Thursday, September 27, 2007

Neopets Key Quest Crosses Boundaries

The perpetual motion machine that is 'Neopets' continues to churn, with announcements this week of a new partnership with toy manufacturer Jakks Pacific to create a whole gamut of new Neopets toys and accessories. The site itself is still growing strong -- according to comScore, Neopets attracted 5.9 million visitors last month, its strongest month yet and a 50% increase over the same period last year. comScore also reports that the average "tween" user spends 2 hours and 33 minutes on the site. Wowza! This new partnership expands upon previous/existing Neopian merchandising initiatives, and also represents a further integration of Neopets' online and real-world play products. In particular, a number of the Jakks toys will tie-in to Neopets' new multiplayer "Key Quest" game, by providing codes that will allow kids to "transport" their toys into the online environment (so basically, a rip off of Webkinz). From Gamasutra:
The Jakks toy line will focus on plush Neopets toys, but the aggreement also covers action figures, accessories, playsets and plug-and-play interactive toys, as well as role-play products, vehicles, youth electronics, water toys, novelties, stationery products, kites, and craft activity toys. Jakks’ Neopets collectible plush products are expected to begin to hit retail shelves in early spring 2008, with figures, playsets and other Neopets products shipping to retailers nationwide for fall.

Additionally, the plush toys and other upcoming Neopets consumer products will tie into a new multiplayer “Neopets Key Quest” in the game. The toys will contain codes that allow kids to unlock virtual extensions of the toys to use as part of the Neopets Key Quest game, with virtual versions of the toys represented in the users' Neopets profile.

The companies plan to release the new line next spring (2008). Until then, kids will just have to content themselves with Webkinz and The Littlest Pet Shop.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

How does this cross a boundary?

Anonymous said...

Yeah? And how is it a rip-off of webkinz? Have you ever actually PLAYED Neopets? I doubt it, so stop making assumptions. Neopets is nothing like Webkinz and the website has been around alot longer than Webkinz has. You already have virtual pets on Neopets, but with Key Quest codes you are able to get "tokens" to play with in the Key Quest board game. Key Quest is just ONE game in the thousands of things you can do on Neopets. If anything, Webkinz is a weak Neopets rip-off.

Sara M. Grimes said...

Oh, I played Neopets for many years. And I agree that Webkinz based many of ITS site around Neopets, and not the other way around. The comparison I was making was in regards to the real-to-virtual business model, which Webkinz really brought to the forefront and perfected, and has since been emulated by a number of virtual worlds and communities. That's all!