LA-based toyco MGA, best known for its popular and very tactile unboxing doll brand L.O.L. Surprise, is diving into digital with a new game and partnership with Roblox.
Launching on April 1 in 13 countries, L.O.L Surprise! Official Party will allow players to explore the colorful world of the dolls and interact with gaming influencers such as Megan Plays and Daddy Daughter Gaming. Available within the broader Roblox gaming platform, the sandbox experience is to be updated regularly based on real-time kid feedback, says Jamie Gutfreund, MGA’s chief marketing officer. Kids will also be able to stream the gameplay on Rukkaz, SuperAwesome’s video platform.
With kids stuck at home, and store visits down significantly worldwide, MGA sees the game as a way of staying connected to young fans, says Gutfreund. According to a new report from Childwise, kids are spending 3.8 hours a day in front of their screens, up from 3.4 hours the year before. The new game will give them an opportunity to play with the dolls virtually, as well as playing along with friends they may not have seen for many months, Gutfreund says.
“Kids don’t just want to play with their dolls; they want to experience the characters as their friends,” she explains. “Kids are spending a lot more time online because of the pandemic, and this is how we can reach them and expand on how they play with the brand.”
MGA chose Roblox because it’s already a popular hangout destination for kids, says Gutfreund. More than 30 million kids globally use Roblox daily, and many are turning to the platform as a place to “loiter” with their friends, according to Dubit’s David Kleeman.
This marks the first time MGA is diving into the game space itself. The toyco has previously licensed its brand to game makers, including a partnership with Nighthawk Interactive to launch a title on Nintendo Switch. MGA is just the latest kidco to get onto Roblox—Pocket.watch recently launched a virtual Ryan’s World theme park on the platform.
Gutfreund is hopeful that all of the game’s activities (such as dancing and trying on different fashion accessories) will also draw in parents and older siblings to create a co-playing experience.
“Kids might be restricted from seeing their friends and families, but they’re still finding ways to spend time together,” says Gutfreund. “This game will let us be a part of how kids around the world are spending their time online.”