All posts in “toys”

Now you can shoot enemies out of the sky like Iron Man using augmented reality

I AM IRON MAN!
I AM IRON MAN!

Image: RAYMOND WONG/MASHABLE

Every New York Toy Fair is a constant reminder that kids are so friggin’ lucky these days.

Take the Avengers: Infinity War Hero Vision Iron Man AR Experience role-playing mask (yes, that’s what it’s called) Hasbro just announced. It’s no ordinary mask. Slap a phone inside and put on the gauntlet and you can actually blow up enemies in augmented reality.

The toy is the latest attempt by a company to fuse traditional toys with the latest technology. Years ago it was simply creating an app for a toy and now it’s augmented reality.

The $50 Iron Man AR mask is designed for kids ages 6+, but adults can also get in on the fun thanks to the adjustable head strap.

I got to try a brief demo to see how it works and what type of gameplay Iron Man fans could expect. If you’re expecting a deep, rich AR world, you can stop reading right now.

Players interact with augmented reality elements using three pieces: the mask (with iOS or Android phone slotted in), a gauntlet, and three circular AR markers. 

The visor fits most smartphones like iPhones.

The visor fits most smartphones like iPhones.

Image: RAYMOND WONG/MASHABLE

Fits all face and head sizes too. You just need to adjust it.

Fits all face and head sizes too. You just need to adjust it.

Image: RAYMOND WONG/MASHABLE

Setting up a play environment is easy: Just place the AR markers in anywhere in a room. These AR markers are crucial and let the Hero Vision app know where enemies should spawn. (Don’t worry if you lose these AR markers. You can always re-print them.) 

Place these AR markers anywhere in a room and enemy bases will spawn from them within the app.

Place these AR markers anywhere in a room and enemy bases will spawn from them within the app.

Image: RAYMOND WONG/MASHABLE

Once you’ve got your mask on and AR markers placed in your room, it’s time to bring your gauntlet to life. That’s really easy, too. There’s no Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection necessary. Simply place your gauntlet up in front of your mask and the app will recognize the codes marked on it and track its movement.

The app tracks your hand by reading these markers. Buy the action figures and clip on an Infinity Stone and you'll unlock new power-ups.

The app tracks your hand by reading these markers. Buy the action figures and clip on an Infinity Stone and you’ll unlock new power-ups.

Image: RAYMOND WONG/MASHABLE

Flip your hand over and the app will read this code and deflect enemy fire.

Flip your hand over and the app will read this code and deflect enemy fire.

Image: RAYMOND WONG/MASHABLE

Using AR markers is the most lo-fi kind of augmented reality experience, but like… come on, this thing’s $50.

After all the pieces are set up, you can then proceed to shooting enemies out of the sky by looking at them and holding your hand out to fire your blaster. You can also defend against enemy fire by rotating your hand so you palm is facing the mask.

Hero Vision is basic (it IS designed for kids, after all), but it's pretty fun.

Hero Vision is basic (it IS designed for kids, after all), but it’s pretty fun.

Image: RAYMOND WONG/MASHABLE

The goal is to defeat swarms of enemies over the app’s 10 levels and then fight Thanos. Hero Vision is a simple game and although it’s not necessary to duck around much, kids will get a real kick out of it. It’s immersive fun even if it’s not cutting-edge AR.

Hasbro’s also worked in a clever way to unlock power-ups: buy their 6-inch Avengers action figures. Each figure comes with an “Infinity Stone” which can be attached to the gauntlet to unlock new abilities.

Everything you get in the box.

Everything you get in the box.

Image: raymond wong/mashable

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Behold: Lego’s 1,400-piece ‘Kessel Run Millennium Falcon’ in all of its glory

Lego's new Kessel Run Millennium Falcon comes out in April, a month before "Solo: A Star Wars Movies" releases in theaters.
Lego’s new Kessel Run Millennium Falcon comes out in April, a month before “Solo: A Star Wars Movies” releases in theaters.

Image: raymond wong/mashable

Think you know everything there is to know about Han Solo’s legendary Millennium Falcon? Think again.

At New York Toy Fair, we got a sneak peek of the famed space freighter as we’ll see it in Solo, back when it belonged to Lando Calrissian. Serious fans will have the opportunity to build it themselves in Lego form — and let’s just say O-M-G!

Lego’s released several brick versions of the Millennium Falcon before — there’s the $800, 7,500-piece version and 1,400-piece edition from The Force Awakens — but this new “Kessel Run Millennium Falcon” coming out in April for $170 is the first time we’re seeing it with its original paint job.

Presumably, the Solo: A Star Wars movie premiering on May 25 will reveal more about the Falcon’s origin story, but otherwise we don’t know a whole lot about the ship. The name offers a huge hint, though: Will will see a more youthful Han make his much-boasted-about Kessel Run in the May 2018 movie?

In the the movie trailer, we see the Falcon doesn’t have its iconic front-facing “mandibles.” On the Lego version, the space that fills up the mandibles is a removable cargo bay hatch. Whether this will be something we see Solo is unclear. 

Pop the trunk, I mean frunk, open, Lando!

Pop the trunk, I mean frunk, open, Lando!

