Disney is introducing a very cool new line of toys today to turn your Apple iPad into a “virtual play mat” – Disney AppMATes Mobile Application Toys. The first version will be Disney*Pixar Cars 2 vehicles that have a special sensor built-in to each one to allow the toy to uniquely interact with special Disney apps.
The magic begins when kids place their vehicle on the iPad and begin to explore the world of Cars. Available for download in early to mid-October, Cars 2 Appmates app is a free app created by Disney exclusively for use with Appmates toys. By guiding the Appmates vehicle on the screen, the iPad becomes a virtual play mat where kids can experience the world of Radiator Springs.
Each toy unlocks different features and content within the app specific to the character, allowing kids to come back over and over to enjoy an imaginative, open-ended play experience using the Appmates toys. Fans can download and test the app by simply using their fingers to drive a virtual car through the world, but the play experience is optimized to come to life with the Appmates toy vehicles.
While I clearly have mixed feelings about a toy car being “driven” across my iPad’s screen, i’m sure these will be a hit. The first Cars 2 vehicle packs (MSRP $19.99) and app will be available starting October 1st.