The Combo Meal: Virtual Worlds & Toys
Playhut, maker of the Playland EZTwist tents and tunnels and Mystikat toys, launched an interactive toys division, GoLive2, with two virtual worlds back in October. The worlds targeted at kids from 6-13, Wowbotz for boys and Mystikats Kutties for girls, now have toys to go with them. The company will release four Kuttiez and four Wowbotz with matching accessory packs in the spring of 2008. Unlike most other meta-toys that just give kids access to the world, GoLive2 is making users work for them. Each toy comes with its own mini-games that in turn unlock passcodes that give users access to new areas in the virtual worlds. “I founded Playhut with the goal to bring a new way of play to the marketplace,” said Brian Zheng, CEO of Playhut. “With GoLive2 we are offering kids and their parents a very different and unique way of playing, based off the question, ‘How do you play?’ GoLive2 innovates play in a way that has not yet been introduced to the Toy Industry.”
Forgive me, I’m not necessarily sold on the name “Mystikats Kuttiez”, and often find myself doing a double take when I see the name. I can’t quite put my finger on it… but that kuttiez part puts a wee glitch in my mental gears. Makes the brain hamster running the wheel of geniosity skip a step. Yadda.
Anyway… Wowbotz is kinda cool for the 6-9 boy demographic. It’s more kid/”twid” (hehe) oriented than the straight-on tweens demographic. It has a VERY young feel to it, although some of the games stump yours truly. Like how Bella Sera has that young 6-9 girl feel to it (which reminds me: one of those ponies must have been rescued from the Rainbow Brite compound… ’cause I’ve seen good ole Starlight standing amongst those other ponies looking well fed and happy to have a career again).
It’ll be “unique” to see how the How do you play play pattern they’ve added to the toy/VW marriage will work. Will it be as successful as that darn rubics cube and it’s uber “will i/won’t i defeat this bad boy…ever?” or will it be frustration-ola and an ultimate ‘set aside’ toy (like Bratz’ Muichiz Virtual Comanion toy?). Mr. Zhengy is right, it’s a concept not yet intro’d to the VW/toy industry and they could be on to something. Crafty people to exceptional things with the confusing.
So, here’s a few off-the-tip-o-me-head VW & Toy combo packs:
Barbie (barbiegirl + mp3 player), Bratz (be-bratz + doll/USB key), Littlest Pet Shop (VW + stuffed animal code), Webkinz (VW + stuffed animal code), Bella Sera (VW + trading cards), Zibbies (VW + stuffed animal code), Shining Stars (VW + stuffed animal code), Build-A-Bear (VW + stuffed animal code), myepet (bratz pets + stuffed animal code), Moshi Monster (VW + cell phone accessory), Ty Girls (Stuffed Doll + Code), etc…
Of that group, only Barbiegirl, Buildabearville, Bella Sera and Moshi Monsters (<as far as I can tell with MM, they’re still in Beta, so this could be a wrong assumption) allow you to roam as a free member w/o buying the product yet.
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