Image: raymond wong/mashable

What happens to this cargo bay after Han wins the Falcon from Lando?!

What happens to this cargo bay after Han wins the Falcon from Lando?!

Image: raymond wong/mashable

Opening up the Falcon’s various top flaps, we get to see the interior. There’s quite a few chairs for passengers and even the HoloChess table, from that famous scene in A New Hope, is present:

This set has 1,414 pieces.

This set has 1,414 pieces.

Image: brian wong/mashable

Peering inside of the new Lego Kessel Run Millennium Falcon set.

Peering inside of the new Lego Kessel Run Millennium Falcon set.

Image: raymond wong/mashable

The Lego Falcon's about the size of a personal pizza.

The Lego Falcon’s about the size of a personal pizza.

Image: raymond wong/mashable

The ship comes with a Han Solo, Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian, Qi’ra, Kessel droid, and two more yet-to-be-revealed minifigs, but they were all mysteriously missing during our hands-on. So don’t you worry if you were thinking the ship would come without any comrades. 

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Kolibree Magik toothbrush lets kids play with augmented reality while they brush

Augmented reality is slowly seeping into our everyday lives. It’s not just for snaps and video games anymore. Case in point: a new kids toothbrush with AR. 

French company Kolibree announced at CES 2018 a smart toothbrush that uses AR to make brushing teeth fun for kids. 

The device is paired with a motion-tracking app that uses your smartphone’s front-facing camera to put your kid right in the middle of the fun. It comes with a phone stand, so your kids don’t have to worry about holding up a phone while they brush. 

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Kids can choose from 15 different games, featuring pirates, princesses, monsters, and a whole cast of fantasy characters. 

In one version, kids are tasked with shooting a monster who is spreading cavities across the land. As it runs around the screen, the child in turn moves the toothbrush around her mouth to shoot it. 

The toothbrush also allows parents to monitor their children’s brushing habits. They’ll see how many times a day their kids are brushing, how fast, and for how long. 

Oh, and you don’t need to stress about over-brushing: The app can only be used three times per day. 

Another interesting feature: It teaches kids to brush. The Magik toothbrush app offers kids guidance on where to brush, how thoroughly to brush, and how long to stay in each spot. 

This is not Kolibree’s first go at a smart toothbrush. The company released Ara, a toothbrush that uses artificial intelligence to track oral health and encourage healthy brushing habits, in early 2017. 

Magik will launch later this year for under $30. That’s significantly more than your average toothbrush, but you get the brush, the mobile game, the stand, and a much happier kid for that price. 

Check out more of our CES 2018 coverage here.

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Amazon has tons of adorable pet products on sale today

On the 11th day of Christmas, Amazon gave to me: dog DNA kits, vacuums for those hairballs, sales on pet cameras, and a squirrel hiding in a fuzzy tree.

Amazon’s 12 Days of Deals have been going strong since December 3, with a specific theme each day to help you with holiday shopping. Today’s deals are all about the animal lover and — let’s be real — should just be everyone. 

Whether you’ve been thinking about picking up a pet camera for your aunt who’s super attached to her Frenchies or need to restock on Temptations treats to get your cat through the long car ride to your parents’ house, today’s the day to do it. Head on over to Amazon’s deal page to browse their whole selection, or read on to find our best bets for the furry friends on your gift list.

If you’re as obsessed as we are with finding out your ancestral background with DNA kits like 23 and Me, you can find out where your furry friend comes from too. If you’ve got a mutt with questionable origins or want to see whether your beautiful boy really is pure-bred Aussie, Wisdom Panel uses your pup’s DNA to find out what breeds are part of his genetic makeup. They’ll also screen for a drug sensitivity gene which can potentially help you avoid health problems down the road. Wisdom Panel usually goes for $79.99 but is on sale today for $29 off.

Dyson’s Animal Complete vacuum comes with eight attachments and powerful suction designed to pick up pet hair and a high-efficiency filter to keep allergens from escaping. A new model costs a whopping $619.88, but this certified refurbished version is just $260 today.

To some dogs, their human’s only purpose is to feed them and play fetch. Because you have a life and a job (and your arm gets sore,) you can only throw so many balls. That’s where iFetch comes in. It’s a machine that works a lot like a tennis ball launcher, but designed for pets to be able to use themselves. You can train your pup to drop mini-tennis balls into the opening and wait for it to be thrown up to 30 feet. Get 25% off the $115 gadget today only. 

If you’re looking for something that’s more toy than a gadget, you can still get an interactive experience for your pup. This toy looks just like a plush log for your dog to throw around. It doesn’t have any digital components, but still stimulates his brain by making him work to find the squeaky squirrels hidden inside. At just $10.99 today, you can get one for every dog you know, plus a backup for when they inevitably tear all those squirrels to shreds.

You may have seen our Black Friday coverage of Petcube, but this offer is even better. Today you can get $110 off the pet camera that allows you to keep an eye on your pets while you’re at work and toss them treats using an app on your phone. 

Bonus: treats for your feline friends

Dogs get most of the fun pet tech, but cats aren’t left out of the deals today. This 6-piece variety pack of Temptations treats is just $5.47 today. That should be enough to get you through every long car ride from now until summer vacation.