The sign of a truly great kids app is when it is equally as enjoyable for both the parent and child to play.

With their latest title, Toca Tailor, Toca Boca has done it again, crafting a fun, ageless experience that is so wonderfully Toca in the best possible way.

As you may have guessed from the name, Toca Tailor is a clothing design app where your toddler tailors get to dress up four different characters in fashions of their own design and then take pictures of the models in any real world location they can aim their iDevice’s camera at.

When you first launch the app your child can select one of the four characters and they’ll be wearing a randomly generated outfit which are usually pretty hilarious. Change the shape of the sleeves, shirt and pants/skirt just by tapping them and each will cycle through the different options. Any of these pieces can be made longer or shorter by tapping them and dragging them up or down. My suggestion would be to make all pieces (shirt, sleeves and pants) as long as possible before applying a self-captured pattern, otherwise if you attempt to make them longer later, a solid color will show through and you’ll have to go back in and re-capture/re-apply your pattern (more about this in a bit).

When it comes to selecting and coloring your fabrics, there are twelve different patterns and twelve different colors to choose from which can be mixed and matched to form your designs. There are also a bunch of accessories to choose from including hats, shoes, zippers, drawstrings, earrings, scarves and a mustache. Alternatively (and where you’ll probably have the most fun) instead of one of the pre-canned patterns and colors, your little one can re-create their own favorite outfits inside the app, by using to camera to snap pictures of them (or use existing photos from your camera roll) and applying them to the blank outfits within the game. This is where the real fun and giggling begins.

Emily’s design creations fell into two categories ‘strangers’ (her term) and ‘twins’, meaning characters that were completely original or characters in which she attempted to recreate the existing real-world clothing that she or another family member was wearing. Emily and I had a blast creating characters each on our own devices. She had no trouble performing all of the actions herself. She would say, “let’s make strangers”, but I could see her trying to covertly snap pictures of my outfit to build my twin (or I guess triplet, since I’m already a twin) using the one male character in the game.

Then it was game on… With her on her iPod Touch and me on my iPhone 5, we would quickly race to see who could make each other’s twin first, capturing samples of each other’s shirt, shorts and pants to build our Doppelgängers. Once we finished creating each other, we’d take pictures next to our doubles (you can see these below). Then it was time to make her Mommy and little sister’s twins…and while I did that (yeah I’ll admit it…I’m addicted to this kids app) Emily would let her imagination run wild, creating brand new (and often hilarious) strangers that would probably make even What Not To Wear’s Stacy & Clinton run for the hills. My wife was looking at me like I was crazy for having perhaps even more fun than Emily playing with this app designed for kids. So imagine our surprise when Emily and I discovered a character on Emily’s iPod that neither she nor I had created…it was Mommy getting in on the fun too!

Daddy and his twin.

Emily and her twin

Once you complete your character, you can take a snapshot of it posing in the virtual dressing room, or use the camera to place it in a real-world setting. The characters come to live while taking the photo, responding to screen taps and sometimes even blinking during the shot. You have the ability to move and re-size your model to place them perfectly within the frame and next to their ‘twin’, next to an object, on a couch, bed, whatever you’d like. This re-sizing capability was not in the near final build we took a number of our screenshots with, so that’s why it looks like we are barely fitting into the frame, but it IS in the released version and it works great.

While I know I’m not in the desired demographic, it seems like the majority of the styles and accessories trend toward the feminine, as do the characters. Accessories like shoes, hats buttons etc, only come in preordained styles and colors and on more than one occasion Emily asked why she couldn’t change the colors of the shoes to match the outfit (I am fearing the teenage years). She also really wanted a vertical zipper (I concur with her on this and also suggest that the Toca team make it re-sizable).

Even though I have restrictions turned on Emily’s iPod Touch so that she doesn’t accidentally rack up huge DLC bills, it is worth noting that ALL Toca Boca apps are ad-free and do not contain any in-app purchases. I’m not sure that I mentioned that in any of my previous Toca Boca reviews, but it is a very nice addition (or I guess lack there of) and just another reason to love these brilliant apps.

In Conclusion

Toca Tailor is the newest in an increasingly long line of finely crafted kids apps from the talented team Toca Boca. There are so many apps for kids on the App Store, that it can often be a bit overwhelming deciding which to spend your money on, but you cannot go wrong with this (or any other Toca Boca app for that matter). Our family has never been disappointed by Toca Boca’s apps and Toca Tailor is such a blast you’ll most certainly find yourself playing as well. The app is currently at a special launch price of 99¢ and will be going up to $2.99 at the end of the month so make sure to grab your copy now!