Today's parents could be forgiven for thinking they’ve travelled back to their childhood, as brands including Thundercats, Transformers, Furby and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles dominate toy stores.
We shouldn’t be surprised; parents have always enjoyed seeing their children playing with the toys they used themselves when they were younger.
So, with the market lapping up heritage brands, which retro intellectual properties could be due for a relaunch, and which would perform best as toys?
During a survey of 1,500 American and British children (aged six to 12), Dubit analysed their awareness and opinions on some of the most classic children’s heritage brands, including Inspector Gadget, Pingu, Mr Men and Berenstein Bears.
So many platforms
Since we wouldn’t expect children who weren’t fond or aware of a brand to buy a licensed toy, we asked fans how they would like their favourite IPs rebooted.
What became clear was that children’s exposure to such a broad range of entertainment platforms means they not only expect to be able to consume these brands across multiple platforms, but the number of platforms are also incredibly diverse.
For instance, some children wanted to see The Swiss Family Robinson turned into a Zelda-style video game, The Jungle Book as either a Temple Run app game or a dancing game, and Thundercats as the original cartoon but available on demand.
Of all the entertainment products that the IPs could be rebooted as, toys rank sixth in popularity, behind the original animation, a digitally updated TV show, books, console games and mobile apps. There was no restriction on the number of platforms children could choose.
Toys peak in preference for children aged six to nine, although even at these ages toys aren’t placed above TV, console games or books. However, toys manage to oust mobile games for that demographic.
Dubit also looked for brands where toys polled the highest among their fans, relative to other potential mediums, like games or TV shows.
The brands with the highest potential of fans wanting to play with licensed toys are Mr Men (21 per cent), Pingu (20 per cent) and Inspector Gadget, Berenstein Bears and The Jungle Book (all tied on 19 per cent).
Mr Men toys are popular with fans aged six to ten years old, peaking with fans aged six to nine years old. Pingu is more suited to younger children, finding favour as a toy with fans aged under nine and performing best with children aged seven and eight years old.
Inspector Gadget resonates well with fans of all ages, but best with those aged six to eight years of age.
The Jungle Book received a relatively poor reaction, aside from six year old fans, an impressive 62 per cent of whom want Jungle Book toys.
Bernstein Bears has a similar split; toy demand is highest with fans aged six and seven years of age.
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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