Toy supplier Flair is hoping to create a new playground craze in the shape of Cupets.
Cupets - an abbreviation of cube-shaped pets - are collectible figures that can be used with a smart device such as a phone or tablet. Players can use a free downloadable app to unlock an augmented reality version of their Cupet that they can care for, bathe, feed and play with.
Doing so will keep the Cupet in good health so they perform well in a series of four mini games the user can play on their smart device. In one of the games, children can collect coins that can be used to purchase food and accessories in the online Cupets world.
Rolling out to retailers including Asda, Tesco, The Entertainer and Toys R Us in December, the Cupets will come in 12 designs. They will carry a £6.99 rsp, with Flair pitching them as “the ultimate pocket-money playground friend”.
The company, which is launching Cupets under its GP Tech sub-brand, will be backing the roll-out with viral teasers ahead of the launch, followed by a “heavyweight” TV push. It will also be rolling out “cubed” free-standing display units to retailers.
Cupets are the latest in a string of launches that blend smart device apps and toys. When Hasbro relaunched Furby a year ago, it also rolled out an app that offers additional ways of interacting with the toy. And last month, Lego released the third generation of its Mindstorms robotic kit, which can be used to build models such as a snake or scorpion that can be controlled with a smartphone or tablet.