The Littlest Pet Shop joins Virtual Worlds…

Hasbro Joins the Toy-Based Virtual Worlds Race

Hasbro has announced that it will be competing against girl-focused, toy-based worlds like BarbieGirls.com, Be-Bratz.com, and Ty-Girlz.com. Hasbro calls its Littlest Pet Shop line the “fastest growing girl toy brand,” and it will now be bringing them online with the VIPs (Virtual Interactive Pets). The VIPs follow the MyePets.com line of focusing on plush toys with codes that open a virtual world for children to play on, though the VIPs are apparently aimed at tween girls. Unlike some of the other worlds, the VIP virtual world is available only through the purchase of one of five $14.99 plush toys. Users can buy extra decorations with Kibble earned through mini-games, but there’s no word on whether users will eventually be
able to purchase extra Kibble or add-ons on their own.

Hasbro’s LITTLEST PET SHOP Jumps into the Digital Plush Arena with Virtual Interactive Pets

Fastest Growing Girl Toy Brand Launches “The Cuddliest Pets on the Net”

PAWTUCKET, R.I.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS), announces the launch of LITTLEST PET SHOP VIPs (Virtual Interactive Pets), a line of five cuddly, plush pets that bear secret codes on their collars to unlock a virtual world where tween girls can interact with the digital counterparts of their plush pals and explore a fun online VIPs destination jam packed with exciting games, activities, and community events. LITTLEST PET SHOP VIPs will be unleashed in the New
York Metro market and online in mid-October 2007 followed by a global retail launch in early 2008. Each LITTLEST PET SHOP VIPs plush pet will carry an approximate retail price of $14.99 and includes exclusive access to the VIPs virtual world which will continuously evolve with
new and exciting elements.

The initial LITTLEST PET SHOP VIPs line will include a dog, cat, turtle, penguin and panda. Upon getting home with their new cuddly plush pet, girls with parental permission will plug in the secret code found on the collar at http://www.littlestpetshop.com, receive a VIPs Adoption Certificate and watch their pet come to life online. The fun really begins as they begin to customize their pets and environments, earn “Kibble” points to keep pets happy and healthy, play mini-games and
engage in fun individual or community based activities.

“This is a very exciting time for the LITTLEST PET SHOP brand,” said Valerie Jurries, vice president of marketing for Hasbro’s girls brands. “We wanted to take this incredibly popular property and do something truly spectacular for the millions of girls who have come to adore the LITTLEST PET SHOP line over the years. Creating an engaging and meaningful online connection between girls and their LITTLEST PET SHOP pets was an instinctive next step. VIPs delivers a rich, immersive
online world where girls and their pets can have endless hours of fun exploring, playing and bonding.”

Blending Traditional LITTLEST PET SHOP Play with Online Fun

Just as they do with their real world LITTLEST PET SHOP pets, VIPs will allow girls to customize homes for their pets as well as personalize the pets with the latest apparel and accessories purchased
at virtual stores and boutiques with VIPs currency called Kibble. Kibble points are earned based on keeping pets happy and healthy by completing activities such as going for a check-up at the “Get Better Center”, going to the playground for some exercise and fun, playing mini-games or simply exploring the environment for hidden surprises.

VIPs owners will have a blast playing the 16 mini-games or jumping into the 10 different activities available in the LITTLEST PET SHOP VIPs virtual world. The games, complete with high score rankings, include hang gliding, snowboarding, skateboarding, lily pad leap, sundae making, scavenger hunts and jigsaw puzzles – just to name a few. Activities include anything you can do in or around your VIPs home from decorating a room, to playing in your sandbox or taking a ride on a
merry-go-round.

Come One, Come All

A virtual world wouldn’t be complete without knowing what’s going on in your community. The LITTLEST PET SHOP VIPs world will include fun and informative community features such as “Breaking News” and a “Community Calendar” alerting girls to the new and exciting activities
that are unfolding, “Pet of the Day” a random spotlight on a pet based on photos submitted by VIPs owners; and “High Scores” to see how you and your pet stack up against others in overall rankings of the 16 mini-games.

