One of the biggest complaints parents have about their kids these days is that they spend all their time sitting around on the couch. These days, entertainment for kids is largely in the form of video games, whether they're on a traditional console (Xbox/PlayStation), a PC, a smartphone or some other handheld device. But what if there was something that took play back into the physical world, allowing kids to play superhero, shoot bad guys and sneak through forests, all from their living room or backyard?
That's where Disney's new Playmation line of toys come in.
These toys utilize the latest advancements in wearable technology to bring a digital component to real-world play. The first set is themed around the "Avengers" franchise, but "Star Wars" and "Frozen" are coming in the years to follow.
The wearable gauntlets (which fit on adults too, yay) are Bluetooth enabled, have gesture recognition and even have cloud connectivity, so the story can update as the player progresses through their mission.
When a user puts on the toy and presses "start," characters such as JARVIS from "Iron Man" will walk them through a tutorial and then provide a mission briefing. During missions, JARVIS may tell you to tiptoe or to hide from a passing bad guy, which helps engage the child's imagination. Top-notch audio quality doesn't hurt the illusion, either.
As you progress through the missions, you can unlock other characters (sold separately, of course).
The first Playmation Marvel’s “Avengers” Starter Pack retails for $119.99 and includes a wearable repulsor gauntlet, two activator hubs and two smart figurines - one superhero (Captain America) and one super villain (Iron Skull).
The activator hubs are what help the game and the missions come to life. This is where the user must point and shoot at bad guys to score points and also where the smart figurines are placed to unlock new characters and missions.
Pricing for additional figurines has not been released yet.
The fact that the missions are audio-based instead of relying on visuals (like video games do) gives children an opportunity to be creative and sparks their imaginations. Kids can, however, link their toys to an accompanying app, where they can see scores and unlock new shields and superpowers.
Check out the official video to see more:
At the end of the day, this is a win for kids who want a cool, fun, high-tech toy, as well as for parents who want to make sure their kids enjoy some physical play and not just stay glued to a couch all day long.