Lucky Fortune

WowWee is ready to change its luck

Brand manager Sydney Wiseman explains how the toyco revamped its Lucky Fortune collectibles line, after it didn't hit as big at retail as expected.
August 11, 2020

It takes more than a little luck to launch the next big brand. That’s why, just over a year after it debuted the Lucky Fortune range, Montreal-based toyco WowWee is completely revamping the collectible jewelry line.

Lucky Fortune first hit shelves in April 2019. The bracelets came in plastic blind packaging shaped like fortune cookies and featured charms in five categories—happiness, friendship, love, success and adventure. But after research showed the company had miscalculated its target demographic, WowWee reimagined the brand as a tween-focused lifestyle range and did away with the food-themed packaging that was its namesake.

“We had a really great year with Lucky Fortune, but we wanted to understand why it wasn’t the next Fingerlings,” says WowWee brand manager Sydney Wiseman. By comparison, Fingerlings sold 100,000 SKUs in the US within a week of launch, and stores kept selling out of the product.

To determine why Lucky Fortune didn’t become a similar sensation, the team conducted research with 1,000 consumers and found that its customers were actually older than the team had originally anticipated. Initially, WowWee marketed the brand to kids six and up, but Wiseman says the team realized tweens are actually Lucky Fortune’s most devoted customers.

“We wanted to embrace that and really run with it,” she says.

The first step was aging up the brand’s packaging and marketing. This meant making the move to a trendier color palette (think bright shades like coral) and replacing the cutesy, cartoony art with images that are more graphic and Instagram-friendly. WowWee also shifted the messaging behind the “lucky” in Lucky Fortune to appeal to the older demo.

“Instead of focusing on magic, we’re focusing on empowerment,” Wiseman says. “It’s more about positive affirmation.”

The research also showed that buyers who didn’t like the first bracelet they unboxed were unlikely to purchase from the brand again. To address this drop-off, the company ditched the plastic fortune cookies (which had doubled as keychains) and chose instead to sell its bracelets in pairs. One is visible on the packaging, to guarantee customers are getting something they’ll like, while the other is a blind item that needs to be unboxed. Because the packaging is now simpler and more traditional in design, WowWee was able to offer a pair at the same price (US$4.99).

With its new direction firmly set, WowWee also made the decision to move beyond bracelets and turn Lucky Fortune into a full-on lifestyle brand to further appeal to the older demo. In addition to bracelets, upcoming offerings will include scrunchies, stickers for water bottles and laptops, nail art, bath bombs, body scrubs and vinyl bags that can be customized with patches. The first items will launch in October, with additional products hitting shelves in 2021.

Looking forward, Wiseman says the team is open to licensing partnerships to launch into additional categories and, in particular, she sees potential in categories like stationery and bedding.

“We want to be the go-to for girls ages seven to nine,” Wiseman says. “I think six-year-olds will still like it, because younger kids will always want something older and cooler. But older kids don’t want something that feels young.”

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