Disney’s new line of AppMATes Mobile Application Toys is now available at retail stores nationwide. The toys and Cars 2 AppMATes app turn the iPad 2 into your very own virtual play mat. We’re so impressed with this toy+app combination, we think it could be the 2011 toy of the year.
Developed by Disney Consumer Products (DCP) and Disney Mobile, the AppMATes toy line features miniature Disney Pixar Cars 2 vehicles that interact with the iPad through the use of sensors. Each car, which cost $20 for a two-pack or $13 separately, work exclusively through the free app, which was released this week in the App Store.
We were lucky enough to get our hands on Lightning McQueen this morning at our local Target store. After playing around with the AppMATe for about 90 minutes, with and without a four-year-old, we’re convinced this could become the must-have toy of the 2011 holiday shopping season.
Yes, it’s that cool.
After taking the AppMATe out of its box, simply place it on the middle of the iPad before beginning the app. After a lengthy introductory video (which only plays once), the fun begins. Almost immediately, the app recognizes the AppMATe you’re using and welcomes that user (or rather, car) accordingly.
Before actually beginning a race, the app provides step-by-step instructions. These steps require user interaction, which proves quite useful for young and old players alike. Then, it’s off to the races.
The journey begins in Radiator Springs. Cruise around town as it comes to life when used with the AppMATes toy. Visit old friends like Ramone, Sheriff, and Fillmore and stores like Flo’s V-8 Café or Luigi’s Casa Della Tires. Watch as day turns to night and your car’s headlights glow!
Race for the checkered flag or take on missions. Try tractor tipping or cactus crashing. Earn trophies and collect hubcaps. Players can even challenge the famous racecourse at Willy’s Butte!
Dozens of gadgets and upgrades to customize your AppMATes toys. Add new tires, new paint, new horns and more. Choose spy gadgets like missiles or add wings and fly through town!
APPMATES TOYS SUPER-CHARGE THE EXPERIENCE!
The toys and app work together seamlessly to unlock a world of adventure. Choose from Lightning McQueen, Mater, Holley Shiftwell, and Finn McMissile. Check your favorite retailer for AppMATes toys.
Don’t have a toy? Take “Paper Lightning” for a test drive.
AppMATes toys are available at national retailers, Apple Store, Apple Store online, Disney Store and DisneyStore.com with vehicle two-packs 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.
Our recommendation: Buy the cars today. There is no telling how long they’ll remain in stock. And then enjoy!
The Cars 2 AppMATes app is available now in the App Store.