appBlaster shoots to retail

Red5 launches iPhone toy at Selfridges; Apptoyz strikes North American distribution deal with Spin Master.
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The Red5 concession inside Oxford Street’s Selfridges was the location for the appBlaster retail debut. 

It’s a plastic toy gun, priced at £19.99, which slots an iPhone or iPod Touch into its sights. Once the phone is locked in, apps are loaded and players can take on an augmented reality shooter - the on-screen action tracks the player’s movements and trigger-presses.

The toy’s first game, Alien Attack, is available for free on the App Store, with five additional titles, including Clay Pigeon Shooting, Tincan Alley, and Wacky Hunter, planned for release before Christmas.

Yann Le Bouëdec, appBlaster creator and projects director at Apptoyz International, revealed to ToyNews that Spin Master will represent the toy in the States: "They’re probably one of the best toy companies in the world in terms of innovation and the way they work. 

"The entrepreneurial spirit in the company is incredible and they’ll be helping us market and sell the toy in North America. They’re working on some big stuff for us."

Apptoyz is distributing the range throughout the UK, while Red5 will lead the charge at retail through its portfolio of specialist gadget shops and 110 new concessions in HMV stores.

Joth Baron, co-founder and buying director for Red5, said: "We’re all about first to market with this kind of product. We’ve been taking pre-orders for a while now on the web, and the response to the toy has been amazing."

Appstoyz has ambitious plans to expand the line with additional toy designs and both Le Bouëdec and Baron agreed that licences should be a key part of the toy’s future.

The Apptoyz team: Left to right, Josh Forrow co-founder, Stuart Browning co-founder and Yann Le Bouëdec creator and projects director.

The firm is also looking to expand its potential consumer base with support for Android smartphones. A universal clamp, designed to fit the different shapes and sizes of Android handsets, is in development.

Smartphone toys could become a new category in the toy industry, with products such as Hasbro’s my3D Viewer and Cheatwell Games’ App-player board game already on the market.

These toys incorporate sophisticated and expensive technology into a low-cost, value product.

As Le Bouëdec put it: "If you were to source all of this technology to make a standalone toy without the iPhone, it would end up costing hundreds of pounds."

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