With the success of Nintendo’s DIY kits … Bandai is now following suit.
Taken from Engadget … Kids today are growing up with a lot of screens in their lives, despite the advice of pediatricians. One of the things they get a lot less of in playing with devices is the development of more tactile skills, which are usually learned by manipulating toys and other physical objects. Over the past few years we’ve seen companies try to remedy this by introducing products that marry the real and virtual worlds, where physical play is required as part of a video game. Now game developer Bandai and art tech company Iskn are teaming up with their own take on the idea: Tori. Kids can pilot a spaceship or wave a wand in real life and see how it plays out in a fantasy world on their tablet.
The Nintendo influence becomes even stronger when you see what else the explorer kit has to offer. Iskn hasn’t quite abandoned paper with the Tori; instead, the kit includes cardboard templates for constructing your own spaceship and decorating it, as well as coloring pages of scenic elements like trees and flowers. The pages can be photographed with your tablet’s camera and the designs imported into the games so now it’s your child’s spaceship in the game, and your child’s patterns on the foliage. It’s definitely got a Nintendo Labo vibe to it, even though Bandai says that Tori’s been in development for over two years, more than a year before Labo was even announced.
The explorer’s kit is available today for $169 and includes the Tori board, Power Bar, three accessories, four cardboard spacecraft templates and a book containing a number of designs. The pages can be photocopied so you’ll never run out, but more pages will be available for download from the Iskn website as well. As for the games, all four are free to download for iOS or Android, with more to follow over the next year.