Mattel thinks it has the secret to succeeding where so many others have failed in bridging that divide between the virtual and the physical -- and it might be right. While plenty of other toy companies have tried pairing hunks of plastic with apps in the past, Mattel has gone the extra mile, incorporating its recognizable brands and partnering with top tier developers. Later this year the company will launch Apptivity, a line of toys made from conductive plastic that interact with iPad games -- some which you're already quite familiar with, like Cut the Rope, Fruit Ninja and, of course, Angry Birds. The games will get an update when the toys hit the market with new features and play modes specifically designed to utilize the physical pieces. Other brands, including WWE, Batman and Hot Wheels will also be part of the first batch of toys designed to be played with on your iPad screen.
None of the apps or the toys themselves were quite ready for prime time yet, but Hot Wheels, WWE, Fruit Ninja and Cut the Rope were all at least playable. The Apptivity mode in Cut the Rope and Fruit Ninja are pretty intuitive, but it took a bit of practice to get the hang of Hot Wheels. We had trouble finding the sweet spot on the screen that kept our car speeding along while leaving room to see upcoming obstacles. The line of toys will launch exclusively in Apple Stores in May with Hot Wheels (which will cost $20), followed by the rest in July. Check out the gallery below and the video after the break for a few more impressions.