HYBRIDEX

A Research Project on Hybrid Experiences


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Blythe dolls

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABlythe is a fashion doll with an oversized head and large eyes that change color with a pull of a string. Sold originally during 1972-73, Blythe dolls experienced resurgence in 2000 and since then have achieved a cult status among adult collectors.

Created in 1972 and initially sold for one year only in the USA by toy company Kenner, the Blythe doll rose to new prominence in 2000 following media exposure by New York TV producer Gina Garan and a photo book by her, This is Blythe (2000). In 2001 Japanese toy Blythe dolls 1company Takara, under a licence issued by Hasbro (the Trademark and License owner), began producing new editions of the dolls called Neo Blythe. After notable success in Japan, Hasbro issued a license to Ashton-Drake Galleries in 2004 to sell Blythe replica dolls in the United States. There the doll became a niche product in a marginal market, selling largely to adults, supported by a network of hobbyists who create clothing and shoes for the Blythe dolls, building their collection but also customizing them for resale. Many enthusiasts share also stylized photographs of their work on the Internet.

The dolls range in retail price from around US$60 for the Ashton Drake versions to upwards of several thousand dollars for an original Kenner doll in the collector’s market.

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Spellshot

Spellshot 1Spellshot is an appcessory board game in Hasbro’s zAPPed toyline. Each player controls an elemental wizard figurine which is moved on an iPad as in a board game. Competing for treasures, players then cast spells by drawing runic shapes on the touch screen.

Spellshot is a two-player turn-based game in which players compete in collecting a certain number of treasures. The game is played by moving wizard figurines on iPad. Each figurine has three contact points on its base in different configurations. This lets the iPad and the app recognize the character. Players can cast different types of spells (3 in the basic game, 5 in the advanced game) by tapping a spell and then quickly drawing a corresponding shape. The four wizards, representing the four elements, each have different shapes to draw for their spells, and slightly different abilities.

On their turn, players move around within the areas they have claimed, while the territory will automatically expand a small amount around player’s ending position. Players either collect a treasure, cast a spell, or pass. Some spells will do things like enlarge your territory or grab treasures. Each wizard also has a shield and two attack spells: one traps the other player so they can’t move next turn, and the other reduces their spell power.


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Hasbro Nerf Lazer Tag

Hasbro Lazer Tag 2Hasbro’s Lazer Tag combines a classic Nerf gun with a smart phone used as a targeting system. Attached on top of the gun, the smart phone augments its camera view to display virtual enemies and “bullet” trajectories, as well as other information.

The updated NERF Lazer Tag system lets players to pair their blaster with an iPhone or iPod touch. The top of the plastic gun features a slot for the iDevice which, when loaded with the Lazer Tag app, provides the player with an augmented HUD view from the smart phone camera.

The app features a single player mode where the user hunts and fires at virtual targets while earning points and unlocking content. While players are able to play against purely virtual opponents, the app can also be used to track battles with human opponents. The app also displays player gear and power level, and updates her progress on a global Lazer Tag leaderboard. Gaming experience is further enhanced with unlockable attacks and new gear. The app also shows the blast trajectories, letting the players see exactly where they are shooting. According to Hasbro, the Lazer Tag system will be able to detect shots fired from more than 200m away (reduced to 75m in bright sunlight).