Lego Boost, our favorite robot kit for kids, is about to get a whole new bag of tricks. Due out in the second half of the year for $39.99, the Ninjago Stormbringer gives you the pieces necessary to build a robotic dragon, which you can program using an updated version of the Boost app. There will also be a second Boost-compatible kit based on the Lego City theme.
At Toy Fair 2018, Lego had the dragon, which combines pieces from the set with components from the Lego Boost Starter Set, on display. The electronic pieces -- the Move Hub, the motor and the color sensor -- were all from the Start Set, but the head, tail and legs all came from the Ninjago set. There were also three minifigs of Ninjago characters.
The company also had a beta version of the Boost app running on an iPad. Using Boost's standard system of block-based programming, we were able to make the dragon move its head and roar by launching one set set of code.
Other blocks of code enable the color sensor to detect which minfigure you place on top of the dragon. Placing the black-robed ninja on top of the dragon caused it to perform a set of motions while the blue-robed ninja was set to cause different actions.
Lego said that the Ninjago Stormbringer will also be able to respond to being petted, answer questions when it detects a voice and fire missiles. The company did not have a demo of the Lego City set, which will work with Boost, and didn't have many details about it.
Duplo Steam Train Teaches Two Year Olds to Code
Young kids love trains and blocks so what better way to teach them a very-basic programming concept. Due out later this year for $59.99, the Duplo Steam Train shows children ages two and up how to use commands, a simple but important idea for coding.
The set comes with a circular track that it rolls around on. You can place a series of command blocks on the track, which the train will scan as it passes over them. The blocks cause the train to stop, change directions, turn on its light or play a sound.
There's also a mobile app which you can use to control the train. A on-screen Lego conductor responds when kids tickle him or pull the virtual switches in the UI.