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New toys, iPad app allow you to cruise Radiator Springs September 27, 2011

Posted by Ron Warnick in Movies, Video games.
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A new Disney toy line and an Apple iPad app allow you or your kids to cruise the fictional Route 66 town of Radiator Springs as portrayed in the Disney-Pixar films “Cars” and “Cars 2,” according to Mashable Entertainment.

From the report:

The new toys, called Disney Appmates, interact directly with a free app for the iPad that brings them to life.

The first toys in the Appmates series are from Pixar’s Cars. Twin packs of toy autos — each representing a character from the popular film series — will be available in stores for about $20. […]

Each plastic car has specially designed capacitive sensors on the bottom. Once placed on the iPad, these sensors provide the app with information about what character the car represents (each pattern of sensors slightly different) and where it is on the screen.

The app then adjusts itself to match the position of the car and to speak and interact with the character. The voices from Cars and Cars 2 are a nice touch. Kids can freely explore the area around Radiator Springs and Route 66 during the day and at night.

In addition to a free play mode, kids can also compete in races and complete missions. This earns them coins that outfit their cars with power-ups, special tires and different kinds of fuel. The coins are virtual only — no in-app purchase or real currency exchange takes place — and Disney tells us it is still exploring how it might offer add-on levels or additional items.

Here a video that demonstrates the app:

Mashable’s writer said she was “shocked” with how well the toys interacted with the game on the iPad’s screen.

Appmates works only on the iPad 2 for now because of the game’s hefty processor and memory requirements. But future editions of the game will allow it to work with first-generation iPads as well.

(Photo courtesy of Disney)

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