13 May 2021

LEGO® VIDIYO™ review: 43115 The Boombox

Caz Mockett examines one of the most exciting of the new LEGO® VIDIYO™ sets today: 43115 The Boombox, coming 1 June 2021 priced £89.99 / € 99.99 (North America 1 August US$99.99). Buying this set? 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.

Many AFOLs were rather unimpressed with the chunky BeatBoxes when the new VIDIYO™ theme launched in March, even if they were more enamoured with the exclusive printed tiles and whacky minifigure characters which came in them. The LEGO Group heavily emphasised the interactive part of the theme, demonstrating the ability to make fancy pop videos with a tie-in from Universal Music, squarely aimed at the 9+ age bracket. But older fans were worried that it was a poor relation of the now-defunct Hidden Side theme which had also featured Augmented Reality trickery - at least Hidden Side had some decent sets which stood on their own merit without using an app, they argued.


And then there was a surprise announcement that VIDIYO was getting a second wave, in quick succession, comprising two more BeatBoxes and five playsets of varying sizes. The biggest of them, 43115 The Boombox, is what I have to show you today.

Exclusive New Parts in 43115 The Boombox

When the publicity material was published a couple of weeks ago, a big stir was caused as AFOLs spotted that a rare new species had appeared - an odd-numbered 1-module wide plate! The set also treats us to a second new mould.

  • 2x Plate 1 x 5 in White (6350399 | 78329) - a completely new mould, unique to this set, surely it won’t be long before it appears in other releases?
  • 1x Axe-shaped Guitar in Dark Stone Grey / Dark Bluish Gray (6338638 | 77179) - unique to this set so far, but looks like it will also be included in one of the Series 2 Bandmates due in October 

It's been a long time since LEGO last introduced a new 1-module wide plate; the most recent was 13 years ago. Here's a quick overview of the timeline of "1 by x" plates:

  • 1962: Plate 1 x 1, Plate 1 x 2
  • 1972: Plate 1 x 8
  • 1977: Plate 1 x 3, Plate 1 x 4, Plate 1 x 6
  • 1983: Plate 1 x 10
  • 2008: Plate 1 x 12
  • 2021: Plate 1 x 5

Why hasn't the 1x5 come sooner, especially given that competitor brands have provided it for some time? One reason may be that the custodians of LEGO System felt it may confuse younger builders. Distinguishing a 1x5 from a 1x4 or 1x6 takes a moment longer, potentially leading to errors that frustrate the builder. Another reason is that situations where a 1x5 is absolutely necessary are far fewer than a 1x3: you can make a 1x5 out of a 1x1 + 1x4, or a 1x2 + 1x3.

Exclusive New Colours

There are five new recolours included, four of which are unique to this release:

  • 2x Tile Round 2 x 4 with black beatbox and headphones print in Dark Turquoise / Teal (6338677 | 66857) - a new colour  for this mould with an exclusive print
  • 3x Tile 2 x 2 with Groove in Medium Lilac/ Dark Purple (6057386 | 3068) - I was surprised to find this did not already exist
  • 10x Brick Special 1 x 2 x 1 2/3 with Four Studs on One Side in Black (6275806 | 22885) - a new colour for 2021 of this popular part, also in 10283 - NASA Space Shuttle Discovery with 12 examples and another new VIDIYO release, 43114 Punk Pirate Ship
  • 2x Panel 1 x 6 x 5 in Vibrant Coral / Coral (6346492 | 59349) 
  • 2x Panel 1 x 6 x 5 in Bright Bluish Green/ Dark Turquoise (6346491 | 59349) 

Rare & Returning Colours

The first three elements were introduced as new moulds with the VIDIYO BeatBoxes in March, so I have listed them as rare for the purposes of this article. We will be publishing a full rundown of the BeatBoxes themselves soon.

