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New Tron Light Cycle Toys Drive Up Walls, Upside Down [Video]

Disney Pictures is gearing up for a December release of Tron: Legacy with a line of cutting edge toys that defy gravity.

New Tron Light Cycle Toys Drive Up Walls, Upside Down [Video]

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Disney Pictures is gearing up for a December release of Tron: Legacy with a line of cutting edge toys that defy gravity.

Most are beautiful dark-chrome replicas of vehicles and gizmos from the film, complete with neon-glowing trim, but to really feel like Kevin Flynn barreling through cyber space, we recommend the zero gravity light cycles. These aren’t your father’s Hot Wheels–as the name implies, these futuristic remote control vehicles can actually climb walls.

“One of the things the light cycles can do in the movie is ride in the third dimension,” says Chris Heatherly, VP of Disney Toys and Electronics, who gave Fast Company a sneak peak at the upcoming Tron toy line. “We recreated that using Spin Master‘s zero G technology that lets you ride up the walls and upside down on the ceiling.”

In addition to the zero gravity tech, the cycles also feature six-foot light emitting trails. When two bikes are racing against each other, and one crosses through the other’s light trail, it’ll fall off the wall or ceiling, just as in the film.

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Here’s a picture of the light cycle in action, skidding in circles sideways on the wall, its neon light-trails blurring the image.

Watching these toys zoom around the wall vertically or upside down,
seemingly free from the restraints of gravity, makes you forget the toys
are designed for children ages 8 & up. Set for an October 2010
release, these light cycles, which are only $34.99, are sure to be a
holiday hit.

Other gizmos at Disney’s Monday showcase included headphones from Monster (right) designed for Tron fanboys–the ear pieces look like the wheels of the light cycle–and an iPod dock inspired by the iconic data disk from Tron (the glowing Frisbee). Basically everything showcased was lined with a deep-blue neon glow, from Xbox 360 controllers and Wii remotes to Razer keyboards and gaming mice. “Just about everything lights up,” explained Heatherly.

The Disney Tron action figures were also a highlight, and featured first-of-its-kind impulse projection technology. To capture how characters appear in the film, the new tech enables faces to be projected on the helmets in a digitized, illuminated format (left). When the characters speak, the faces of the action figures move, flickering just as in the movie.

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All in all, Disney showed off some very innovative toys and products that perfectly match the film’s futuristic feel. We all were also able to play around with Tron: Evolution, the upcoming video game adaptation. Check out the footage below that Disney provided us from the game, which will hit stores for the Xbox, PS3, and Wii this November.

About the author

Austin Carr writes about design and technology for Fast Company magazine.

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