Toys And Video-Games Create New Ways To Play At New York Toy Fair
Toys and video games used to be and either-or choice. Now there are many ways in which they overlap and interact with each other. At the New York Toy Fair this week there have been some interesting examples of toys and games working together to benefit the player:
The ThingMaker project from Mattel comes with a free app that enables children to design their own toys and games. By picking the objects from a list like you would in a video game you can then drag and drop them together to create all manner of three dimensional toys. Once you have completed your design you can send it to teh ThingMaker 3D Printer to see it emerge in real life.
Another way video games are influencing toys is a cross over in play. As we mentioned recently a popular item in this category is the Minecraft flying drone. This takes one of the classic flying characters from Minecraft and recreates it in physical flying form. It floats around just like it does in the game and extends play and story telling beyond the screen to the physical world.
Mixels are Lego characters than have their own TV show and video game apps. At the toy fair a new set of Mixels was revealed for Season 9 and Season 8. These characters got a warm reception and will be appearing in the game and show shortly.
Finally, a new Drone toy – the Hover Racer – extends the features of the flying toy to a video-game. Players control the Drone with a tablet app. There’s nothing unusual there until you realise the app also sets missions, enables players to upgrade their drone ship with improved performance and weapons. There’s even a two player mode where one person shoots down missiles and the other controls the drone itself.