HOLLYWOOD – Ubiquitous angry birds flew from the mobile screen to the toy store, hooked up with Hollywood, and headed back to the digital world, thanks to the telepod. . That is toymaker Hasbro Inc’s answer to merging the physical and digital worlds of children’s play in what the industry calls “toys-to-life”.
Like another leading toy company, Walt Disney Co., they are finding fans among the fervent audiences for action and superhero films.
Hasbro’s Angry Bird telepods were a big attraction last weekend at San Diego’s Comic-Con, an annual gathering of 130,000 comic and entertainment enthusiasts.
Fans lined up to preview new transformers-themed bird figurines, containing miniscule codes that can be read by tablets.
The Angry Birds Transformers telepods, featuring “Autobirds” and “Deceptihogs,” are due out on Oct.15, spinning off the success of Paramount Pictures’ June box office hit, “Transformers: Age of Extinction”. [eap_ad_1] Licensed toys have become a key to extending the entertainment content revenue stream, with U.S. retail sales in 2013 of $5.3 billion, according to research company, The NPD Group.
In the first quarter of 2014, the top licensed toys included Disney’s princess lines and “frozen” toys, which helped Disney bring in $885 million in consumer products revenue.
This came to about eight per cent of the company’s overall revenue during the time.
The new “toys-to-life” category grew 47 per cent in a 12-month period, ending June 2014, to $437 million in sales in the United States, according to NPD’s gaming analyst, Liam Callahan.
Retail analyst, Stephanie Wissink, at Piper Jaffray, estimates that by 2018, 25 per cent of toys will incorporate a digital component or integration with electronic devices.
“Kids enjoy both analogue and digital play, and they like moving seamlessly between the two,” said John Frascotti, Hasbro’s global Chief Marketing Officer. (Reuters/NAN)