Just 335 shopping days left: why 2012 will be an Appy Christmas

27th January 2012

Huge leaps in toy technology are set to provide parents with a new Christmas conundrum this year – how do you wrap an app?

Downloadable applications for smartphones and tablets are expected to dominate “must have” lists for Santa for the first time, say toy experts.

The success of games such as Angry Birds means children as young as six know how to download software onto their parents’ iPhones, iPads and BlackBerrys.

The first wave of toy apps for Christmas are on display at this week’s London Toy Fair in Olympia with a new app category added to the best new toy awards.

Unlike pure games, most app toys include a physical element. One award winner, the £9.99 Foam Fighters from Character Options, involves piloting a nine-inch fighter plane attached to a smartphone or tablet. A dogfight is viewed through the “lens” of the device’s camera. In another toy being launched this year, the £19.99 Moshi App Monster from Vivid, downloading the app turns the screen of the smartphone into the face of the toy.

Also showcased at the fair is a tablet said to be the first for children that can also be enjoyed by adults. The Kurio, from InspirationWorks, is priced between £149.99 and £199.99.Tracy Devine, marketing manager for the brand, said parents could control access to the internet with the content filtering system, which can have eight profiles.

“So your four-year-old can have no access to the internet but your 13-year-old can. It also has a time control so parents can control how long their child can use it for, and the headset has a safe sound feature so it will never go above a certain volume.”

Source – http://www.thisislondon.co.uk