four minifigures are as follows.

Unicorn DJ:

  • Minifig Head Special, Unicorn with Medium Azure Horn, Coral Mane Print in Light Aqua (6331245 | 70751) - a new mould in this BeatBox in March 2021, it will also appear in the K-Pawp Concert release in June, but that version comes in Medium Lavender with Dark Purple mane and Pearl Gold horn
  • Torso Vest, Lavender, Coral and Azure Collar with Star, Glitter Print, Light Aqua Arms and Hands in Dark Purple (6331986 | 973c)
  • Minifig Hipwear Tail Unicorn Costume with Coral Tail Print in Dark Purple (6332021 | 18832) - this will also come without the coral overprint, in Dark Purple, in K-Pawp Concert
  • Legs and Hips with Coral Boots Pattern with Sand Blue Knee and Feet Lines, Glitter Print in Dark Purple (6331249 | 21019)

Unicorn’s unique BeatBits are:

  • Tile 2 x 2 with Groove, Synth Pop Style Print in Dark Turquoise (6326153)
  • Tile 2 x 2 with Groove, Rainbow World Print in Lime (6326147)

HipHop Robot DJ:

  • Minifig Hair with Visor, Equaliser and Black Hair Print dual moulded in Pearl Gold (6331799 | 72250) - the first instance of this mould, but it will be available in a White with Dark Bluish Gray variant in the June release of Robo HipHop Car
  • Minifig Head Hiphop Robot, Yellow Eyes, Metal Plates, Open Mouth with Clenched Teeth Print in Flat Silver (6331782 | 3626)
  • Torso Jacket, USB Cable, Necklace with Music Note Print, Pearl Gold Arms with Cuffs and Circuitry Print, Flat Silver Hands  (6336783 | 973c) - there is some very nice metallic silver circuit board prints on the front, back and arms here
  • Legs and Hips with Gold Belt and Circuitry Print in Black (6331786 | 970c) - again there is some nice metallic printing, this time in gold

Robot’s unique BeatBits are:

  • Tile 2 x 2 with Groove, Bling Filter Print in Black (6326157)
  • Tile 2 x 2 with Groove, Breakdance Print in Yellow (6326163)

The last two figures are from BeatBoxes whose online inventories have not yet been published at the time of writing, so I can’t give you quite as much detail about them.

Metal Dragon:

  • Minifigure Dragon Head with White Teeth and Black Mouth Print, in Red (77194) - this new mould has two holes at the rear for the Small Horns in Black (6270103 | 53451) to be inserted, which have been in many sets
  • Minifigure Neckwear Ribbed Dragon Wings (77193) - a new mould for wings, again exclusive to the VIDIYO theme, these are made from hard plastic and not the softer more rubbery plastic such as the Unicorn’s tail is made from
  • Minifigure Torso with Dark Bluish Grey Ragged Tshirt Print and Orange Scales, in Black, Red Arms with Orange Scales and Black Cuff prints & Red Hands  
  • Hips and Legs in Sand Blue with Metallic Silver Spiky Knee Guards, Ripped holes and Red Toes Print

Dragon’s unique BeatBits are:

  • Tile 2 x 2 with Groove, Spotted Tentacles Print in Dark Turquoise
  • Tile 2 x 2 with Groove, Black Minifig Silhouette With Flames Print in Lime

Folk Fairy:

  • Minifig Hair Long Wavy with Ponytail and Gold Band Print - an exclusive new recolour in Coral, this mould is currently only available in Dark Red or Tan
  • Fairy wings with Medium Azure, Dark Turquoise and Dark Pink swirls printing, in Transparent Light Blue (77192) - the same new mould is also available in a Dark Pink variant with metallic printing in The Boombox
  • Dark Turquoise Torso with Coral, Lime and Metallic Gold Sleeveless top, yellow arms and hands
  • Lime Hips & Legs with Dark Turquoise, Coral and Metallic Gold printing

Fairy’s unique BeatBits are:

  • Tile 2 x 2 with Groove, Magic Banana Print in Orange
  • Tile 2 x 2 with Groove, Coral, Black and Gold Metallic Tree Print in Lime


Once again, each of the minifigures has some nice printing on the rear of the torsos - and I have removed Robot’s hair and turned his head around so you can see properly what that looks like too (there is no face print on the rear).

