The days when kids head outside and play are officially over. And who do we have to thank for that? Disney.
Okay, so that’s complete hyperbole, but when you get a load of their Appmates Mobile Application Toys you’ll start to understand what we’re getting at.
The car toys are designed to be driven across the screen of the iPad, literally, and the accompanying app interacts according to their movements. In other words the iPad becomes a virtual play mat, so gone are the days of sand boxes and “forts”.
The app, Cars 2 Appmates, is free, but the cars, which come in two packs, cost $19.99. And like any good toy maker Disney has plans to roll out additional versions of the cars, though they’ll start with 4, selling October 1st at major retailers including Apple, and they’ll add two more in November. Each toy will unlock new content. Before you buy, you can download the free app and test it out with your finger, though the full experience, otherwise know as magic happens when you buy the toys.
They’ll of course spin this tech off into other products that do what else…promote their movies. Cash cow? You bet your ass it is. The toys don’t interact with the screen using Bluetooth or cable. Instead Disney has outfitted the bottom of the cars with a sensor, which probably isn’t any more than a magnetic tip that allows the iPad to detect their presence.
Kids will guide the cars over the iPad, which will display a set of roads depicting Radiator Springs, which we believe is the town in “Cars 2”. There they’ll be able to engage in a variety of options and games. This includes an exploration mode, which allows them to discover secret spots, discover landscapes and even see a virtual reflection of their car. There will also be a directed game play mode requiring your tots to complete missions for each character and collect hub caps (the virtual currency) that can be exchanged for car mods such as a new horn, customized tire racks, rocket launcher (what?) and more. Lastly, they’ll be able to engage in a race. The winner will be awarded with hub caps.