WowWee is launching a line of collectible dolls inspired by hit Roblox game Twilight Daycare. The toymaker’s partnership with Gamefam—the LA-based developer and publisher of 20 games for Roblox—marks a significant switch in its efforts to take advantage of the wildly popular platform. WowWee initially viewed Roblox primarily as a marketing channel for its own brands, but VP of brand development and creative strategy Sydney Wiseman says the company better understands the platform’s full potential now.
Twilight Daycare launched in March and has since become one of Roblox’s top 15 titles. Built around an immersive roleplay world, the game lets kids play as babies, toddlers or caretakers. Twilight Daycare generates more than a billion minutes of gameplay each month, and has attracted upwards of three million unique users in one day.
Set to hit shelves next year, WowWee’s collectible doll line for the IP will pull inspiration from the game’s baby characters. Each product will scan back into the game to unlock exclusive characters that kids can play and interact with.
Until now, IP owners and toymakers were focused on incorporating their brands into new or existing Roblox games. LA-based toyco MGA Entertainment, for example, launched its sandbox experience L.O.L. Surprise! Official Party on the platform earlier this year.
“We started with our brand My Squishy Little Dumplings as a toy [that players could interact with] inside the Twilight Daycare game,” says Wiseman. “So many kids started talking about Dumplings as ‘the toy from Twilight Daycare’ that we realized there should absolutely be toys inspired by the game.”
When it comes to releasing products inspired by Roblox itself, those efforts have largely been left to licensing partner Jazwares. The toyco launched a lead line of action figures inspired by the platform’s most popular avatars in 2017, and has since expanded its offering to include playsets.
WowWee’s range, however, is focused on a specific title, rather than the overarching Roblox brand. It has plans to expand the CP program, but the team is waiting to gauge the response to the dolls before determining which categories to explore next, Wiseman says.
For example, Twilight Daycare is primarily played by girls ages five to nine. A collectible doll range is a good bet to target that demographic, but Wiseman says WowWee wants to gather more data about which kids are engaging the most with its dolls before moving forward with any further product development. Additional categories could skew younger or older, depending on how fans respond to this first launch.
Wiseman adds that the focus on dolls will help set WowWee apart from other Roblox-inspired consumer products programs, the majority of which have been marketed primarily to boys.
“Most of the platform’s top games are social, and they are played by tons of girls—it’s a market that’s being missed,” she says.
In addition to inspiring a consumer products range, Twilight Daycare is also set to become a digital series. Gamefam is partnering with Wind Sun Sky to launch the show this fall, and episodes will take inspiration from the way players interact with the game in order to offer a more interactive viewing experience.