10
May
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In many ways, the proliferation of the Call of Duty generation is just an extension of ye olde Cops and Robbers, traditionally played with cap guns, rubber bands, or NERF darts. The Tech 4 Kids company is trying to bring kids' games full circle with Tek Recon, a series of toy guns. What makes these toys unique is the video game-style smartphone HUD, enabled with a docked phone and an Android or iOS app. The Tek Recon Kickstarter campaign started this morning, and it looks like it won't have any trouble meeting the reasonable $50,000 goal.

Tek Recon functions well enough as a toy gun alone. The plastic pistol and rifle look like cartoony versions of video game guns, and use a pump action mechanism to load and cock a small rubber ring into place. The company claims that the tension of the ring makes it shoot faster and farther than traditional spring or air-powered darts, while remaining basically harmless. Their smaller size allows for a greater ammo capacity (the Havok rifle holds 90 rounds) and hopefully cheaper refills.

The magic starts when you slide an Android phone or iPhone into the plastic dock. Before the game begins, you can log in to the Tek Recon servers to track your game modes, teams, and stats. At the moment the company is testing team battle, free for all, and capture the flag, complete with QR code "flags" that need to be scanned to be captured. Your progress is monitored and stored, just like an online FPS game.

What's more interesting is that once they're in place, the smartphones become a combination scope and heads-up display. The phone screen will display your remaining ammo and provide the requisite "pew-pew" and "rat-a-tat-tat" sound effects. Players can zoom and activate "night vision" and "heat seeker" filters, or engage in some team chat. Tec Recon claims that the Command app can also track enemies and teammates on radar, though exactly how hasn't been shown - I'm guessing GPS.

LaptopMag had a look at an earlier version of Tek Recon at the International Toy Fair.

Tek Recon is aiming for an August release, which might actually be viable - they've been working on the project for two years, making the rounds at various toy fairs. The Kickstarter campaign claims that the money will be used for plastic molds, app development, and promotion. The rewards are pretty good, too: $25 gets you a single Hammerhead pistol and 15 rounds of ammo. Bump it up to $40, and you get the Havok rifle and 36 rounds, plus a reserved username for the game servers. $50 gets two pistols, 40 rounds, a QR flag, and a couple of targets.  $70 includes four pistols, 60 rounds, two flags, and four targets.

Limited-edition paint jobs for single rifles and pistols are available at $100, $200, and $250, but the best deal by far is the $375 Envoy pack. It includes 20 pistols in two team colors, 300 rounds, and 20 targets. That works out to just under $20 per gun, and you could equip an entire dorm floor of procrastinating college students. More extravagant backers can op for a custom-painted Havok Rifle, a reserved slot at the launch party, a trip to E3, or a spot in the toy commercial.

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Kickstarter projects have a tendency to implode, or at least severely under-deliver, which is why they're rarely featured on Android Police these days. But Tek Recon looks like a unique product in the final stages of development, so we've got not real problem highlighting it - especially since the backer rewards are reasonable, and likely to be cheaper than the retail toys. Even so, caveat emptor: let the backer beware.

Kickstarter - Tek Recon

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • mechapathy

    Looks kinda like a Hornet. Does it do corrosive damage? Burst fire when zoomed?

  • DanSan

    holds more than 7 rounds.... banned in NY state.

    • fixxmyhead

      lol

  • http://androidpolice.com/ Kyle Wiggers

    Looks like a lot of fun!

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    This looks like so much fun. I wish I were a 10 year old boy again.

    • spacekobra

      No kidding, I might just pick one up anyways. Haters gonna hate, but I'll have a sweet gun.

    • mechapathy

      Avast keeps telling me this site is infected. May want to look into that.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        Which site? AP?

        • mechapathy

          Yeah, but on further investigation I think it might be disqus.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        Avast mobile or desktop? What browser? Details please. Could you screenshot the warning? That'd be ideal. Thanks!

        • mechapathy

          Win 7, Avast desktop, Chrome 26, didn't think to get a screenshot, sorry. But looks like it may have been disqus. Didn't think to check other sites with it until it briefly went down.

        • mechapathy

          Here's a screenshot. The more details button doesn't actually give more details. This popped up just after I refreshed this page a few minutes ago.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

            If you hover on that url, I think it should show you the most important part that's not visible right now - the domain.

          • mechapathy

            Okay. It went away for a day or so, but just started happening again. Here's the alert with domain.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

            Looks like some sort of survey domain. Argh. Those are hard to track and are used by quite a few advertisers. I am pretty sure Avast is triggering a false positive here.

          • mechapathy

            Hopefully it's a false positive. I did a little light googling and only found a few references to it actually being something to worry about. It's odd that I've never seen it here before. Been reading this site for 3.5 years. Any who, apologies for hijacking this thread. This is my favorite android site out there, so keep up the good work!

    • dshim83

      Just look at Humans vs. Zombies games which are popular at US colleges. You don't need to be 10 to enjoy massive battles with toy darts.

  • http://meatcastle.com/ Youre My Boy Bloo

    This is my first kickstarter project. What the fuck is wrong with kickstarter? You can't back at multiple levels? What if I want the set of 4 guns, but also want a big gun? Why can't I do that?!

    • mechapathy

      Create another account, perhaps?

      • http://meatcastle.com/ Youre My Boy Bloo

        Nice try Kickstarter marketing team...

        • mechapathy

          Hahaha just trying to draw you in deeper.

    • Clifford Rebelo

      I was wondering the same thing! Got the 4 pack of blasters for my nephews' birthday and wanted to get the rifle for myself. Then I thought long and hard and realized that a 31 year old shouldn't be buying toy guns...I'll just use one of the extra ones my newphew will get! And take it home with me too ha.

    • http://twitter.com/cthonctic Cthonctic

      Usually you can upgrade your initial pledge to include another reward by upping your pledge amount by a predetermined number. If the project initiator offers the option, that is. Maybe they'll add it in the coming days along with stretch goals; that thing isn't unheard of.

  • Vito Cassisi

    Odd that they don't have a dual Havok option. :/

  • Matt

    if this can also be done for casual paintballing or airsoft, that would be great. im thinking add padding to the area where your phone is supposed to click in so the shots wont damage your phone and your phone can act like a radar. it can be used for other things but for this example lets just stick to a radar, it would add a new strategy to not only fields being built but to how a team plays the game as a whole as well.

    plus it would make it easier to see your K/d and overall score for the game, like COD has in team deathmatch. after a four hour session you can review your stats as well as areas where you were shot so the more hardcore crowd can analyze that and create new strategies for future games.

    basically what im saying is, dont limit this to the applications show in the video or to just those guns. create your own brand of airsoft or paintball guns if you want to milk a little more cash out of the whole idea

  • Matthew Fry

    This would be fun... Too bad I'm a fat slob. Oh well.

  • al

    rule #4- keep the finger off the trigger. Yes even if it's a toy

  • Hgh

    No way I'm attaching a several hundred dollar device to something I'd be using while leaping sideways through doorways. :P

  • Ban

    Best Training for School Massacres...

  • tstevens

    Kids are so lucky now, technology is so much better. If i would had this growning up, tears of joy down my face

  • mike

    Were can you buy them

  • Momo

    Really like the look of the pistol thinking of modding it for my cosplay this year.