  • 1x Hinge Bracket 4 x 5 x 5 Locking with 2 Fingers, Two on Each Side, 7 Teeth in Black (6317524 | 65132) - also appears in two othe BeatBoxes, 43104 Alien DJ and 43103 Punk Pirate 
  • 2x Hinge Plate 4 x 6 with Two 1 x 4 Studs and Recessed 2 x 4 Middle in Coral (6317511 | 65133) - only seen in 43105 Party Llama BeatBox besides this set
  • 1x Plate Rounded Corners 8 x 8 in Black (6317540 | 65140) - additionally came in 43107 HipHop Robot BeatBox
  • 2x Dish 6 x 6 Inverted (Radar) with Solid Studs in Yellow (6310994 | 44375) - only in 3 other sets up to this point, the last time in a 2018 polybag, it appears here with a new element ID
  • 2x Plate 1 x 4 in Dark Turquoise (6350418 | 3710) - this had only been seen in an obscure Mindstorms RCX release from 1999, 9735 Robotics Discovery Set, it now has a new element ID
  • 4x Hub Cap 24mm without Tube in Black (6253649 | 49098) - previously seen unprinted in just 1 Speed Champions release, it is now being used as "speaker cones" in quite a few of the new sets in 2021 VIDIYO line (Hiphop Robot BeatBox was the first)
  • 1x Slope Curved 2 x 1 with Stud Notch in Lime, Left (6296103 | 29120) and Right (6296104 | 29119) - previously only seen in 76899 Lamborghini Urus ST-X & Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO
  • 1x Tile 1 x 1 Special Heart in Bright Orange/ Orange (6330144 | 39739) - appearing here with a new element ID, but the old one (6258993) was only in one set, 80102 Dragon Dance
  • 2x Tile 1 x 1 Half Circle in Dark Azure (6313557 | 24246) - available in 41913 DOTS Mega Pack, 60285 Sports Car and 21326 Winnie the Pooh

Printed Pieces

The VIDIYO line has already become notable for the lack of stickers, and the inclusion of colourful printed 2x2 tiles called BeatBits, each with a design that makes a special sound or visual effect when used in conjunction with the app. Each of the minifigures in this set gets their own new and unique design (pictured below), along with another 14 which are randomly selected from a pool of over 80 different designs for the range (not shown) - see our BeatBits Guide for more information.

  • 1x exclusive Orange BeatBit (6341650)
  • 1x exclusive Magenta BeatBit (6341648)
  • 1x exclusive Lime BeatBit (6341651)
  • 1x exclusive Dark Turquoise BeatBit (6341649)

There are also three additional printed elements included in the set:

  • 1x 2 x 4 tile in Black with two minifigures and Metallic Silver starburst pattern (6347437 | 87079) - included in 2 other of the current VIDIYO sets, 43112 Robo Hiphop Car and 43113 K-Pawp Concert
  • 1x Musical Instrument Guitar Electric 'ML' Type with Silver Strings and Silver Tiger Stripes Print (6346057 | 17356) - also in Robo HipHop Car and K-Pawp Concert
  • 1x Musical Instrument Microphone with Metallic Silver Top Half Screen Print in Black (6327722 | 90370) - the first time the black microphone has had a silver print only half-covering the globe

Minifigures in The Boombox

The whole VIDIYO lineup has already given us some unique minifigure characters, and this set is no exception. 


From left to right we have:

Leopard Guitarist

  • Head/hair - a new mould (another colour variation is in K-Pawp Concert) - this one is Medium Azure with Dark Blue dual-moulded hair (6338700)
  • Torso assembly - Yellow torso, Magenta arms and Medium Azure hands with a geometric cat head motif printed on the chest (6350390)
  • Tail - Minifig Hipwear Tail Raccoon / Cat / Fox Costume in Medium Azure with dark blue leopard spots (6338701 | 18277)
  • Legs - Magenta hips and legs with Yellow, Coral and Medium Azure stripes (6347448)

Fairy Singer

  • Hair - Minifig Hair Ponytail and Fringe in Magenta (6353003 | 13785) - a unique recolour in this set
  • Head - in Yellow with a big, open-mouthed smile and striking Metallic Light Blue eyeshadow  (6338673)
  • Neckwear - Fairy wings with Medium Lavender and Metallic Bright Pink swirls printing, in Transparent Dark Pink (6338676 | 77192) - unique here, although the same new mould also appears in Transparent Light Blue in 43110 Folk Fairy BeatBox
  • Torso assembly - in Dark Purple with Yellow Arms/Hands and a butterfly print on the chest (6349095)
  • Legs - Lavender hips and legs with Dark Purple, Medium Lavender and Metallic Light Blue print (6338675) - the first time the full hips and legs have been seen in this colour, previously only available with Black dual-moulded boots and a print

Alien Singer

  • Head - Minifig Head Special, Alien DJ, with Transparent Green with Opalescence / Satin Trans-Green Visor Pattern in Dark Bluish Gray (6338699 | 75485) - it is a very similar new colour as the shoulder guards, but this one glows under UV! This is the first time this opalescent effect has appeared in green in any element; the mould is a recolour of the head used in 43104 Alien DJ BeatBox released in March
  • Minifig Neckwear Shoulder Guards in Satin Trans-Green (6337854 | 37614) - unique to this set in this colour 
  • Torso assembly -  Pearl Dark Gray torso with Sand Blue, Medium Azure and Lime printing, Sand Blue Arms, Medium Azure hands, (6344440)
  • Legs - hips and legs in Pearl Dark Gray with Sand Blue, Medium Azure and Lime printing (6338669)

