Jakks Pacific is “bending” towards a video game brand to scare up a new group of consumers.
The toyco and its costume division, Disguise, have signed a new deal with Texas-based Rooster Teeth and Ottawa’s Joey Drew Studio, the developers of spooky tween-skewing video game series Bendy. Disguise has been making costumes for the brand since 2018, but Jakks will now take it into more consumer products categories.
Aimed at kids ages 14 and up, the new program will include action figures, plush toys, games and costume accessories, with products set to launch in North America this fall. Bendy’s animated survival games center around a mysterious machine that creates creepy toons. The first title in the franchise, Bendy and the Ink Machine (pictured), launched in 2017 and was followed by Bendy and the Dark Revival three years later.
Bendy was Disguise’s first license in the horror category, and the company has since really embraced this business opportunity, says president and GM Tara Cortner. In March, it partnered with toyco PhatMojo to develop and manufacture costumes based on survival horror game Piggy.
Jakks is following the lead of its costume division and also leaning into spooky IPs. Toys based on scary video games help the company engage older kids and gaming fans, a demo it doesn’t often reach, says marketing SVP Craig Drobis. These fans are also eager to get their hands on products based on their favorite games, he adds.
“[Costumes based on video games] have proven to be the perfect kid-friendly solution for people who want a costume on the scary side without going full classic horror,” says Cortner. “We like having this option available to our younger customers who are huge fans of gaming and want to bring that game into the real world.”