Starter kit, $20,

Hoping to bridge the gap between physical and digital toys, Mattel has created a line of enhanced iPad games called Apptivity. One of the first offerings in the line is Batman, inspired by the movie "The Dark Knight Rises."

The starter kit, which sells for $20, comes with two toys, the Caped Crusader and his Bat flying machine, which use pressure-sensitive technology to interact with a downloadable game. The toys attach to a base that glides over the iPad screen without leaving a mark.

The game, intended for ages 4 and up, has nine levels in which Batman tangles with Catwoman and Bane, the villains from the movie.

Three other Batman figures are available for the game, each with its own mode of attack. Apptivity games were also created for Mattel's Hot Wheels and WWE Rumblers toy lines, and there are toys that unlock exclusive features for existing Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja and Cut the Rope games. For instance, using the King Pig figure with the Angry Birds game, players can turn the tables on the birds and fire the pigs instead.


FreedomPop, $99,

FreedomPop promises that its Freedom Sleeve for the iPod Touch will deliver "fast and free Internet everywhere," and that you can "make phone calls over 4G from your iPod anywhere."

It seems to be a compelling offer, but FreedomPop combines two pieces of hardware from different manufacturers and two pieces of software from different makers, resulting in a kludge.

The Freedom Sleeve fits over an iPod Touch to create a Wi-Fi hot spot that connects to a WiMax 4G network. The main problem with FreedomPop's claim is that WiMax is not available everywhere.

The device is $99 with 500 megabytes of data a month for life. You can buy a gigabyte of data for an additional $10.