Growing up, children often dream about being their favorite superheroes. Now Disney has brought these fantasies somewhat closer to reality.
Disney Consumer Products unveiled Playmation Tuesday, a new line of toys and wearable devices that use smart technology. Playmation will launch with a Marvel's Avengers Starter Pack that includes a replica of Iron Man's repulsor glove, two Power Activators and two action figures, Captain America and Iron Skull.
With Playmation, Disney is hoping to cater to kids' growing interest in digital toys while at the same time getting them to step away from their screens and be active in their play. Playmation does this by connecting the repulsor to the Power Activators and figurines in order to take the wearer on virtual adventures throughout the Marvel Universe, including the Avengers Lab in New York and the jungles of Wakanda. And yes, JARVIS is even there to take you through the tutorial and get you all set up.
Playmation also includes multiplayer modes that allow users to sync with friends and team up to battle villains or face off with one another, although the devices don't require an Internet connection to work. The AvengersNet app will also launch simultaneously with Playmation, allowing users to access new characters, locations and missions. Additional Avengers Smart Figures will also be available for purchase separately at the time of Playmation's launch.
Playmation seems to be like a next-level Disney Infinity, which Disney Interactive launched in August 2013 and that uses smart action figures of characters from across the company's properties to connect with consoles for gameplay. But with Playmation, the smart technology helps put the wearer in the game in real life instead of having it just play out on a screen. It makes you wonder if Disney's entrance into the VR game could be far behind at this point.
Unsurprisingly, Disney's other currently huge franchises will be getting the Playmation treatment, including a Star Wars version set to hit stores in 2016, followed by a Frozen edition in 2017.
Pre-order for the Playmation Marvel's Avengers Starter Pack, which will retail for $119.99, begins July 7, and it will officially launch in the United States and Canada in October.
Update: Tech Times got a demo of one of the 25 missions users can experience with the Playmation Iron Man glove at a Disney press event during CE Week in New York June 23. After the Iron Man glove connects to the activator, users can place the Iron Skull action figure on it to help Captain America defeat this villain. With the Iron Man glove on your hand, you can shoot a pulse bolt with a thumb trigger, launch missiles with a deploy button on top of the device, a feature that can be customized to perform up to 40 different abilities earned during gameplay, and set off a palm cannon by flicking your wrist up.
The glove contains an accelerometer that tracks the wearer’s movements. Completing the missions can require performing all sorts of activities, from running to walking slowly to dodging attacks from enemies. If the user does get hit by an enemy, he or she will be able to physically feel it due to a motor inside the device.
Watch Disney Playmation’s Director of User Experience and Product Management Afsoun Yazdian demo what users can expect from a Playmation mission in the video below.