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Disney's smart toys combine Avengers, sensors and imagination

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Those giant, green Hulk hands in your closet might be cool but their utility doesn't extend much beyond freaking out your cat and making tired "you wouldn't like me when I'm angry" jokes. Disney has an idea to remedy that with internet-connected versions of those as well as a pair of Iron Man gauntlets. Wait, smart toys? Yep. As The Wall Street Journal tells it, these Playmation devices will work in concert, via radio frequency and infrared signals, with special action figures as well as other branded apparatus you strap on to your body. Based on what TechCrunch says, these sound an awful lot like a home laser-tag set. Different playthings offer different augmentations (action figures come with new, narrated, playable stories, and you can buy more of the latter via a connected app) but they won't all work together.

An Avengers set is due out this fall, but crossing over between them and forthcoming Star Wars and Frozen sets is a no go. Kind of like Disney's other toys to life line, the Infinity video game; womp, womp. The idea is to think of these less as toys and as more of a platform akin to a video game system — especially when it comes to cost. WSJ says that a starter pack costs $120 and accessories have a $15 base price. But, the difference is that these aren't designed for sitting glassy-eyed in front of a flatscreen, you're supposed to be up and moving around with 'em. You know, like we did before the internet and Xbox replaced our imaginations.

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