Pricing, Availability and System Requirements

LITTLEST PET SHOP VIPs will be available on retail shelves exclusively in the New York Metro area in 2007 beginning in mid-October as well as online at http://www.hasbrotoyshop.com and several mass market retailer websites such as Wal-Mart and Target. A global retail launch, including 18 new VIPs, will follow in early 2008.

Pricing for LITTLEST PET SHOP VIPs is $14.99 (MSRP) and includes a plush pet and exclusive access to the VIPs online world. For girls who want to “try before they buy,” VIPs also includes a free, limited-play experience. Girls simply go to http://www.littlestpetshop.com where they will land at a VIPs Adoption Desk. By clicking on “Borrow a Pet” they are able to check out the virtual world before jumping in with four feet.

LITTLEST PET SHOP VIPs is both PC and Mac compatible. Systems must be equipped with a keyboard, mouse and monitor as well as an Internet connection, broadband recommended.

Virtual Worlds News: Hasbro Joins the Toy-Based Virtual Worlds Race

First of all– I gotta say, I LOVE the Littlest Pet Shop toys. They’re design, their play pattern, they’re general idea is brilliant. I always want to buy them… and then I remember… wait, I’m nearly 30 and have to stop buying toys at some point because someone is going to call me out on it (you should see my desk, it’s a playground of awesomeness). Basically, I always wanted a turtle– we grew up with turtles in the pond behind our house, and every time we caught one, the raccoons would eat it out of the shell during the night (gross!). And I wanted a lizard too– but they creeped me out (much better in “theory”). So, when I’d see them in the stores (when I was younger… sure, high school but– hey! stop laughing… I like toys! ;) ) I’d think it would have been a great idea to buy one of those toys and pretend… after all, imagination is so much better than real life, hahahaha!

But seriously, if you were going to ask me what my top five CURRENT toys are– The Littlest Pet Shop is in there.

So, on one had, it makes sense that LPS is moving online. In fact, I’ve had SEVERAL conversations regarding my confusion as to WHY they’re not online already in this VW booming market. It’s right up their market– buying things to take care of little pets and keep them healthy & happy. Besides– it seemed to me that the makers of Bratz(tm) had kinda swiped the “pet” idea from Hasbro and beaten them to the virtual world with myepets.com. I’m always saddened when people have to get on the “me too” bus and mimic other properties. However! I shall ease up for now, because… who knows… maybe they’re taking their time building a rock star site instead of just KICKING one out quickly. I mean– look at the Pirates of the Caribbean MMORG… that’s going to be AWESOME and we’ve been waiting for it for ages (along with another MMORG that Disney is coming up with that I can’t mention but I’m uber-giddy about). I’d much rather quality than quantity.

Having said that, I’ve got to say… I’m not so impressed by what I’ve read. Now, shame on me, I know– I should wait until I have a moment to play in it… sure. But in MY opinion, if you’re going to introduce something new & great to the world, don’t you want it to stand alone? Unique! To me, it sounds like this might just be a direct copy of webkinz (stuffed animals) and bebratz.com/myepets.com (can’t get in without buying first) and the rest of those bandwagon VW’s. Bah! Again, I’d rather see people try something new & unique. We’re flooding the market with direct knock-offs. Luckily I have talked to SEVERAL rockstar new companies bringing awesome new ideas to the Virtual World table.

As for the term “bandwagon”, you simply must know that I use it in an endearing voice. Got to get on the wagon to travel somewhere new, right? Right.

I’ll report thoroughly once I’ve had a chance to jump through. Joi & I are podcasting our first official, official podcast this evening (our first 2 attempts are dreadfully hilarious… too many tangents). It should be up this week.

Plus– I’m moderating a panel on Virtual Worlds this Friday at Tween Mashup in NYC. GO IF YOU CAN, AND MAKE SURE TO SAY HI. I love meeting new people, talking shop(!), and I don’t bite (especially if you have a cookie for me, lol).

