Grab the microfiber cloth. Disney has come up with a new way for kids to use iPads. Taking advantage of children’s instinctive response to touch screens and using mobile technology, Disney Appmates toys use the iPad as a play mat, interacting with the screen via individually identifiable sensors. The first toys in the line are cars and trucks replicating characters from the Disney Pixar movie Cars 2, and they’ll go on sale Oct. 1, with the app replicating their world of Radiator Springs downloadable shortly thereafter.
The vehicles will cost $19.99 for a pack of two for $19.99, and the game app is free. No Bluetooth or cables are needed.
Kids simply put the vehicles on the screen and drive. The app enables racing and independent exploration of the virtual Radiator Springs world, plus it can be used as a game where each toy performs tasks suitable to its character and earns “hubcaps” that can be traded in for accessories like a special horn sound, tire tracks, and even gizmos like a rocket launcher or spy-vision goggles.
Disney AppMATes™ Mobile Application Toys, to use their official designation, were developed in collaboration between Disney Mobile and Disney Consumer Products along with developer Spin Master.
The first available characters will be Lightning McQueen, Tow Mater, Finn McMissile and Holley Shiftwell, with Francesco Bernoulli and Shu Todoroki becoming available exclusively through Apple Stores and Apple Store online in November.
Bart Decrem, general manager of Disney Mobile, said, “We believe iPad is becoming a critical canvas for the next generation of storytelling, and with Appmates we’re bringing Disney characters to life in a way never previously imagined.”