This new toy line has a high "Wow" factor. Sold in packages of two cars each, AppMATes are little Matchbox-like toy car versions of "Cars 2" movie stars, including Mater, Lightning McQueen, Holley Shiftwell, Finn McMissile, Shu Todoroki and Francesco Bernoulli. These toy cars come to life when placed on top of the iPad that is playing the free AppMATes app. By holding the car with two fingers on either side of its windows, and placing a hand on the side of the iPad, kids cause the car to trigger animations beneath the car. It appears as if the car is driving all around Radiator Springs. It is a magical experience. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work and can take some experimenting to figure out how to make the cars connect to the playmat on the iPad. Even so, the game is lots of fun to explore with races, mission, and collectibles waiting around every bend.
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.