If you're of a certain age, the chances are you had, or at least played with, a Fisher Price farm set when you were younger. Well, the toy manufacturer has recently revealed an updated barnyard set which incorporates an iPad case to create a virtual farm which recognizes and interacts with figures when they're placed on the screen. Consider it your childhood, upgraded.

The Little People Apptivity Barnyard is one of several iPad-requiring toys which have been revealed by Fisher Price, and the latest in its Apptivity line-up. It consists of a plastic iPad case with a protective clear screen and a barn to one side of the screen, along with a series of figures and accessories which can be played with.

While the set could be used in the traditional way – with toddlers having to use their imagination – a companion app allows interactive play and will interact with figures and accessories placed on the iPad screen. Examples include using the watering can to water crops and watch them grow, interacting with the animals, or driving a tractor around the on-screen farm to create tracks and collect crops from the field. Users can also explore the virtual barnyard, garden, farmer’s market stand, field, and inside the barn.

Opening the baby animal door causes all the farm animals to run across the iPad’s screen with noises playing … which is a nice touch for parents who remember the moo-ing barn door from their own childhood. The free app will also feature a range of games and activities, and will be compatible iPad generations 1, 2, 3 and iPad with Retina Display. While Fisher Price insists the Little People Apptivity Barnyard is "Even fun without iPad!" we can't imagine your little one being too happy if you swipe their farm mid-playing session because you need to send an email.

Other new Apptivity cases include the Create & Learn Case for iPad, which protects your iPad from bumps and spills and has an attached stylus for your child to draw, write and play with. A companion iOS app means the iPad can recognize included Alphabet Animation cards (via the camera) and users can interact with the images or enjoy a series of writing and art activities.

There's also the Imaginext Apptivity Fortress iPad case, which interacts with a knight figure and cannon to let children use the iPad to play a series of fortress-based games. A Laugh & Learn Apptivity Storybook Reader will also be available for iPhone or iPod touch-using babies. In addition to protecting your phone from drops and slobber, the case mimics a book with page turns to advance content on three free interactive story apps.

The iPad-based toys will all be available this autumn (Northern Hemisphere) for US$40 each. The iPhone Laugh & Learn Apptivity Storybook Reader is available now and costs $20. It's compatible with iPhone 3GS, 4 & 4S and iPod touch 4th generation.

Source: Fisher Price

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