The Build


To be honest, the longest part of any of these BeatBox builds is applying the pattern to the large 8x8 plate which sits on the back of the pod base, and prevents the spare BeatBits which you store inside it from falling out. The exact pattern is shown in the instructions, but other suggestions are also made to encourage you to do your own thing.


The two 4 x 6 Hinge Plates click into the L-shaped bracket very quickly so that you can arrange 12 of your favourite BeatBits to display, from the selection of 16 which come with each BeatBox. The ends of the flexible strap are captive between the turntable snap which clicks into the transparent pod top, and the 4 x 4 dish pieces on the outside. 


Talking of those Turntable Snap pieces - once they are clicked into the Pod top, they are pretty hard to get out again. You have to get both your thumbs inside the pod and try to push simultaneously against two adjacent clips which are very stiff. Nothing happens for a while and then the snap pings across the room at great speed and you are left with dents in your thumbs. I’m not sure how many kids will manage it without hurting themselves. 

New Mould Geometries


There is nothing very remarkable about the rounded-corner 8 x 8 plates which are new in this theme, except to say that they have a cutout under the edge of each corner so they can be attached on top of a larger plate without fouling any of the studs below. The corner radius is the same as existing 2 x 2 macaroni bricks and tiles.


The pod tops clip into the pod bases by means of two long tabs on opposite sides, just below the holes for the turntable snaps. Small bumps on the base click into three cutouts of the tab. In order to remove the top once it is attached, you need to gently squeeze the two opposite sides with the smaller tabs - something which is not very obvious at first, but once the strap is attached, it is almost the natural thing to do because you can’t get your hands around it easily the other way. 


The area of the pod bases is of course identical to the 8 x 8 plates previously shown, but the available studs on top and below are somewhat different. The pod top actually attaches to the anti-stud side (bottom) of the base. The L-shaped bracket that the minifigure sits on has several studs on its rear to attach to the anti-studs of the pod base, which offers just the area of a 4 x 6 plate in the middle, and space for three anti-studs at each corner. Meanwhile, the other side is really the “top” of the base, with just three studs at each of the rounded corners. The spare BeatBits slip into the 8 slots on each side of the container - but they are a very loose fit and only stay in place once the 8 x 8 plate is attached to these studs to cover the container. Having tried to make a few MOCs with these bases (which you will see in later articles), I have to say I found it frustrating that all the stuff I wanted to build was inside the transparent part of the pod and therefore had to be accomplished upside down, which isn’t always very easy!


I mentioned the Friends Play Cubes at the start of the article, and I thought it would be useful to include a couple of comparison shots here. As you can see, the base of the BeatBox is a similar height to each half of a play cube, but the transparent top is quite a bit taller.


The other significant difference is the corner radius - whereas the outside radius of the BeatBoxes are the same as a 2 x 2 Macaroni brick, the Play Cubes have a sharper radius which exactly fits the inside of Arch 1 x 3 x 2 Curved Top (6005).

The other disappointing aspect of the transparent pod tops, which I feel can limit their usefulness for MOCs, is that only the top surface is clearly transparent - the sides all have a frosted effect which means you can’t see what is in the pod very well, unless you are viewing it exactly head on.

Integrating the BeatBoxes with System builds is not very straightforward - partly due to there only being studs exposed when the top and base are connected together, rather than anti studs which would easily click onto any old brick. And if you just want to use the top without the base, then you have to find a way to connect via the Turntable Snap, or get even more creative. Some of our reviewers will be exploring these possibilities in later articles.


I did a few tablescrap experiments to see how the 8 x 8 with cutoff corners shape might fit in with various System bricks. Arch 1 x 3 x 2 Inverted (18653) is the only curved slope which has a radius matching the corners, and there is no equivalent curve the other way up, so they have to be built facing in opposite directions for each half (first picture above). Two bricks, two plates and two tiles distance separate each slope - you will have to find a way of attaching these assemblies together firmly in the rest of your build, as they are just laid next to each other here. 

One trick for such instances is to add a Plate, Round 1 x 1 with Open Stud (85861) back to back with Tile, Round 1 x 1 with Bar and Pin Holder (20482) but in this case it leaves an unsightly gap around one side which is annoying just less than one tile thick. Another useful piece is Brick, Round Corner 3 x 3 x 1 without Studs (65617) which has an internal radius of exactly the right size for the corners, but unfortunately I didn’t have any of these in my collection to demonstrate here.

