Mattel has launched Apptivity which allows kids to interact with games on Apple's iPad using screen-safe toys, including Hot Wheels cars.

Like many others, Mattel has taken notice of the immense success of Apple's iPad, and wanted to create new play possibilities that entertain the whole family, it said.

Games available at launch include Hot Wheels, Fruit Ninja, Cut the Rope, The Dark Knight Rises and WWE Rumblers.

The Hot Wheels application is free, and turns the iPad into a rolling track on which kids can drive the physical cars. We say kids, but if you've got any Hot Wheels cars to hand, you're going to give it a go, right?

The Apptivity version of Fruit Ninja allows two players to play against each other. The player with the physical Sensei figure can launch extra fruits at friends to try to sabotage their game. The extra fruits come on a conveyor belt and are sent by swiping on the screen.

The Fruit Ninja HD App is available for £199/US$2.99, and there is also a free, limited version available.

There is also a £12.95 Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Apptivity case, which makes the Apple tablet drool-safe. Let's not think about that too much.

Play is activated in three easy steps. First, an Apptivity toy has to be purchased at a retailer or online, and one of the Apptivity apps has to downloaded from the App Store. Once that is done, users just have to tap on the app and place the physical toy on the iPad screen, and playtime using tap and swipe functions on the iPad can begin.

Apptivity single packs cost around £11.95. There are also a number of starter packs to choose from. Apptivity toys are available in the UK from the likes of Amazon, Argos, Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury.

The toys are compatible with all three versions of Apple's iPad.

Mattel's Apptivity website includes videos that show how the games work.