Augmented reality toys that change pants and personality

London design firm Berg and the London office of the Japanese ad agency Dentsu have announced a line of augmented reality toys called Suwappu. The little figurines have swappable heads and bodies; depending on how they're configured, they interact differently and draw different environments for themselves in the augmented reality world.

Suwappu is a group of characters that can take lots of different forms. Primarily (or initially), the toys seen in the film - a set of collectible and swappable figures, readable by connected devices, opening up a layer of content. The Suwappu's head signifies his personality, and his pants signify his environment - the app produces content according to its reading of each half.

Beyond these toys, we think Suwappu is a new kind of content platform, with various exciting social, creative and commercial possibilities.

Our project name for this has been Haitsu. Haitsu is the art of hybrid communications, a made-up idea that we find useful. It's a little bit philosophical (the belief that combining advertising, content, media and product is the future of communications), and a little bit practical (looking for interesting hybrid clashes, like analogue and digital). Project Haitsu is part of the Making Future Magic series of collaborations.

Introducing Suwappu! | Dentsu London


  1. “A new type of content platform” -> “A new way for us to make money”.

    Cute idea, but frankly, too limited. Although these are almost certainly the fastfood-giveaway-toys of the future.

    My 10c.

  2. I find that my pants, or lack thereof, have an immediate impact on my experience of my environment. I still haven’t figured out how to swap my head, though.

  3. “Toy” seems like the wrong word for these things. As interesting as the AR demo in the last minute of that video may be, it’s far too passive for the way my younger self interacted with toys.

  4. Weird reference to the Bourne Identity film. “Look at what they make us give..” when Bourne kills the other treadstone agnet.

  5. Novel, but it sure doesn’t look very fun. I’ll double down on shadowfirebird’s ten cents.

  6. I disagree with the view that this would be boring. Think about the possibilities for narrative and interactive stories. Throw in a gyro and gps and other sensors, and give these guys a decent web AI and these could be 1000x better than those old Tamagotchi toys. We’re talking Diamond Age Primer type stuff. Love it!

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