Disney intros Appmates Mobile Application Toys, lets kids use Apple iPad as virtual play mat (with video)

In an industry first, Disney introduced today Disney AppMates Mobile Application Toys, a new toy line that comes to life digitally when used with an Apple iPad by allowing kids to use the tablet’s screen as a virtual play mat. Developed in collaboration between Disney Consumer Products (DCP) and Disney Mobile and featuring patent-pending technology, the Appmates toy line features miniature Disney•Pixar Cars 2 vehicles with sensors on the base of each toy that are recognized as a unique footprint by an app with no cable or Bluetooth connection required. Simply download the free Cars 2Appmates app from the iTunes app store, place your favorite Appmates toy character on the screen and play.

“We have cracked the technology code in changing the way kids play with their toys,” said Sunny Lauridsen, director of digital toys for DCP, in the press release. “Kids will always use toys to play out their favorite Disney stories, but Disney Appmates now allows them to include technology which has become a way of life for them through a beautifully rich app.”

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 2Appmates 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.

“We believe iPad is becoming a critical canvas for the next generation of storytelling, and with Appmates we’re bringing Disney characters to life in a way never previously imagined,” said Bart Decrem, general manager of Disney Mobile, in the press release.

Cars 2 Appmates features include:

• Exploration – Drive around the world of Radiator Springs to discover landscapes and hidden secrets by simply placing the Cars toy character on the screen and turning it in any direction. Drive through mud and up ramps, visit friends at Flo’s V8 Café or check out your Car’s reflection, showing off your latest gear and gadgets.

• Directed Game Play – Perform missions unique to each character. Completed missions – like helping bring a tow hook back to Mater – gain hubcaps, the virtual currency. Collect enough hubcaps to personalize each car with special features like a unique horn sound, customized tire tracks, and cool gear like a rocket launcher or spy vision goggles.

• Racing – Rev up the action by racing against World Grand Prix opponents and your Radiator Springs friends. Five racetracks are available at launch. Race around Willy’s Butte, jump off Carburetor Mesa and roar through downtown Radiator Springs earning hubcaps in day or night races.

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.

Created in collaboration with Spin Master, Disney Appmates toys are available starting Oct. 1 at national retailers, Apple Store, Apple Store online, Disney Store and DisneyStore.com with vehicle two-packs (SRP $19.99) featuring four characters including Lightning McQueen, Tow Mater, Finn McMissile, and Holley Shiftwell. Two additional characters – Francesco Bernoulli and Shu Todoroki – will launch in November and be available exclusively through Apple Store and Apple Store online.

With dominant market share, the Apple iPad has become the leading tablet and a shared family device. Just in time for the holiday season, DCP will also introduce an expanded line of ‘appcessory’ products to engage and inspire creativity with kids using the iPad. Products include a durable and protective iPad case featuring a Disney•Pixar Cars design (SRP $49.99); Disney Pix Camera that allows kids to take their own pictures and connect them back to the iPad to personalize photos and create albums (SRP $79.99); and Disney Spotlight mic that gives kids a fun way to sing along – karaoke style – with their favorite Disney music (SRP $59.99 wired mic, $99.99 wireless mic).

Source: The Walt Disney Company

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Brawndo Drinker” and “Nathan” for the heads up.]


  1. that’s pretty cool, going to have to check them out. hopefully they aren’t some insane price.

    MS did something like this with kinectimals but it was $60 for the game with one animal and $40 for each additional toy animal you buy in the store and get an unlock code. lost all interest after i heard the MS marketing drone mention that in the E3 demo

  2. How many times have you seen kids between 1-3 take toys and smash them together? I can imagine parents complaining of cracked screens after their kid whacked it with one of disney’s toys.

    1. i have a 4 year old as well. he uses the ipad 2 more than i do and knows the iOS 4 folder structure while my wife can’t figure it out

      in fact i broke the ipad one time and he is more careful than i am

        1. dropped it while in a good case and the glass shatters on the concrete. drop my HTC Inspire which is without a case on concrete and it survived with a small scratch on the back

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