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The pricey iPad turns into a toy
_ Disney has three offerings. The “Disney Spotlight” microphone, which is $69.99 or $99.99 for a wireless version, plugs into the iPad and allows kids to sing along to Disney songs from shows such as “Hannah Montana” _ or to their own music _ and record their own music video. Disney’s $79.99 AppClix digital camera enables kids to upload their pictures to an iPad and a free app allows them add Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck into the photos. And Disney teamed up with Canadian toy maker Spin Master to create “Appmates,” a toy car based on the characters from the company’s “Car’s 2” animated movie. One car sells for $12.99 while a two-pack goes for $19.99. Using a free app, kids can “drive” on different courses by moving the car across the iPad screen.
_ Spin Master, which makes toys such as Air Hogs and Bakugan, started a new line this year of toys for the iPad and iPhone called “AppFininity.” Its first toy in the line is the $19.99 AppBlaster, a plastic gun for kids over age eight. After slipping an iPhone or iPad touch on top of the AppBlaster, kids can shoot at aliens that pop up on the screen.
Analysts say these toys are just the beginning of a new niche for toy makers. Indeed, most of the companies say they plan to roll out more products for smartphones and tablets _ including some that use Google Inc.’s Android software_ next year.
“I think it’s going to be a growing segment,” says Jim Silver, editor-in-chief at toy review website TimeToPlaymag.com. “Next year, there will be even more (products) than you can possibly imagine.”
Joseph Pisani can be reached at http://twitter.com/josephpisani.
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