Disney enters growing robotic toy market
May 1, 2008 Known for DVDs, plush toys and movie character figurines, Disney Consumer Products has announced that it will now enter the fast growing robotic toy market. Disney has created its debut line in collaboration with Pixar Animation Studios, Thinkway Toys and WowWee.
The new robotic toys from Disney features WALL•E, the robot from the Disney/Pixar theatrical release of the same name and Tinker Bell, the much loved fairy from Peter Pan.
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All of the robots feature life-like movements designed to make kids think they are truly interacting with their favorite characters. The most high-tech of the toys, the Ultimate WALL•E, features 10 motors that give it a high level of movement and animation which are programmable via a remote system that lets kids direct the toy simply by making patterns on a touch pad. WALL•E also responds to voice activation and can follow the sound of a human voice and detect someone entering a room. He also has several emotional states and numerous sensors allow him to detect and respond to his environment, including infrared sensors that allow him to detect obstacles and steer around them, sonic ears that detect sound direction, and touch sensors. The Ultimate WALL•E is also MP3 compatible and features built-in speakers and USB cables.
The second WALL E offering is iDance WALL•E. A talking, dancing bot featuring an audio in-jack for MP3 players.
The Tinker Bell toy is a remote-controlled vertical flyer that boasts enchanting flight patterns, graceful wing design and a flower wand remote controller designed specifically for children’s hands. Users can control the height and speed of the light-weight, crash-resistant Tinker Bell flyer, allowing her to soar, dive and glide.
To create Tinkerbell, Disney collaborated with WowWee, using the company’s FlyTech technology. WowWee has been a key figure in the field of consumer robotics and is responsible for the Robosapien and Rovio, a 3-wheeled, Wi-Fi enabled robotic home surveillance robot.
The iDance WALL•E dancing boombox will retail for and $24.99 be available in June. Ultimate WALL•E and remote control Tinker Bell will be available this fall and retail for USD$189.99 and $39.99 respectively.