I still have fond memories of running around my parents home donning a set of homemade cardboard Iron Man armour and “pew-pewing” my way through hordes of imaginary enemies. While kids today still dream of being their favourite superhero, advances in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality have made those pesky imaginary enemies absolute. Realising the potential AR (Augmented Reality) holds, toy maker Hasbro has released their latest toy, the Marvel Avengers: Infinity War Hero Vision Iron Man Experience.
The Marvel Avengers: Infinity War Hero Vision Iron Man Experience toy allows kids (and those adults that are still kids at heart) to step in the shoes of their favourite iron-clad superhero, Iron Man.
The toy consists of an Iron Man mask, a gauntlet and some AR markers. By slotting your smartphone into the helmet it effectively becomes a VR headset. The toy’s companion AR app then makes use of the smartphone’s camera to create virtual foes and structures around the player. Of course, what fun is being Iron Man if you can’t shoot stuff. This is where the gauntlet accessory comes in. By raising their hand, that is equipped with the gauntlet, players are able to fire repulsor shots at the virtual enemies until finally facing off against Marvel’s big bad (and purple) villain, Thanos. The supplied AR markers can be used to create your own custom levels, greatly improving the replay-ability of the toy.
Hasbro made the deliberate choice to focus on AR technology rather than VR as they saw the need for parents to still be able to interact and communicate with their kids while they were battling virtual foes. Naturally, the success of the toy will depend on parents willingness to hand over their phones to their sticky-handed kids.
Judging by the really long name, it would be safe to say that Hasbro will add even more superhero-themed AR experiences to their Infinity War toy range. I can’t wait to don my Hulk shaped mask and smash some bad guys. For now, Iron Man will do. “J.A.R.V.I.S., find me a soft spot.”