Buildabearville Stats Shared

ST. LOUIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Build-A-Bear Workshop®, the interactive entertainment retailer of customized stuffed animals, today announced new data that supports an evolution in how kids play and connect in their real and virtual worlds.

“Children and their parents have helped us develop a space that combines fun, learning and community service. We are in a new world of play for kids and we want Build-A-Bearville to be one of their top choices”

With over 200 virtual worlds for kids in existence or in development today, Build-A-Bearville® is one of the only virtual worlds for kids integrated with actual retail store locations in the United States. Build-A-Bearville, launched in December 2007, enhances the experience of Build-A-Bear Workshop, extending the social engagement that begins in the store with the creation of each new furry friend.

“Because of the unique perspective with our real world stores and the extension into our virtual world we see firsthand, how kids blend the way they play. This new generation of kids is changing the boundaries of play between traditional and virtual types of interaction,” said Dave Finnegan, Build-A-Bear Workshop chief information and logistics bear.

Finnegan is a featured panelist and presenter at the 2010 Kids@Play children’s technology program which takes place during the Consumer Electronics Show Jan. 7-11.

An example of how soft touch and high tech experiences can result in total brand engagement is demonstrated by recent survey results from Build-A-Bear Workshop:

  • One out of every three Guests who visit buildabearville.com have recently visited a Build-A-Bear Workshop store.
  • Forty percent of all girls eight through 12 and nearly 50% of girls age 10 through 11 registered their stuffed animals made at Build-A-Bear Workshop stores online in Build-A-Bearville.
  • Nearly 17% of kids got their first furry friend from Build-A-Bear Workshop after they joined Build-A-Bearville.

Finnegan will discuss this topic as part of his presentation on the Build-A-Bear Workshop virtual world, Build-A-Bearville.

“The interactivity of the in-store Build-A-Bear Workshop experience is the foundation for our Guest engagement with Build-A-Bearville,” said Maxine Clark, Build-A-Bear Workshop founder and chief executive bear. “Today’s kids want to combine their experiences and the friendships they develop in the real world with those in the virtual world. This process is seamless for them and a part of their everyday lives. Our aim is to provide positive real and virtual world experiences to reflect children’s imaginations and natural interest in learning, sharing and having fun.”

How Kids Play Today… in the Real and Virtual World Build-A-Bear Workshop and Build-A-Bearville Presenting at Kids@Play, Consumer Electronics Show January 7-8, 2010

Forgive the PR-fluff that covers that post (at least they’re light on the “beary” creative spelling, which I’ve seen in the past).

What I found interesting was the stat I highlighted.

With sponsorships growing more and more all the time – I find it fascinating to watch the patterns between buyables like stuffed animals (webkinz mentality) and virtual worlds: how entry points affect (or don’t) and how trends occur.  Partnerships from the likes of fast food restaraunts, toy packages, store marketing intiatives, etc… these are only now starting to ramp up, but there are that many statistics regarding this right now (at least none that people are eager to share, lol).

There are going to be interesting advertising techniques popping up in this VW sector over the next year… I’m very very keen on eagle-eyeing this particular revenue source and how it either camoflagues itself into the experience (which many will not like) or works WITH the experience as a opportunity for the users.

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