As publisher Simon & Schuster celebrates 24 straight weeks on the New York Times Bestsellers List with Trucktown’s first book Smash! Crash!, Chorion is preparing a fully immersive website dedicated to creator Jon Szieszka’s emerging property.
‘The basic heart of the idea was trying to connect boys with reading,’ says Szieska from his Brooklyn, New York home. ‘I grew up with five brothers and we were always truck fans, our dad would take us to construction sites and watch it a few hours.’
From there, Szieska developed the prototype for what has become a truly multiplatform property with a beta website launched at www.trucktown.com and a full licensing program, including toys that hook into the web portal via USB, expected to be launched in Q4 2009.
Designed for the two to six demo, the website will interact in a unique way with its audience, according to Jeff Norton, SVP of brand development for Chorion.
‘It’s a virtual playmat,’ he says. ‘We’ve designed the experience to be easy for preschoolers, but have levels of depth so that kids as old as six or seven will enjoy it.’
The initial site features a bevy of character-driven games derived from the first book’s stars, including Jack Truck and Dump Truck Dan.
‘We are going to be doing it all,’ says Szieszka who’s been taking regular trips to Chorion’s head office in London to help steer the property’s ancillary development. ‘From the beginning it was designed to be animation, online, toys, books, you name it. It is going to be all the things kids expect in the 21st century.’