Carte Blanche on why traditional toy firms should take note of digital properties

Carte Blanche made its name in the traditional sector with a history in giftware and plush, but the firm has successfully welcomed a digital string to its bow in the form of its Moshlings Collection. Carte Blanche brand manager Catherine Lawrence tells Billy Langsworthy why blending classic toys with digital works.
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How has Carte Blanche’s history in plush helped in dealing with a digital property like Moshlings?

Carte Blanche is not only experts in creating traditional plush toys, but has a proven flair for creating characters that are hugely collectable and that children simply ‘have to have’.

Even as a non-media brand, Tatty Teddy & My Blue Nose Friends collectable plush characters have proved an instant success with kids queuing to get their hands on the latest releases and a social media buzz each time new characters are launched.

This ability to turn fans into collectors has formed an enormous part in the success of the Moshlings Collection to date.

Why have a digital element with the Moshlings range?

When consumers buy a character from The Moshling Collection, they are able to ‘catch’ a digital version of that Moshling in game at moshimonsters.com.

From the outset, this was a fundamental feature of the product as we saw that kids would do almost anything in game to collect a whole menagerie of Moshlings. We knew that we could convert these digital collectors into physical collectors if we could find a way of linking both.

From the redemption rates we have seen so far, we can see the concept is working well.

Does this demonstrate that traditional toys can be used as a route to digital play?

Kids have truly engaged with the product concept. They are not only purchasing several characters, so enjoying the collectability of the range, but also understand the product USP: being able to ‘catch’ a digital version of each Moshling within the online game at moshimonsters.com.

The next phase of characters in the collection feature links to the phenomenally successful Moshi Village app, providing an extra element to the range, which sees kids getting the best out of both digital and traditional play.

How important was it for the Moshlings range to be a recognisably Carte Blanche creation?

Carte Blanche are known for being able to create products that are full of character and creativity and when we set about creating the Moshlings Collection we knew that we needed to ensure that we captured kids imaginations by making sure each digital character came to life in plush format.

We did this by working closely with the Mind Candy team to incorporate even the smallest details which make each character unique.

The way we have merchandised the range in stores is also uniquely recognisable to Carte Blanche. Having won several POPEI Awards for our Free Standing Display Unit concepts around the Tatty Teddy & My Blue Nose Friends range, we used our expertise in this area to create amazing Moshlings Collection trees and other POS solutions which allow kids to shop a full range, easily picking out the characters that they have and the ones they still need to collect.

Not only does this allow the consumer to shop as a collector, but also creates some great brand theatre in often crowded toy stores.

Has the digital side of Moshlings informed anything regarding the Tatty Teddy line?

The world of Tatty Teddy and My Blue Nose friends is evolving all the time. We have an exciting new
publishing deal launching in autumn/winter this year, which opens up a whole new world of possibilities for the characters.

Our relationship with the team at Mind Candy is very much a partnership and who’s to say where Tatty Teddy might appear next.

Why should traditional toy firms take note of digital properties?

The swipe generation is an entirely different animal than kids of the past and toy companies should ignore this at their peril.

Great brands will always evolve and grow with the times and as kids are now so digitally savvy, we should all ensure that innovation in toy encompasses this.

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