Toys used to be toys and video games used to be video games. These days, however, it can be hard to tell the two apart. Children enjoy playing in many ways with whatever tech they have available to them and toymakers have responded by creating experiences that blend the two.
A few years ago this was dominated by heavily branded products that added an app or an interaction to a classic toy. This was fun for a while, but they lacked the longevity that could warrant higher prices.
More recently we have seen products that not only provide play experiences to ignite children’s imaginations but do that in ways that fully integrate the digital interactions and physical playthings.
These are toys that don’t simply translate physical play into digital or virtual spaces but create new experiences that are not possible without the technology included. This means that the play can evolve over time as the app and tech are updated via the internet to create what we might call service-based-play.