The Toyologist: Appy Days (and nights)

This week Peter Jenkinson wonders if 2012 could be the year of the app toy.
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For me this year is going to start at the beginning of May. At Toyology HQ we’re optimistically looking forward to putting our brollies away, forgetting the bad weather and populating our local playground with playthings to get our first-ever Outdoor Toy Awards underway.

But perhaps more exciting than that is the new wave of app toys, or ‘appcessories’.

The latest estimates say the app market will be worth $25 billion by 2015 and if the toy market can take just a tiny slice of the pie with toy based add-ons then we could be witnessing the beginning of something substantial.

(Also, quick to react, we’re excited to announce a new event: the Appletics)

At the end of last year we saw a handful of widely applauded (but largely only loved by the geek press) brands open up this new category but it felt like it coughed and spluttered a bit into Christmas.

Then, at the start of 2012 at Olympia this new toy category clean up on the media coverage front.

Now, the first of the new batch are about to go public. The Character distributed App Gear line-up looks like it could open up this category for greater general public consumption.

Over the coming months, we may also expect to see a new category of injury being reported as folk come into contact with walls, lamp posts and similar as they wander round with their augmented reality games.

This week I attended the second annual APPYS, a Carphone Warehouse award ceremony that they like to call the Oscars for apps.

At the decaying yet impressive structure that is Battersea Power Station, the UK’s top technology journalists and mobile industry peeps gathered with an eclectic mix of comedians, TV presenters, TOWIE totty and Damien Lewis (sorry for calling you Daniel).

This year there wasn’t an App Toy category but it is a dead cert for the next bash as this new genre looks to grow its presence at retail over the coming months.

It might start life in toy and gadget shops, but it is easy to imagine one of the supermarket groups investing in an app that you download for little johnny as you enter, to keep them amused with some Augmented Reality fun as you shop, then of course near the checkout a toy that’ll make your next supermarket trip with your smartphone even more enjoyable.

This is most definitely the year of the apptoy/appcessory/appcessories/app-plaything – whatever you want to call it.

Peter Jenkinson wanted to be on telly so much he set up his own channel - He also thinks the new AR related injury should be called app-lomb.


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