What do Hot Wheels, Batman, WWE, Cut the Rope, Fruit Ninja and Angry Birds all have in common? They have all become what Mattel hopes to be the hot iPad toy accessories this year. With the tablet market showing no signs of slowing down and with kids being more tech savvy than ever, the market is ripe for the integration of toy meets iPad.
Apptivity games work like this. After downloading the iPad apps (most are free), you can start interacting the physical toy with the iPad. For example, with Hot Wheels, the physical toy is a Hot Wheels car. It looks very similar to an actual Hot Wheels car, with the exception that the cars (and all other Apptivity toys) are made with conductive plastic so that it won’t scratch or harm the iPad screen.
At the recent launch of Apptivity, I got to try my hand at the Hot Wheels and Fruit Ninja games. I have to be honest that I did not have much luck getting my Hot Wheels car racing, so admittedly I was a bit disappointed. However, back home, it didn’t take my 9 year old son long to figure out how the game worked. Soon he was equipping his car with extras such as rocket launchers, drift tires, wings and armor. As you race, you’ll earn coins which can be used to purchase upgrades for your vehicle. There are 9 mini games in all, some of which can only be unlocked by purchasing specific upgrades. I got to admit, the games were entertaining, whether you were racing, avoiding lava, jumping across the canyon or shooting mutant bugs.
The Apptivity version of Fruit Ninja is a 2 player game, where one person is playing with the physical Sensei toy tossing fruits and bombs from a conveyor belt to the second player who is slicing and dicing fruit in the traditional way of the game. This format brings a fresh perspective to the hit game and kids will have fun taking turns playing Sensei. The Sensei Apptivity toy works with the Fruit Ninja HD app, so if you already have it downloaded, you’re set to go. Otherwise, the app is currently priced at $2.99.
Both the Batman and WWE Rumblers games are free iPad downloads and you play in character as Batman and one of the famous WWE Rumblers. In Cut the Rope, you play as Om Nom as you try to feed him as much candy as possible by moving Om Nom around the screen of raining candy. Like Fruit Ninja, if you already have Cut the Rope HD downloaded on the iPad, this additional mode is available once you purchase the Cut the Rope Apptivity toy. Angry Birds plays with a King Pig toy that will grant you access to 4 new modes on the Angry Birds HD app, one of which changes the birds into pigs and the pigs into eggs (take a second to think about this). The remainder of the game, it appears, plays the same.
As a mother of 2, I can certainly see the appeal of the Apptivity line of toys. They are portable, light weight and small, which sure comes in handy whether traveling or waiting at the doctor’s office. If you have plans for a long car or plane journey and are looking for something new to keep the kids from asking “Are we there yet?”, the Apptivity toys are guaranteed to give you some peace and quiet.
The Apptivity line of toys start at $14.99 (Canadian) and are aimed at kids ages 4+. It is compatible with the iPad, iPad 2 and the new iPad.
Images: Mattel, Inc.