You can now play as Fortnite streamer Ninja in this mobile game

But you'll have to buy a certain toy first.

Joshua Goldman Managing Editor / Advice
Managing Editor Josh Goldman is a laptop expert and has been writing about and reviewing them since built-in Wi-Fi was an optional feature. He also covers almost anything connected to a PC, including keyboards, mice, USB-C docks and PC gaming accessories. In addition, he writes about cameras, including action cams and drones. And while he doesn't consider himself a gamer, he spends entirely too much time playing them.
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Joshua Goldman
2 min read

Lamo's vinyls debuted at New York Toy Fair 2019, but are now available to buy.

Joshua Goldman/CNET

Vinyl collectible figures like those made by Funko are fun to have around and all, but they're also dust collectors (unless you do a lot of Game of Thrones reenactments with them). However, figure maker Lamo is trying to bring a little extra life to its universe of vinyl collectibles by pairing them with AR and gaming. And what better way to kick things off than with a social media powerhouse.

Lamo's first wave of vinyls are of Fortnite streamer Ninja and four other gaming influencers -- summit1g, LIRIK, TimTheTatman and Dr. DisRespect. Although they were announced at the New York Toy Fair in February by their creator and distributor Wicked Cool Toys, the vinyls are now available at Target and GameStop stores. Each retailer will sell unique variants of some of the vinyls. The official Lamo website will also sell the collectibles and handle international orders. But, while it's nice to have a 5-inch collectible on your desk or shelf, the Lamo figures can also be used with an AR mobile app that features a virtual unboxing of the vinyls and doubles as a collector app.

"When the QR code in the vinyl retail box is scanned, the influencer is unlocked in the game as a playable avatar with a specific attack, alternate skins, the character's unique hover vehicle and a custom mech skin," said a Lamo spokesman. It goes beyond what Skylanders and other "toys-to-life" products have done, to create an entirely new line of integrated toys and games, using mobile AR as the conduit, he said.

Read more: Top kid toys: Cool toys for boys and girls   

Watch this: Ninja and more Twitch streamers get their own toys

In addition to the AR mobile app there will be a Lamo digital game that integrates the collectible figures and the unlocked mobile app digital content in a fast-paced eight-player arena brawler. Players can choose a streamer as their character and jump into free-for-all or team battles for control of a self-destructing arena with an amusement park theme.

"The Lamo vinyls offer a value equal to or greater than their price in in-game content for the video game, which launches into alpha next week and will enter early access in September on Windows PC," the spokesman said. There are plans for mobile and console versions and you won't need to buy the vinyls to play the game. The company has plans for more waves of collectible figures, too.