Many of us spent out childhoods roaming around our neighborhoods on our bikes, pretending to have adventures, or just exploring the mysteries of the next block over. My buddy and I used to race down the street playing Ponch and John (yeah, that was a while back).
Which is why I love the idea of Anibikes. These lovely figures that you can mount on most bikes and other modes of personal transport offer the ability to transport yourself to magical worlds through imaginative play, even while you’re just roaming around town.
On the Anibikes website, creator Daniel Webb explains how he thinks Anibikes are the logical next step to everybody’s childhood love of playing pretend while riding a majestic animal:
We think that kids will love Anibikes for the same reason that every generation of children all the way back to the first Homo sapiens in the Pleistocene Epoch (nerd alert) loved animal toys. There is something about embracing your imagination and pretending to ride a unicorn or a horse or a dinosaur that is just plain fun. So if our generation and our parents’ and grandparents’ generations all got a thrill from running around on a stick and pretending it was a horse, isn’t it time for an updated version?
We’re excited to turn kids’ bikes into their virtual pet unicorn / horse / dinosaur / whatever animal they can dream up. Furthermore, we hope that by providing a fun real-world experience, we can help motivate kids to spend less time inside staring at screens and more time out in the world engaged in the types of play that were so impactful for generations past.
Even better, with additional features offered via higher pledge levels on the Kickstarter campaign your Anibikes horse or unicorn can have special hardware embedded that connects with a companion app, turning it into a virtual pet. Kids can be encouraged to get outside, have imaginative fun, and get healthy through stories and activity goals, all while they take are of their new friend (who, thankfully, doesn’t need to be cleaned up after).
Our virtual pet simulator allows parents to establish fitness goals for their kids, and when kids accomplish those goals, their pet gets stronger just like a video game character. If you neglect your pet and don’t exercise it enough, it grows sad and unhealthy.
The app also provides narrative context for fitness goals by creating virtual kingdoms that kids explore through interactive storybook adventures. We plan to regularly release new stories and adventures each month. To advance through the stories, kids have to complete the fitness goals their parents establish, which keeps them motivated to play outside and ride.
You have a lot of choices for your new companion, too. You can pick a horse or unicorn from their standard designs for a very reasonable $40 (spend a little more to be amongst the earliest recipients to get them in time for this Summer). You can also get them ready for your own custom paint job ($50, paint kit included), add the hardware for the full virtual pet experience ($75), and at the highest level, get an Anibike hand painted by a professional Austin, TX-area artist ($150). You can also help kids in need by donating an Anibike to charity ($35).
They’re also planning more animals in the future, and indeed they’re taking input from the public on what to do next. You can vote now if you’d like to see a dinosaur, wolf, tiger, or something else (can I ask for a Dragon, please?!?!).
The Anibikes Kickstarter seems like a perfect fit for the GeekDad and GeekMom community. Check it out, and help them make these awesome works of imagination a reality for you and your kids!