TV commercials, social media advertising and influencers are staple tactics these days when it comes to developing a marketing campaign for toy launches. But Jakks Pacific is betting on a new medium to engage kids: Roblox.
The LA-based toyco partnered with PixelatedCandy last month to add a new world to the developer’s Fashion Famous Roblox game that’s populated with its Ami Amis toys. For a limited time, kids can interact with the brand’s knitted plush characters and play carnival games for prizes to customize their avatars with.
Jakks is using Ami Amis as a test case to see how effective Roblox is at building awareness for new toys, says SVP of marketing Tracy Warshauer. The experiment has so far shown considerable promise, generating more than a million plays in its first week. And to build on this opportunity, the company is looking at making new Roblox experiences for more of its IPs in Q3 and Q4.
The collectible nature of Ami Amis made it a great fit with Fashion Famous‘s user base of young girls, who enjoy socializing around collecting, and strengthening their relationship with different brands, both on Roblox and beyond, says Warhauser.
Developed in three months, the Ami Amis experience gives kids precisely five minutes of gameplay, because that’s the max amount of time most players will spend before they jump to a new game, says Warshauer. And while the toyco had considered building a new game from scratch, Jakks ultimately decided to partner with PixelatedCandy as a more cost-effective way to market its latest brand globally.
“One of the things we loved about Fashion Famous was that a very large percentage of its players are outside the US, which is extremely helpful for building awareness in other key markets like the UK,” says Warshauer.
An initial range of Ami Amis collectible toys rolled out to retailers across North America in January, featuring characters ranging from animals to food to retro electronics. And they are due to launch in the UK and Latin America later this year.