Have you ever seen that Disney movie, Fantasia? The movie features an apprentice sorcerer played by Mickey Mouse who, because he is lazy, brings his mop to life so it can clean up for him. The mop goes rogue and eventually turns into legions of mops that pour so much water on the floor that they create a flood. Mickey has lost control of what he has created.
Sometimes I feel like apps are a bit like those legions of mops. What started out as a few interesting apps has turned into thousands and thousands that keep coming at us. Many are interesting but how do they work when combined with traditional classic toys?
I have always loved toy gliders and have written about them in an earlier blog entitled “Play Power.” They are inexpensive and can provide hours of fun or until you knock the weight off the front of the plane which can take minutes.
How can you possibly improve a classic like the toy glider? Maybe by adding an app. WowWee has created “Foam Fighters Pacific;” they sell for $9.99 and they work with a mobile app. Here is how The New York Times describes them in a complimentary piece entitled “Dogfights on your iPhone:"
…Foam Fighters Pacific from WowWee ($9.99), a set of three-inch Styrofoam gliders that you can suction cup under your iPhone’s outside camera. Align the wings with an on-screen template and the app’s augmented reality features superimpose a WWII dogfight over your living room.
You can dive bomb your sofa or if you are into simple reality you can sail the planes across the room as you would a traditional glider (just make sure to unhook them from your cell phone first).
So, here is the question, did the WowWee app make the toy glider better or different or does it even matter? What do you think?