Most kids’ toys are designed to survive years of abuse during playtime. But the toys they make themselves? Like a dinosaur made from Play-Doh? The odds of it surviving longer than 10 minutes are slim, unless it gets preserved forever inside Hasbro’s new app that turns even abstract Play-Doh creations into animated characters.
The Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio, available this spring for $49.99, is primarily focused around a new app that turns plasticine creations into digital characters using an iPhone or iPad’s camera. The Play-Doh creation needs to be photographed against white, which allows the app to automatically extract it from the background in order to turn it into a 3D digital character that kids play and interact with.
As a result, you can’t make something like a white Play-Doh polar bear and expect it to be properly turned into a digital character. But there’s no reason non-Play-Doh objects can’t be imported as well. If your kid has a favourite tiny toy they’d like to bring into the app, just stick it in front of the camera. There’s no online sharing available, though, so Hasbro doesn’t have to worry about adults getting involved and making anything NSFW available to kids.
Once inside the app, a kid’s Play-Doh creation can be used to explore different worlds, jumping over obstacles and attempting to collect power-ups not unlike a Super Mario level.
To access other worlds and activities, kids can use a set of included stampers to create specific characters and shapes that the app recognises to unlock new content. But since the app will be available in the iTunes App Store for free, and really only needs a white piece of paper to serve as a neutral background for photographing Play-Doh creations, anyone can download and use it. However, the additional content will only be available as paid upgrades.
If you’re just looking for a fun way to immortalise your kids’ Play-Doh creations before they get smushed into an unrecognisable blob, the app itself is a fun way to do so. But if your kids want to do more than wander in circles with their character, the Touch Shape to Life Studio playset expands the replay value, and includes seven cans of Play-Doh to get their creative juices flowing.