Neopets Announces Retail Toy Initiative
Jakks Pacific and Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products announced that they have executed a domestic-based master toy licensing agreement to produce a variety of products based on the Neopets virtual world, by which Jakks will create a full line of toys and merchandise to capitalize on Neopets and its characters. The Neopets world lets kids adopt virtual pets, accumulate points for virtual goods, and play minigames.
According to comScore, Neopets drew 5.9 million visitors in the month of August, making it Neopets' strongest month yet and marking a 50 percent increase over the same period last year. The company says 'tween users spend an average of 2 hours and 33 minutes on the site.
The Jakks toy line will focus on plush Neopets toys, but the aggreement also covers action figures, accessories, playsets and plug-and-play interactive toys, as well as role-play products, vehicles, youth electronics, water toys, novelties, stationery products, kites, and craft activity toys. Jakks’ Neopets collectible plush products are expected to begin to hit retail shelves in early spring 2008, with figures, playsets and other Neopets products shipping to retailers nationwide for fall.
Additionally, the plush toys and other upcoming Neopets consumer products will tie into a new multiplayer “Neopets Key Quest” in the game. The toys will contain codes that allow kids to unlock virtual extensions of the toys to use as part of the Neopets Key Quest game, with virtual versions of the toys represented in the users' Neopets profile.
"We plan to add engaging real world components to the already hugely popular virtual world of Neopia," says Jakks CEO Stephen Berman, "and maximize the deep online connection kids have with Neopets through a collectible roll-out strategy, which is one of Jakks’ core strengths. Neopets has all the makings of a great toy property.”
“Consumer products based on the Neopets brand will continue to expand to mass retail in 2008," added Nickelodeon & Viacom consumer products president Leigh Ann Brodsky. "We are thrilled to have a creative partner like Jakks Pacific aboard as our master toy licensee.”
[The preceding article originally appeared
on Gamasutra sister site Worlds in Motion.