Posted in gaming, kids, marketing, online advertising, trends, tween, virtual worlds, web business, Webkinz

Thinking Outside Virtual Worlds

The big category is Webkinz. The company is already launching different models, but it’s also selling figurines, lip gloss, and more to monetize the interest in the brand. Lots of companies are following suit. [ed: it seems like a new one at least every week]

Barbie Girls and Be-Bratz target an older market. Barbie Girls, though, offers some free content and as taken an early lead in users Collectible cards, like Bella Sara, Chaotic, Maple Story, World of Warcraft, have also spread across the environment. In the other direction, companies like Moo.com (with Habbo), Stardoll, Zazzle, and FigurePrints.com allow users to take elements from the virtual world to the real. Sometimes that’s as simple as printing your avatar on a tshirt, sometimes it’s designing clothes for your avatar that can then be fabricated for you, and sometimes it’s the creation of your avatar itself.

TestTubeAliens.com is an alien in a tube of water, when held up to the screen, it detects screen patterns and changes the mood of the physical alien. UbFunKeys comes from Mattel and operates in the similar fashion as Webkinz, but with plastic instead of plush. Tamagotchi recently updated its online world. Me2 from IrwinToy.com is a motion sensor that records your physical activity and then points to your virtual character at home, potentially promoting activity away from the sedentary lifestyle.

Other products like iBuddy or Ambient Devices’ gadgets interface with your computer or environment to provide you more information, creating more of an augmented reality than a straight up virtual world, but creating possibilities, said Smith, for giving feedback to users away from their avatars.

Other items, like Tshirts from Thinkgeek, Firebox, eLaundry.com, and Tqualizer imprint electronics that are tied to other tshirts or products, giving feedback through interwoven screens.

Virtual Worlds News: Liveblogging Worlds in Motion: MindCandy’s Michael Acton Smith on “Thinking Outside Virtual Worlds”

Interesting post on how to extend the virtual world brand to products.

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Author:

Joi Podgorny has spent the better part of the past 2 decades working on the bleeding edge of the technology and entertainment industries, from content/brand development and production to leading international support, moderation, community and social teams. Most recently, Joi founded Good People Collective, a consulting agency focused on helping companies and organizations establish, assess and pivot their internal and external cultures to help maximize their potential. She and her team are currently working on an exciting new software project, combining corporate training and virtual reality.

3 thoughts on “Thinking Outside Virtual Worlds

  1. The Me2 concept from IrwinToy.com is very much in line with what MIT Lifelong kindergarten or Finland’s Ubiplay porjects are trying to promote ; couldnt find any details on the Irwintoy.com website ; can you help, Joy?

    thanks in advance.

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