As classic toys get rejuvenated with iterations that allow them to work with today's technology, new games are launching that innovate the way we play with our smart devices. Common Sense Media estimates that about half of 5-8 year olds use devices like tablets and smartphones and toy manufacturers are moving with this trend to produce games that meld easily with these devices. If you want to convert your phone or tablet into a playground for your child (or even the kid in you), check out these "app-cessories" and games.
Mattel Hot Wheels Apptivity Line
At this year’s Toy Fair, Mattel introduced a new technology called Active Touch that allows an iPad to recognize when the wheels of the Apptivity Hot Wheels cars run across the screen of the tablet. The app offers three different racing games where the child (or even adult…) can zoom the cars across the screen. (Don’t worry; the wheels of the cars are made from a special material that won’t leave scratch marks.) The Apptivity line is expected to hit stores around May 2012.
$20.00 for a pack of two.
iMarker Digital Stylus and Crayola ColorStudio HD app
The iMarker Digital Stylus can be paired with Crayola’s ColorStudio HD app to turn an iPad into a digital coloring book. The stylus is the size and shape of a marker and works as a digital crayon, paintbrush, marker and pencil when combined with the ColorStudio app. The app also provides coloring pages; when the child touches the iMarker to the coloring page, the images come to life. Animated characters dance across the screen, music plays and the pictures become brighter and more colorful.
$24.99; includes iMarker and app.
For other cool and more advanced artwork apps, check out our blog post on using your tablet to get in touch with your artistic side.
Helo TC Remote Control Helicopter
Tired of losing the controller for remote control cars, helicopters and other toys? Griffin has created a remote control helicopter that works with the Helo TC app. The app pairs both iOS and Android phones with the helicopter, turning the mobile device into the controller by using infrared that plugs into the phone’s 3.5mm headphone jack and communicates with the helicopter. The phone’s touchscreen can then be tilted side-to-side, up and down and front and back to control the toy’s movements. Watch it in action in the video embedded below.
$49.99 for the helicopter; the app is free.
Hasbro zAPPed Games
Hasbro has a new concept for classic games like Game of Life, Monopoly and Battleship. These new, “zAPPed” games use technology from the French-based Volumique to bring the technology of the iPad into the middle of the game. The device sits in the center of the game board and works as a spinner, tracks cash and plays clips from America’s Funniest Home Videos to celebrate the game’s life events such as getting married or having a baby.
$24.99; Game of Life zAPPed is currently available with the other games to follow later.
Appgear Mysterious Raygun
Appgear has come up with a new product that combines a digital app with the manual dexterity of assembling ray gun parts. As aliens invade the planet, you must use the app in tandem with the gun pieces to build a weapon that can stop them. Each package comes with a different part to the ray gun that interacts with the mobile device. Different types of rays are available and each part of the gun builds on the next. The child can choose from different bodies and nozzles. Watch it in action in the video below.
Available spring 2012.