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SwapBots, the augmented reality (AR) toy, will be appearing at Toy Fair New York and GDC San Francisco as the startup prepares to launch to the public. With support from UK Games Fund, this toy and game aims to put a new spin on the toys-to-life genre using augmented reality.

This original product has been developed by a team in the UK who believe that AR can change the way children play. Unlike other scan-to-play toys, the SwapBots figures function as an integral part of the gameplay rather than just a means to unlock content for use within a conventional video game.

SwapBots co-founder John Keefe says,

“The support of UK Games Fund has been vital to the progress of SwapBots by giving us enough runway to make it to a Kickstarter campaign that will enable us to reach our first customers with a finished product.”

To play SwapBots all you need is a tablet or smartphone and the toy – there are no expensive hardware interfaces while the free accompanying app eschews in-app purchases and ads. The player simply points the camera at the Bot to see it come to life. Every toy can be configured differently using the swappable components, each of which features its own attributes and affects gameplay differently. This makes the physical interactions with the toy just as important as what happens on the screen.

After revealing the toy in 2016 to impressed industry insiders, SwapBots won financial support from UK Games Fund during the summer. Now the public will get their first chance to try SwapBots from March 1st as the Kickstarter campaign launches at GDC San Francisco and beta test toys are distributed to hundreds of eager players.