61573DP_Ariel_Light-Up_DressI recently had the opportunity to see a demo of the new Ariel’s Musical Surprise DreamPlay line, which is the next generation of interactive, technology-based toys from Jakks Pacific and Nantworks, LLC. With this line, kids get to play with Little Mermaid-themed toys both physically and via augmented reality on their smart device, by using the Ariel‘s Musical Surprise app (free to download). Available on iOS devices, the app can be played on its own. Kids can explore Ariel’s grotto, paint and decorate fish under the sea, and create and play music in a 3-D rendered world. The app introduces kids to the physical products that are available in stores, so be prepared for kids to ask for the products if you decide to download the app first.

The physical products are also great for any Little Mermaid fan on their own—important since most kids don’t have 24-7 access to a smart device—but the real magic happens when you play with the toys in conjunction with the app. The Ariel Musical Light-Up Feature Dress features motion-activated music and lights. When used with the app, girls learn to dance with fish and follow their moves as they are guided around Ariel Bongos Lifestyle_1the dance floor. The Musical Instrument Set includes bongos, a tambourine, a pair of maracas, a trumpet, and a microphone. With the app, kids can mimic Sebastian’s pattern on the bongos and try to follow along as each round becomes more challenging. The Magical Mermaid Kitchen includes kitchen accessories and features 11 Princess phrases and realistic cooking sounds. With the app, little cooks can learn to create cakes and treats. The Ariel Keyboard Vanity offers two ways to play: as a vanity or a musical keyboard. With the DreamPlay app, kids can play a musical game led by seahorses.

I love this line because the app adds a magical element to the play, but isn’t required. The products stand alone, and are items any Little Mermaid fan would enjoy. There is no additional hidden cost; just the added bonus of fun app play, making kids feel like they are truly a part of Ariel’s world.