Toys and electronics are mixing more than ever these days. That’s why toy robot maker WowWee has created a new line of collectible toys, dubbed App Gear, that interact with free downloaded apps for smartphones and tablets.
At the Consumer Electronics Show this week in Las Vegas, WowWee is showing off more of its recently introduced App Gear line, extending the idea of connecting apps with traditional toys to create something called “amplified reality.” You can expect to see a lot more of this blending of real-world toys and digital apps in the years ahead.
Rather than take a backseat to the digital experience of video games, toys can help enhance it, according to WowWee, which produces the Robosapien robot toys and Paper Jamz electronic toy guitars.
App Gear toys will give retailers a piece of the app pie, with toys selling for $9.99 to $19.99. The goal is to get beyond the gimmick and make the toys true parts of the games. App Gear products work with all of the iOS and Android mobile devices.
Rivals include toys such as Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure from Activision Blizzard and the Appmates mobile app toys from Disney. AppToyz also recently launched an AppBlaster toy gun that uses plastic extensions to tap the screen of an iPhone when you fire. The game inserts creatures to shoot at into the environment as you move around a room.
One of the newest App Gear toys is Akodomon, where kids starts out with a collectible kid monster, a terrarium and an environment marker piece. The users can see the animated creature come to life on screen. You can raise your creature, teach it to play, shape its personality and evolve it into a unique interactive character. You can play against other players and purchase upgrades for the app via micro transactions. You can go online and share your unique creation in the online part of the app.
Every App Gear toy will connect or interact with the free downloaded app. Collectible figures, interactive play sets and customizable toys will be included with each pack.