LEGO has prided itself on keeping up with the advances of technology even as they maintain their original and iconic building block products. They’ve even made strides at integrating the old and new together, with product add-ons like Power Functions motors or the introductory computer programming potential of LEGO Mindstorms. But LEGO believes they can take the programming element to even younger ages with their products, and this Tuesday, August 28, LEGO announced Coding Express, a set intended for 3 to 4-year-olds that comprises a basic train set, a station, and an elementary coding system to make the train go.
Of course, much like similar toy lines that have made inroads in integrating programming with electronic mechanical motion, LEGO Coding Express only features completed pre-programmed actions, which the kids only need to put together. The beauty part is that the programs are coded to the train set’s colored rail tracks.
In addition to the rails, children playing with LEGO Coding Express also put colored bars that contain specific instructions for the train. Green elements make it go, yellow causes it to slow, red means stop, and blue makes the train toot its horn for instance.
Alternatively, the Coding Express programming can be changed around in an app, where the train can be swapped out for a LEGO caterpillar that changes its emotions depending on what colored block it ran over. The physical block set is based on the early-childhood Duplo sub-brand, for easier building too.
For the curious, the LEGO Coding Express set isn’t a retail item and can only be purchased online on their Education product portal. Check it out here along with other Education-branded products for your consideration.