A storm is coming, but Be Amazing! Toys is ready for the snow. Best known for its STEM-focused activity kits, the toymaker plowed into the collectibles category in September with its Snow Pets brand. The range features eight winter-friendly animals contained in spheres filled with snow powder, a compound that expands and feels cool to the touch when watered. The force of the “avalanche” pops off the top of the sphere, revealing the character inside.
“The snow powder has been in our line forever as part of various STEM kits,” says Collette Trejo, VP of sales for Be Amazing! Toys. The instant snow teaches kids about polymers and osmosis, but then the company started to think about other ways the compound could be used.
Originally, the team came up with a snow angels concept—winter fairies that had animal companions. The sidekicks were so cute, though, that Be Amazing! developed an entire range around the furry friends.
“Snow angels or snow fairies might make their way into the line at some point,” Trejo says. “But right now, we’re focused on the snow pets.”
The first line launched with Amazon, as well as select specialty retailers, and it features animals like a husky, an owl and a fawn. Each character also acts as a pencil topper, and rare versions of each animal are available covered in a glittery, “icy” finish. The second range will launch exclusively at Michaels stores in December.
Be Amazing! has traditionally sold its products at specialty, Trejo says, but the team knew that working with online partners like Amazon would be important for the brand to take advantage of social media marketing efforts. In order to differentiate between the offerings—and ensure that sales for the toymaker’s specialty retailers aren’t cannibalized by online efforts—Be Amazing! launched an exclusive three-pack with Amazon.
The team knows it is entering an incredibly crowded market, says Trejo. It’s not enough to grab kids’ attention with a flashy unboxing method—the brand needs to be able to hold their interest for months and years to come.
Cue the avalanche. The toymaker chose to incorporate its instant snow into a toy brand in order to add play value to that range, since the compound can be used over and over again by kids either in conjunction with the collectibles or on its own. The compound itself, meanwhile, can be updated in subsequent launches to maintain engagement. Be Amazing! is already developing new unboxing methods for upcoming SKUs, with potential plans for a spring series once winter has run its course.
“The snow is definitely the core of the line, but we have some tricks up our sleeve to keep the interest going,” Trejo says. “For example, if there was a spring series, there could potentially be flowers in the snow.”
And while the brand is starting with eight animals, she says those core characters will travel all around the world. Those adventures will lead them to explore different environments—which could be illustrated through different compounds—and make new animal friends.
“We really have a long-term strategy beyond just the snowball reveal,” she says.
Looking forward, Be Amazing! also has plans to expand into new categories. Trejo says playsets would be a good fit for the brand, for a start, and that licensing is a distinct possibility. There are also plans to focus on content.
“The storytelling aspect is so important,” she says. “That’s how a lot of kids play, so we want to feed into that and give the kids more to chew on. Snow Pets isn’t just a one-note offering.”