Conclusion

There are plenty of new elements in the BeatBoxes which offer interesting MOCing potential for AFOLs. Children and adults alike will be captivated by the vibrant prints of the BeatBits, and the colourful characters of the minifigures. I can’t comment on the play value of the app, but the main thing letting the range down is their exorbitant price. The RRP is currently £17.99 / $19.99 / €19.99, with each set carrying around 70-80 pieces. This gives a price per part of something in the region of 25p/27c at worst case. An RRP of half that would seem about right, especially when compared to similar sized items such as the Friends Cubes. I’m sure many consumers are waiting for them to drop in price via third party deals before jumping on the BeatBox bandwagon, but perhaps consider using our affiliate links as New Elementary may get a commission. LEGO.com – UK LEGO Shop | USA LEGO Shop | Australia LEGO Shop, for other countries 'Change Region'. Amazon – USA: Amazon.com Canada: Amazon.ca UK: Amazon.co.uk Deutschland: Amazon.de.

READ MORE: LEGO Marvel Super Heroes parts review: 76178 Daily Bugle

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6 comments:

  1. I suspect its not intended for you to remove the turntable snaps after they have been inserted into the clear covers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pretty much. The eyes from the first Bionicle Toa sets were designed to make a permanent connection to the heads, but there are probably at least half a dozen techniques for how to forcibly pop them loose, while doing minimal to no damage to the two parts in the process.

      The only parts I know of that are truly impossible to disconnect from each other are the two components of the minifig magnet brick. I once tried to open one up to see what they were using for magnets inside. There are two screw in the back that look like they take a typical Allen wrench, but I think there was something odd about them (I know there are a couple uncommon wrench sizes that are used as a low-budget security measure). However, the oddest thing by far was that when you look the screws out...nothing happened. I remember trying to pry the back out of one of the magnet bricks, and becoming thoroughly convinced that the only way I could possibly open it up was to intentionally destroy at least one of the two parts.

      The next time I was at Brickworld Chicago, they were still running a large booth. I commented on how difficult it was to get inside the new minifig magnet bricks to one of the people running the booth. Her face lit up, and judging by her response, she must have thought I was offering a complement.

      Delete
  2. Good review! I've seen several reviews of these sets but this is one of the most in-depth looks at the parts themselves, which I feel is useful since so many of them are new!

    When I first saw the 8x8 rounded plates and pod bases, my first thought was how nicely they match the geometry of the 8x8 and 4x8 bases from the Lego Super Mario line. As a collector of that theme I could see that being moderately useful, especially since the slots for the beatbits could also be used to store the stickered tiles from the Super Mario theme—potentially handy for some of the "friendly" characters from that theme whose tiles aren't meant to be attached to the figures.

    The new 4x6 hinge plates seem like some of the most likely parts to see use outside this theme. Their partially studded surfaces are interesting and I could see them being a useful new solution for things like wing attachments for Star Wars ships. The 4x5x5 hinge bracket is a little less obviously useful, but I like it regardless—it reminds me of a photo backdrop and I might just turn to it the next time I need a decent minifigure photo!

    The clear cover, turntable snap, and headphone band are less useful-looking than those other parts. I can't help but wish the band had at least a few studs on it like the Dots bracelets, for further customization. I do like the new 4x4 dish, though. Its curved shape is interesting, and the number of studs on top and the turntable attachment make it have some potential uses not previously satisfied by the classic 4x4 dish.

    Finally, the minifigures and beatbits are awesome and a testament to the amazing skill of Lego's graphic designers. It's interesting to see how far Lego's app tech has come in just a few years—the Nexo Knights theme's "Nexo Powers" relied on a sort of barcode pattern around the border of the print to be recognized by the app, but these beatbits can seemingly be recognized based only on their bold decorated patterns. I can see the beatbit patterns being useful for all sorts of things in MOCs, from posters to record boxes to TV screens.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for the great review. Love the table of the pieces and colors, makes it easy to compare the sets.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for this review. I am surprised and disappointed by how few connections there are on the clear part. I wonder what else they've tried before settling down for this.

    In any case, as much as I want these to cost as much as Friends Cubes do I don't think that would be reasonable. I mean there are a lot of large special parts (including a brick separator), nice prints and very nice figure, and a digital experience on top. And the mosaic. The Cubes don't pack that much.

    I don't think the price of the Beatboxes is right, and it's hard to reconcile the price with their small size, but I can see why they would cost more than typical LEGO would.

    ReplyDelete