Toys R Us introduces new AR app, Play Chaser, to UK stores

Toys R Us is bringing its augmented reality app to the UK for the first time, bringing Geoffrey the giraffe to life for youngsters across the nation.

The app is being tested at the newly refurbished Toys ‘R’ Us at Brent Cross and offers a virtual world of meeting Geoffrey the Giraffe, racing monster trucks, peeking into a world of safari animals and plenty more. The app is set to roll out across a further five UK stores over the next few days.

The app was developed by Playfusion, the minds behind the latest tech toy Lightseekers, which combines AR technology with gaming, trading cards and toys.

With the help of PlayFusion’s proprietary computer vision technology, the app activates different AR games and play experiences on the screen of a customer’s smartphone or tablet. With the app open, players use their devices to unlock experiences by scanning designated Play Chaser signage featured throughout Toys R Us.

“Augmented Reality is an exciting yet perfectly natural progression in bringing a retail environment full of imagination and toys to life," said Mike Coogan, UK marketing and ecommerce director at Toys R Us.

"Today’s kids are centred around technology in school and everyday life, we want to give these children the experience of technology whilst in our stores, bringing them fun and adventure whilst out shopping. Children and their families want more than just a place to shop – they want experiences – and at Toys R Us, they want to play.”

Additional Stores will become part of the Play Chaser story over the coming weeks with Toys R Us in Croydon, Bristol, Swansea, Enfield and Reading set to run the Augmented Reality activities.

Upon scanning the first scan point at the front-of-store sign, kids will be greeted by Geoffrey bursting from his toy box before leading youngsters to 10 interactive play experiences: fishing in a virtual pond, popping virtual balloons floating around the store or caring for a digital baby doll.

“With Play Chaser, we’re transforming shopping into something beyond just the toys and games we sell, bringing our stores to life with interactive, unique content that will resonate with customers and importantly the players – kids,” concluded Coogan.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of ToyNews and its sister title, Licensing.biz. He has worked his way from Staff Writer to Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

Check Also

‘Green shoots’ of retail’s recovery in re-opening week, but indie shops ‘not out of the woods yet’

Despite the ‘green shoots’ of retail’s recovery this past week as stores witnessed increased buzz …