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  • 07.21.06

Boys Just Want to Have Fun

In the world of boy’s play, Hot Wheels and Matchbox just don’t cut it anymore. And neither does Batman, nor Superman action figures. So what’s a toy maker to do? Mattel has presumably figured out a solution. If boys are playing video games and collectible card games, then why not make a toy (or is it a game?) that’s a cross-section of the two?

In the world of boy’s play, Hot Wheels and Matchbox just don’t cut it anymore. And neither does Batman, nor Superman action figures. So what’s a toy maker to do? Mattel has presumably figured out a solution. If boys are playing video games and collectible card games, then why not make a toy (or is it a game?) that’s a cross-section of the two?

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This fall Mattel will release a hybrid video gaming system utilizing CD-ROM and RFID technology that is targeted at tweens. HyperScan, as the system will be called, combines video gaming and card collecting in one device. Players scan cards over the gaming system and their favorite characters appear on the TV screen. During play, the gamer can pause and scan cards over the console to upgrade, modify and enhance their battle abilities. It will ship with a game based on Marvel’s X-men, and additional games will be based on Marvel Heroes, Cartoon Network’s Ben 10, Mattel’s Interstellar Wrestling League and Nickelodeon’s Avatar.

Nifty, huh? Perhaps, but it really depends on the game’s price point in comparison with what’s already “hot” out on the market from the competition, doesn’t it? Mattel announced that the console would be sold for $69.99 and “Game Packs” will include one CD game and six collectible game cards for $19.99. Booster packs of game cards will cost $9.99. Right now, two of the most popular portable game systems the Nintendo Game Boy and the Nintendo DS Lite cost around $80 and $130 respectively, and the DS features Wi-Fi. Game cartridges can run anywhere from $10 – $40. The dynamic Nintendo duo might not be able to plug into your television set, but there are TV tuner plug-ins available for both enabling users to turn their handhelds into mini televisions.

So how does that add up?

About the author

Lynne d Johnson is a Content + Community Consultant developing content and community strategies that help brands better tell their stories and build better relationships with people toward driving brand awareness, loyalty, and purchase intent. She has been writing about tech and media since the Web 1.0 days, most recently about how the future of consumer interactions will be driven by augmented reality and wearable tech.

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