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  1. September 26, 2007 at 1:37 am | #1

    I wish I could make it to the Mashup! Are you going to Virtual Worlds Conference in San Jose? Should be interesting, as well!

    http://www.virtualworlds2007.com/

  2. September 26, 2007 at 2:07 am | #2

    Hi, Rich!

    I’m sure there are quite a few of us who will blog the heck out of the conference– hopefully there will be some vids too? Fingers crossed. Anyway– I WISH I could go to the VW2007 conference. So, as of now, I don’t think I can (boo!), but that might change in the next week or so. Lots of interesting doors opening at the moment. Great time to be in communities!!

    I’m pretty sure my friend Joi Podgorny will be there.

    Keep me updated on how it goes, Rich!!

  3. October 2, 2007 at 11:56 pm | #3

    I’m very interested to see The Littlest Pet Shop world. I work with Ty Inc, the company that created Beanie Babies and I think they have been doing a great job with the Ty Girlz virtual world. Children are very honest, and mine love it!! My daughters have Ty Girlz, Bratz, and Barbies and so much more! Its funny because they play more with the Bratz and Barbies, but spend more time playing games and doing makeovers on the Ty Girlz site. If you haven’t already check out http://www.tygirlz.com if my kids love it, i’m sure yours will too!

  4. October 14, 2007 at 2:25 pm | #4

    i am sure that the littlest pet shop will be very goog and ty girls is good too and i have a be-bratz and a barbie girl and i am getting a ty girl i think

  5. October 14, 2007 at 6:02 pm | #5

    i like cheese!

  6. EMMA
    October 21, 2007 at 11:54 pm | #6

    I cannot wait to get a Littlest Pet Shop VIP!!! I like the Penguin and the Panda. I have 6 Webkinz and 2 Shining Stars, so now I want a knew internet stuffed animal.

  7. Lumpy
    November 6, 2007 at 8:25 pm | #7

    I want a littlest pet vip but I can’t get my code to work and I have it right!… Can anyone give me a code that will work?

  8. November 6, 2007 at 11:46 pm | #8

    I went on the website. You can “borrow” a pet, and explore for a while. You can walk around town (Which I think webkinz should do.)The games are cute and the pets are adorable. They have a turtle, cat, dog, panda, and penguin.

  9. Lumpy
    November 7, 2007 at 12:57 am | #9

    Ok thanks.

  10. December 23, 2007 at 4:50 pm | #10

    can i have a free acount

  11. Ana
    December 26, 2007 at 12:57 am | #11

    i want a code to “adopt” a pet in LPS VIP. can anyone give me a code? Please!!!

  12. maddy
    January 3, 2008 at 7:09 pm | #12

    i have 1 Shining Stars

  13. nagrom211
    January 18, 2008 at 4:23 am | #13

    ok what r u people talking about?! i just got here by mistake… so what is this all about?

  14. nagrom211
    January 18, 2008 at 4:24 am | #14

    hello is anyone here?

  15. taylor
    January 26, 2008 at 2:30 am | #15

    this game awosome!!!!!!!!!!!!!! yeah!!!

  16. Milly
    March 18, 2008 at 7:30 am | #16

    I need a code for the LPS “Adopt” thing i really want to i can’t find one!

  17. Andrew C Deegan
    May 20, 2008 at 3:04 pm | #17

    Izzy, I agree with you on the this blog when you said

    “To me, it sounds like this might just be a direct copy of webkinz (stuffed animals) and bebratz.com/myepets.com (can’t get in without buying first) and the rest of those bandwagon VW’s. Bah! Again, I’d rather see people try something new & unique.”

    Well my I am currently working on some interesting stuff with my new company http://www.BreakoutGC.com in this area and would love to share some ideas with you and see what you think?
    Visit our site and email me!

    I would love to chat about this more!

  1. September 25, 2007 at 10:41 pm | #1
  2. September 28, 2007 at 1:41 am | #2
  3. October 22, 2007 at 2:17 pm | #3

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