Toronto, Canada-based toyco Spin Master is hoping for lightning to strike again at retail – this time in the mini-doll aisle with a new collectible aimed at girls ages four to nine. The three-inch-tall Zoobles, as they’ve been dubbed, utilize the same technology that helped the company’s blockbuster boys brand Bakugan literally spring to life.
‘They have a pop-open function,’ says Cristy Collins, marketing director for Spin Master’s girls division. ‘So, out of the ball comes a cute, friendly character.’
When stroked, the Zoobles react by blinking their eyes, wiggling their ears and wagging their tails. And they have a collectible aspect that Spin Master believes will capture the targeted demo in the same way Bakugan beguiled boys. There is no specific trading game attached as the play pattern relies on girls wanting to bring home the initial reasonably priced 150 characters (US$5.99 each) and their corresponding playsets and accessories, which max out at US$29.99 apiece.
Launched in North America and Australia last month, Zoobles’ international rollout is expected in spring 2011. State-side, Spin Master has secured high-profile spots in the fall print circulars, as well as endcaps in featured areas belonging to major chains including Walmart and Toys ‘R’ Us.
And in the long term, look for Spin Master’s US licensing agent Cartoon Network Enterprises to explore outbound licensing opportunities for the brand, starting with a promotional partnership with a major restaurant chain in spring 2011.