Lego Bricks Come Alive – By  Geoffrey A. Fowler Updated Jan. 4, 2017 12:41 a.m. ET


Lego Boost kits, launching in the second half of 2017, bring motors, sensors and the basics of coding to the beloved building sets.

Lego’s latest educational kits, dubbed Boost, combine moving parts and computer programming for children as young as 7. WSJ’s Geoffrey A. Fowler checked it out before its January debut at CES 2017 in Las Vegas. Photo: Emily Prapuolenis/The Wall Street Journal

Beloved bricks, meet Generation Code.

Lego A/S pulled back the curtains Wednesday on an update to its classic building toy at the CES tech confab in Las Vegas.

Dubbed Lego Boost, the new kits bring brick creations to life with simple motors and sensors while teaching the basics of programming.

LEGO's new Boost system, for children age 7 and older, features motors and sensors that attach to creations, such as this cat, and enable them to move, or in this case, meow.ENLARGE

LEGO’s new Boost system, for children age 7 and older, features motors and sensors that attach to creations, such as this cat, and enable them to move, or in this case, meow. Photo: Emily Prapuolenis/The Wall Street Journal

Unlike Lego’s more-complex Mindstorms systems, which are used in schools to teach robotics, the Boost system was designed for children as young as age 7, and feels closer to the classic brick experience.

After getting a brief chance to play with them, I can report the new kits might delight an older demographic, too, particularly parents who want to spark an interest in coding.

Some assembly is required—these are Lego bricks, after all, sold in kits of about 850 pieces each. Children can choose from five different versions. My favorite was Vernie, a bowtie-clad robot with amazing moving eyebrows. There’s also a cat, a space rover, a factory and a guitar.

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