Vampire Guitarist

  • Hair - Black Minifigure, Hair Tousled with Long Bangs (6175190 | 25378), a common hair piece commonly used for Ninjago’s Cole character
  • Head - Light Aqua head with heavy eye makeup, fangs and a red tongue (6338670)
  • Minifig Neckwear Armour Shoulder Pads Spiky in Flat Silver (6270304 | 88295) - has only been in 70840 Welcome To Apocalypseburg and 7569 Desert Attack previously
  • Torso assembly - Black torso with Dark Bluish Gray, Black and Red printing, Light Aqua arms and hands (6344686)
  • Legs - hips and legs in Black with Metallic Silver and Red print (6338672)


The Leopard’s hair, Fairy’s wings and Alien’s head are all very nice pieces viewed from the rear as well, but they do obscure the rear printing a little bit for this picture.


So here is a closer look at the backs with head and wings removed. 

I have to say that the vast majority of the printing on these figures, and indeed all of them from VIDIYO, have been top notch in terms of quality. LEGO has been criticised in the past particularly for the weak printing of light colours over dark backgrounds, but I would say they  have definitely sorted the issues out with these minifigures. 


It’s quite difficult to see from the photos but I’ve tried to depict the lovely pale metallic blue on the fairy’s torso, the metallic pale pink on her wings and the opalescent effect on the Alien’s head in the above images. And it’s very difficult to photograph the glow of the Alien’s head under blacklight, but I did my best! These are all very much better in person than they look here.

Building VIDIYO 43115 The Boombox


The build consists of seven numbered bags of parts, and proceeds in a fairly mundane fashion. There is a bit of SNOT construction for some of the rotating speaker stacks, but nothing out of the ordinary. The mirrored sides are a little bit repetitive but each is split into a separate bag so that parts are not confused. When finished, the box seems pretty solid. Despite it being quite heavy, I had no worries about carrying it by the sturdy handle which is cleverly integrated into the structure of the box.


The front flips down and each side folds open to reveal several different “stages” where you can pose the various minifigures while you make your music 'VIDIYO'. 


One thing I did find delightful early on in the build was how well the plate with double curved top 1x1 brick (49307) added to it provided exactly the same profile as this Plate Special 1 x 2 with Pin Hole on Top (11458). They sit next to each other to provide the hinge mechanism for the fold-down front flap. It had never occurred to me before how well they would match up, but I should have known it would be perfectly within the System that our clever Danish friends have devised.


And talking of the front flap, that is where the new 1x5 plate is used to strengthen the underside of the run of a 1x3 plate between two Plate Special 1 x 2 with Pin Hole on Bottom (18677) pointing in opposite directions. Couldn't they have used a 1x2 and 1x3 plate instead? Or even Technic Plate 1 x 5 with Smooth Ends, 4 Studs and Centre Axle Hole (32124) in its place? Perhaps for an AFOL’s MOC that would have been perfectly acceptable, but we know that LEGO have exacting high standards when it comes to build stability, so perhaps this was the excuse they needed to finally release a 1x5 plate after almost 60 years? At New Elementary, we love new elements, so we are definitely not complaining about that!


I was disappointed by a couple of aspects of the finished boombox, however. The rear has quite large gaps at each end where the click hinges are attached, and an even bigger gaping hole in the middle! I know you need to get hold of the rear doors somehow, but I think having this large vertical slot looks pretty ugly. And if you are storing any of the minifigures or other accessories in the box while in transit, they are very likely to fall out of this hole if you’re not careful! I wasn’t keen on the unsightly stripe of white plate which breaks up the side walls either.


But even that wasn’t as annoying as the use of Dark Bluish Gray SNOT bricks on the front of the boombox, used to attach the large macaroni bricks which surround the speakers. They break up the colour of the sides with a jarring block at the front edge, and you can also see a small triangle of the wrong colour poking out from behind the middle of each macaroni on the front. Why not use black? They are perfectly common and it would have finished things off so much better.

