My friend Stephen Baer, managing director of the Game Agency, published a terrific article on toy makers' transformation into digital content publishers on MediaPost. Stephen cites the NPD Group reports on declining toy sales (by 2% in 2011) and says that the industry is trying to revamp by acquiring 'digital customers'. Here's an excerpt from the article, giving Mattel's initiatives as examples of this emerging trend:
"Mattel is introducing a new platform called Apptivity that will allow kids to take a physical toy and safely play with it on their iPad’s screen. In May, the toy maker will begin with Hot Wheels Apptivity, which lets kids take a 1:64 scale Hot Wheels car and race through three game modes on the iPad. The company will also introduce Apptivity to the youngest techies-in-training with Fisher-Price’s Laugh & Learn Apptivity Monkey, an interactive plush learning toy for babies that give them their very own apps on mom or dad’s iPhone or iPod touch device. Later this year, Mattel plans to roll out this technology to Barbie, Monster High, WWE, Angry Birds, Cut the Rope and Fruit Ninja."
To read the full article, which is full of examples from brands such as Hasbro and Identity Games, click here.