Toys ‘R’ Us chases engagement with AR app

A new app brings additional experiences for kids to the retailer's catalogue and stores.


Kids might not need extra reasons to get excited about visiting a toy store, but Toys “R” Us is tapping into AR to give them more fun experiences while browsing its catalogue and exploring its stores.

This year’s edition of the retailer’s holiday toy catalogue allows kids to animate products on the pages in 3D using the “Play Chaser” mobile app and add them to an interactive wish list.

The AR experience extends into stores, where the app can scan special signs spread throughout the aisles, unlocking games and experiences like basketball, fishing, monster truck driving, nurturing a baby doll and going on a virtual safari.

The company has also said that the app will be updated in the future with additional experiences, including possibility integrations with well-known toy and game brands.

In September, Toys “R” Us Canada sought creditor protection largely due to the fact that is U.S. parent company filed for bankruptcy (the Canadian business was performing well financially). However, the local arm appears to be taking on its parent company’s stated commitment to developing new and tech-forward experiences in its stores in order to compete with online retailers like Amazon.

On top of mixed-reality experiences, Toys “R” Us Canada opened a new store concept in B.C. this July that featured dedicated, interactive play areas for kids, as well as WiFi connections that extended into store parking lots that made mobile payment and pickup easier for parents.