In early 2015, Google acquired Launchpad Toys, the startup behind the acclaimed children’s storytelling apps Toontastic and TeleStory. A couple of years later, the company has released what appears to be the first app to come out of that acquisition: a new and improved version of Toontastic, called Toontastic 3D.
Like the original app, Toontastic 3D lets kids tell stories using cartoons that they can draw and animate. But unlike its predecessor, which produces 2-D cartoons that look like paper cutouts, Toontastic 3D results in cartoons that are, as its name suggests, rendered in blocky 3-D.
Toontastic 3D features a wide array of preset characters and environments which kids can use for their stories. There are astronauts, pirates, ordinary citizens, robots, animals, mystical creatures, and more. There’s the classroom, the forest, the far reaches of space, Atlantis, and other settings. Kids can even make themselves part of the story by adding their photos and putting their faces on certain characters, which they can also customize with their favorite colors.
Directed by you
Toontastic 3D also lets kids design their very own characters using 3-D drawing tools. Whether preset or personalized, the characters just have to be moved around onscreen as kids tell their stories, and Toontastic 3D records the animation, soundtrack, and narration. The app supports three story arcs: the three-part short story (beginning, middle, end), the five-part classic story (setup, conflict, challenge, climax, resolution), and the five-part science report (research question, hypothesis, experiment, results, conclusion). Whatever the chosen arc, the resulting 3-D video can be exported to the device library for easy sharing with family and friends.
The original Toontastic was already a great app, but Toontastic 3D is even better. With a more appealing visual style, and a more impressive assemblage of tools and options, it makes telling stories and fostering creativity with cartoons a breeze for kids and even kids at heart. It’s great to see Google making good on its acquisition of Launchpad Toys.
We hope the app will empower kids to imagine, invent and explore while developing skills for the creative jobs of tomorrow—whether they dream of becoming a filmmaker, a teacher, a designer, a cartoonist, or just want to explore the boundaries of their imaginations.- Google
Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, Toontastic 3D is out now on the App Store for free, with no in-app purchases. Note that the original Toontastic is no longer available.
Download Toontastic 3D
Download TeleStory, an augmented reality camera that lets kids record their own TV shows