Product Reviews
Take Action

Fight for Fair Finance

Tell the administration and Congress to stand up for the consumer watchdog that protects you from financial fraud and abuse.
Take Action
Why Do We Have Campaigns?
We're fighting to ensure you and your family can get a fair deal in the marketplace, especially on the choices that matter most: health care, privacy, automobiles, food, finances and more. Join our campaigns and together, we'll hold corporations and lawmakers accountable.

Disney AppMATes: Toy cars that come to life on the iPad

Consumer Reports News: September 27, 2011 10:42 AM

Find Ratings

Kids love tablets. Some toy companies, such as Vtech, LeapFrog, and Fisher-Price, are responding to this love by creating tablet-toy hybrids (and we plan to test these in the near future). But Disney and Spin Master are taking a different and creative tack with AppMATes: "a new line of toys that comes to life digitally when used with an Apple iPad," for ages 4 and up.


The AppMATes toys are Disney-Pixar Cars 2 characters; they come two at a time in a $19.99 package (available in October at Apple stores and other mass retailers). Each of the Cars 2 toys has sensors on its base that identify it uniquely to the iPad. To play with the cars on the tablet, you download a free app and simply place the toy on the screen. You can then explore, race, and perform missions in the virtual world of Radiator Springs by moving your car around. (See the embedded video below for a demo.)

AppMATes are inexpensive and look easy to use. And there's a lot of replay potential in the virtual-world connection, to which new content can be added endlessly. The big question, though, is whether mom and dad want to share their expensive iPad for kids to play on. No doubt anticipating potential hesitation on parents' part, Disney also announced a very well padded iPad case, also with a Cars 2 theme ($49, coming this fall).

Carol Mangis

Find Ratings

Computers Ratings

View and compare all Computers ratings.

E-mail Newsletters

FREE e-mail Newsletters! Choose from cars, safety, health, and more!
Already signed-up?
Manage your newsletters here too.

Electronics News


Cars Build & Buy Car Buying Service
Save thousands off MSRP with upfront dealer pricing information and a transparent car buying experience.

See your savings


Mobile Get Ratings on the go and compare
while you shop

Learn more