Disney to Release ‘Appmates’ Interactive Toys and Apps for iPad

All Things D reported yesterday on Disney’s upcoming Appmates toys and apps that will turn the iPad into an interactive game board. Scheduled to debut in October, the first set of toys and a companion iPad app will revolve around the characters of Cars 2, Pixar’s animated hit movie.

The Appmates iPad app will turn it into a virtual gameboard that will sense the toys on the iPad’s screen. Disney described the app’s features in its press release as follows:

  • 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.

A demo video shows the game in action:

The apps will be free to download while the toy cars will be sold in pairs for $20, with four cars available at release and two more to follow in November.

While Appmates are certainly on the innovative side, you may hesitate to hand over your $499+ iPad to your child to play with. And once you do, you probably won’t see it much from that point on.