Disney kids’ toys just became even more entertaining.
The new Playmation line of kids’ toys is not expected to be released in stores until October 2015, but the buzz is already growing about the new game that some are hailing as Toys To Motion. The system combines Bluetooth technology with motion sensors and wearable tech to engage kids in a play experience that just became more interactive than ever. The starter pack, priced at $120 US, comes with Iron Man’s wearable armor – specifically, his laser-blasting sleeve, two action figures and two smart toys. The catch with this line of kids’ toys is that kids no longer are stuck to their tablets or laptops and neither are adults; the Iron Man sleeve is big enough to fit an adult arm. This has delighted some adults as well.
A Star Wars-themed set of the kids’ toys are due to hit store shelves in 2016, which would make it an effective movie merchandising tie-in as the new Star Wars film bows in December 2015, while a Frozen-themed set comes out in 2017. The toys interact with a base station and guide kids through a series of stories or allow them to go through a loose adventure all on their own.
Not everyone is a big fan of this type of wearable technology, though. While Playmation is touted as a way for Digital Age children to get off the couch, there have been privacy concerns of late regarding smart toys as evidenced by Mattel’s recent “Hello Barbie;” an internet-connected doll that allows children to speak to Barbie and receive a range of responses. Boston’s Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood called the toy “Eavesdropping Barbie” and because of the privacy concerns, Disney says it has worked hard to address privacy issues. This has resulted in the Playmation system not needing an internet tether to operate.
Of course, there are individuals – such as MEGA Movie Man Mark – who have come out with what they claim is an “honest” version of what the toy promotes.
This package of kids’ toys is also likely to cost kids and their parents far more than the initial $120 US expenditure. There are other figures you can purchase in the collection and with plans for the other packs coming in 2016 and 2017, it is likely that this Toys To Motion genre of kids’ toys could get rather pricey in the long run.
Disney is hopeful that the new line of kids’ toys will prove fruitful. The development of the system was done inside the House of Mouse in partnership with Hasbro, with testing done largely by kids. There are concerns that Playmation may further fragment a market already abundant with Infinity, Skylanders and the soon to be released Lego Dimensions, but Disney has only seen its profit line continue to improve. It is suspected that these kids’ toys will only serve to continue to bolster the market.
(Photo courtesy of The Disney Sisters)