This week at Toy Fair we saw several physical toys making the leap to the digital realm and a few video games breaking out into the physical world. Bossa Nova Robotics decided to give kids the best of both worlds by creating robot toys with an immersive, interactive online component.
Their Mechatars line features remote-controlled fighting robots that have direct counterparts in a virtual world accessible through any browser. Unlike other similar concepts, what kids do int he virtual world actually impacts the abilities and skills of their Mechtars. Completing real world missions unlocks new virtual games and levels. Multiple Mechatars can also recognize each other via wireless communication, allowing for fun head-to-head battle. But in order to download new mission, abilities, and other extras, kids will need to plug them into the computer via USB.
Mechatars accessories include weapons packs that can be attached tot he physical toy that players will also see on the virtual version. The robot will be able to detect what's been attached and pass that data into the virtual world.
Given that the game world of the Mechtars is so beautifully rendered in 3D graphics, I was surprised to find that it's browser-based (and doesn't use Flash), so it will work on both PC and Mac.
The robots will be out this fall and cost $39.99 each.