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Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio

Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio



Kids use real Play-Doh to create characters and scenery to scan into the app to build their magical worlds.
The Bottom Line
This toy/app combo does a brilliant job of combining real world play (creating things out of modeling clay) with digital play by making it appear that the clay objects have come alive within this funky digital world.

How This Toy Works

The Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio is a box filled with 7 cans of Play-Doh, 15 cookie cutter-like stencils, 5 character stampers, 5 actions stampers, and 4 tools for helping kids shape the dough. It also contains a white plastic work surface on which to place your creations for scanning into a digital world. This toy interfaces with the free Play-Doh Touch - Shape, Scan, Explore app, so that what kids make using the modeling dough appears to come to life within a digital world.

Toy Works in Conjunction with an App

Using the free companion Play-Doh Touch - Shape, Scan, Explore app, kids can scan doughy character creations into the app to have them animate and appear to come to life. Players then direct their hand-made creations on adventures around this magical world which involve running and jumping on platforms (aka Mario video games) to collect "sparks of imagination."

These sparks of imagination unlock digital cans of Play-Doh that are hidden throughout this universe. These digital cans of Play-Doh provide kids with opportunities to create scenery for this world, from trees and shrubs to dog bones and flowers. Players use Play-Doh to model scenery shapes in freeform or by using one of the 15 stencils provided in the kit. Once scanned into the game, the grey world becomes colored and vibrant, reflecting the colors and shapes of the Play-Doh scanned.

In addition to the main platforming adventure, the app also has five extra worlds to explore. By using the five character stamps, players can make, scan, and then play with each of the additional characters to explore their unique world. For example, with the octopus, players go on an underwater adventure that includes riding in bubbles, shooting up out of geysers, and zipping through a jet stream. The other worlds are set in the desert, a cave, in the clouds, and within a forest.

Toy Analysis

Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio brilliantly blends beloved hands-on play with digital magic. Kids use their creativity to shape doughy characters and scenery. They then scan their creations into a game world and watch them instantly come to life. It's heady stuff!

Obviously, playing with Play-Doh is rewarding by itself. But what makes this toy/app combination so much fun is how well the tech works. Anything you make from the simplest blob to a sophisticated cat with four legs, a tail, and whiskers is easy to scan into the game and the resulting animation is amazing. Legs or appendages move, and the face animates and makes noises. Color combinations used in the scenery get magnified and repeated in ways that are surprising and pleasing. This toy motivates kids to keep creating new and unusual dough creations so that they can see what happens in the game.

Creating your own lead character is exciting, and the characters made from the character stampers have loads of personality. Also fun is the whimsy created by using the action stampers. If you use the one shaped like musical notes, your character will start to dance. If you change the color of the dough, the music changes. Other action stampers can help you when you can't figure out how to get to a hard-to-reach platform. The balloon action stamper changes the appearance of the character to make it more buoyant, thus enabling the character to float for a short time. Whereas the butterfly stamper lets your character grow temporary wings.

Note to Parents

Parents, the free app starts with an ad showing the toy kit and how to play using it. You can stop the ad by touching it. Also, using the action stamps isn't explained well, so remind your kids to tap the virtual lid in the upper left of the screen to activate the scanning for action stamps.

Best For

Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio works well for all kinds of kids. It is a great way to get tech-loving kids to explore their creative side and use their hands for fine motor practice. For artsy kids who love to create, this toy expands their canvases into digital worlds.

The app can be downloaded for free and played with by using Play-Doh you already own and a white surface; but without the toy, the play experience is limited. Only a part of the digital world is opened in the free app. Players must make in-app purchases of $1.99 each to open the additional five worlds. By playing from within the toy studio, kids use the characters stampers to open all of the worlds and get to experience extra bells and whistles, such as silly characters and wacky actions, that make this game so unusual and engaging. The toy is on sale in the Apple stores or online here.

This tech toy review of Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio was written by Jinny Gudmundsen.

All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.

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Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio
Released: 11/2/2016
Company: Hasbro
Price: 39.99
Platforms: iPad
iPod Touch
Available: Apple App Store

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