In what appears to be a true marriage between its consumer products and mobile divisions, Disney has launched a line of Appmates mobile app toys that allow kids to turn an iPad screen into a virtual play mat.
Available next month, the Appmates toy line features miniature Disney Pixar Cars 2 vehicles with sensors on the base of each toy that are recognized as a footprint by a coinciding and free-to-play app. Game play is offered via directed and exploratory formats, where kids can perform missions unique to their vehicle and collect hubcaps that allow them to personalize each car with special features, such as a unique horn sound.
Created in collaboration with Spin Master, the Appmates toys will be available starting October 1 at the Apple Store, Apple Store online, Disney Store and DisneyStore.com. A US$20 vehicle two-pack features four characters including Lightning McQueen, Tow Mater, Finn McMissile and Holley Shiftwell. Two additional characters will launch in November and be available exclusively through Apple Store and Apple Store online.
The concept of using tablets for real-life game play isn’t necessarily novel, but the Disney toy tie-in undoubtedly opens new doors for branding and monetary opportunities, especially when tied to free apps.