Play Features


I have not tested the Augmented Reality aspect of play with this Boombox, as it is not available yet (and New Elementary’s readers are mainly interested in hearing about the new parts which the set might offer anyway). But from the various depictions in the instruction booklet, it’s clear that each of the rotating speaker stacks will provide different effects in the app depending on how they are set in the real world. In this picture, I have attempted to show all the variations by turning each stack to a half-set position. The large head above the musical notes in the centre also has two more positions to choose behind the ones shown.


When your aspiring minifigure rock stars need a break, they can relax for a bit backstage. The rear doors open to reveal a comfy sofa, large screen TV and a table with snacks on top which can all be brought outside for easier access during play. The two side cubby holes are pretty hard to get adult fingers inside, but I assume kids with smaller hands will not have such problems. One final point is that all those shiny black bricks are really good at picking up the slightest bit of dust or fingerprints, so you may have to get your polishing cloths out to keep this boombox looking spick and span!

Conclusion

The Boombox is the largest set in this wave of the VIDIYO theme, which is due for release on 1 June 2021, and in North America on 1 August. (The new Bandmates will be available from 1 October.) The pricing will be £89.99 / US$99.99 / € 99.99 for 996 pieces, giving an average price to part cost of 9p / 10c. The piece count seems to be slightly on the low side when compared to other sets at this price point, but you do end up with a substantial model which does not feel like bad value for money once built. The play features, especially when using the set in conjunction with the app, will keep kids amused for a while. AFOLs will be more interested in the parts, and on that criterion it scores quite well, with a good mix of useful bricks plus some interesting or rare recolours. The minifigures are particularly good, with some fun characters, excellent graphic designs and great quality printing. 


We have the rest of the sets in the current release as well, and we will be reviewing them in the near future, as well as taking a deeper look at the new elements which first appeared in the BeatBoxes. If you're buying this set, or anything from LEGO.com, please 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'.

READ MORE: Which recent LEGO® sets have the most new parts?

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14 comments:

  1. Great to see a 1x5 plate, even though the other 1x5 (with rounded corners) had become a solution thanks to the nipple tile (for its center).

    The 66857, I so wish it had been half of that part. Would have been much more useful but.. they made it for prints I assume.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, in its first usage last year in the Super Mario sets it was used for faces and signage—two things that benefit from not being split down the middle.

      If you're going unprinted you can achieve the look of half of this part with 1x1 quarter-circle tiles and 1x2 tiles, though of course something like that won't be "locked" together so only works built onto a larger surface.

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  2. Good review! I really like the look of these sets. The figures maintain the high standard of quality of the ones from the previous sets, and the builds themselves seem to have great designs even with the app-integrated features, much like the Hidden Side sets before them. I especially like that, rather than just being "facades", each of the sets includes "backstage" detail as well, that helps give the characters in the theme a little more context beyond just the performances!

    Of the various stages, this one might be one of the most unique, being able to fold into a carry case of sorts (disappointing to learn that the gaps in the back could compromise that function a bit) and featuring not one but four different "genres" that you can switch between. That said, I do wonder if that might dilute its appeal a bit compared to the strong theming and unique looks of some of the other, genre-specific stages, and I can't help but hope that if the theme continues some of the genres that don't get stages of their own but are included here (ETDM, Tropicon, and Monster Metal) might get additional sets with a more focused aesthetic.

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  3. Btw, they had a chance to make that guitar for Adventure Time's Marceline years ago, too bad.

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  4. I'm surprised the 1x5 plate wasn't introduced with the Speed Champions theme, it seems potentially very useful for that sort of tight building.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It may have been; often the first theme to feature a new mould is not the theme that introduced it. I've heard the Ford double pack from Speed champs contains the 1x5 in Black, so indeed it could be them. Also, Minecraft apparently has it in Tan... another possibility.

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    2. Makes sense. The designer interview with Christopher Stamp didn't mention it, but that could have been an oversight or simply keeping it a fun secret for us to discover.

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    3. It is used in the Ford Bronco

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  5. 'Tile 2 x 2 with Groove in Medium Lilac/ Dark Purple' technically isn't new, it appeared in the Super Mario CMF S2 Spiny Cheep Cheep with a barcode sticker.

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    Replies
    1. good luck getting that off :D

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    2. They come off pretty easily with the careful use of a razor blade between the tile and sticker.

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    3. @Tim Johnson:
      Oh, getting stickers _off_ of a part is never a problem, provided you don't care about saving the sticker. Slather some peanut butter on it, or spray it down with Goo Gone, and it'll cut right through the adhesive. Use citrus degreaser to help clean up the resulting mess, and mild soapy water to clean up _that_ mess. It's a lot of work, but you will absolutely get all the sticker goo off the part.

      Delete