Friday, October 26, 2007

The Onslaught of Toys-Featuring-Online-Games continues

I recently blogged about the wave of kids toys that are shipping with online games (in some cases multiplayer/mmo-ish games) as 'features' - a checklist item to help sell the game.

Well, here's another to add to the list:

Swypeout is a collectible card game that ships with a USB device with a bar code reader. Cards can be swiped through the reader, and then the car appears in an online racing game. Kids can then race their cars against others. Video trailer of gameplay below, and card example below that.

This is sort of Pod (dating myself) meets Motor City Online (dating myself again) meets Toon-town.

I include the Toon-town reference because like with that MMO, chat is via picking from canned phrases, and no path to lead to outside Internet, thus alleviating parents fears of card-swiping child molesters and the like.

This is an interesting one to keep an eye on for two reasons:

First off, it's more of a real-time 3D action game. The spend on the client (from screenshots & movies, I havent' downloaded it yet) looks to be bigger than that of UBFunkeys or the others.

Secondly, it skews older. The toy states "6 and up", but you look at the boys in the video on the site (whom I presume are representative of the target customer), and they look 10-13-ish. Now we are heading into the demographic that competes with (tongue firmly in cheek) 'real games'.