Parents embrace ‘phygital’ play for kids’ futures

LEGO study finds toys that blend physical, traditional play with digital enhancement are seen as ‘more fun’ and better for kids’ development by kids and parents

Written by Rhys Thomas

Posted 05.11.2019 | Products

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Two thirds of British kids have more fun when playing with digital toys such as VTech’s Kidizoom range and LEGO Hidden Side, according to a new study from the toy brickmaker.

The new report investigates the fusion of physical and digital play – dubbed phygital by LEGO – and surveyed 500 UK adults and 500 UK children aged between seven and 10 about their experiences playing with both physical toys and digital toys.

toy play was found to enable the most imagination for children. Over half (60 per cent) of kids stated that physical toys allow them to be more imaginative and it was found that over two-thirds (68 per cent) would like to see more toys mix the digital and physical world.

The survey also found that parents are beginning to embrace the benefits of toys that blend physical and digital play, with almost half saying their kids’ problem-solving skill shave improved as a result.


British parents were also found to be receptive to both physical and digital toys. A third feel digital toys help prepare children for the future, while 40 per cent feel it helps build their child’s creativity. A quarter would like to see more toys merge play with digital or app elements, allowing their children to get the best of both worlds.

In response to this trend, LEGO Hidden Side marks the first time the company introduces one of its play themes that blends physical and digital play with the release of an AR-enabled smartphone app alongside classic LEGO bricks, allowing kids to have a hand in both worlds. The app experience will continue to expand with the addition of new ghosts, new game challenges and gameplay, giving longevity and freshness to the experience, every time kids play.

Marius Lang, Head of Marketing for the UK and Ireland, says: “We’ve always been focused on inspiring and developing the creativity of the builders of tomorrow and we believe that ‘phygital’ play is a new, innovative way of doing so, blending our traditional bricks that sit at the core of everything we do with an innovative new solution.

“LEGO Hidden Side is a totally new, experience-driven, story-supported play theme that blurs the lines between physical and digital play. It is the only play experience available today that seamlessly fuses augmented reality with physical constructions.”

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