Children have played with toys from their favourite stories for decades, whether it’s pretending to be super heroes or collecting Moshlings in real life – or while playing Moshi Monsters online.
The difference now is that children expect their favourite characters to be available across more platforms than before.
Our research shows that the majority of six to 12 year olds are consuming entertainment brands cross-media (86 per cent), with TV being the driving force. We found this out by asking children whether consuming a property through one type of media (TV, books, games and toys) had led them to seek out the IP through another type.
The largest section of children said they had gone to play with the toy after seeing a property on TV (56 per cent); while children playing with the toys were also most likely to go on to consume the IP on TV.
47 per cent of children had gone from the TV to books, and 46 per cent to the video game. Book-reading also led to TV viewing, with almost half (45 per cent) moving from print to the TV screen.
PENGUINS AND MONSTERS
The complete study looked at over 40 heritage brands, but also included a number of modern IPs, such as Disney’s Club Penguin and Mind Candy’s Moshi Monsters – two virtual world brands which aren’t as alike as they seem.
These two were interesting as, with only a few exceptions (Mario and Sonic, for instance), they are the only large kids’ entertainment brands to start life online.
However, it will be interesting to see how Minecraft’s cross-media consumption matures in this space.
Although Club Penguin and Moshi Monster’s online games are strong, they’re not always the first place that children experience the brand.
The graph to the right shows through which medium children first experienced Moshi Monsters and Club Penguin. In both the US and UK, the online games were the most popular first contact points for both Moshi Monsters and Club Penguin players.
With Moshi Monsters, toys came in a close second with 25 per cent of UK kids and 19 per cent of US kids playing with the toys first, compared to 36 per cent (UK) and 27 per cent (US) who had played the game first.
With Club Penguin, the game was the dominant choice in both territories, with TV and books a very distant second and third.
Only two per cent of kids in both the UK and US first experienced Club Penguin in the form of toys.
TV was also a popular choice of format for Moshi Monsters and Club Penguin newcomers in the United States, with around ten to 20 per cent of children experiencing the brands.
It goes to show that while Moshi Monsters and Club Penguin are considered to be similar properties in general, their cross-media consumption and first point of contact with children can be quite different.
Dubit is a youth research agency and digital development studio. By utilising a deep understanding of young people’s motivations and behaviours, Dubit works with brand owners worldwide to create digital experiences that children love.
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