I'll just jump right in. Toyetic. You made that word up right?
No not at all. "Toyetic" (ToY-et-IK) is a term commonly used in the toy industry to describe not toy product (i.e. a Barbie doll or a Monopoly Game) but rather the content that drives toy product such as movies comics and video games.
But in explaining what Toyetic is, and why it is important, it is also imperative to understand how this concept can be used not just in content creation, but in character design, location choice and casting. So many films and televisions shows are made these days with the direct intent of their being a "corresponding toy line". Just walk down the action play aisle of any Target store to see what I mean. From superhero movies to dinosaur adventures, these days hardly a Hollywood blockbuster is made without (the intention of having) a licensed product line to both promote and experience the film outside of the theatrical viewing experience.
The problem with this formula is that many of the character designs and comics that are inspiring these movies do not contain Toyetic elements. That being; the core attributes of the heroes, villains and locations are bland, uninspiring and lack specific elements that make for good product.
As an example, lets take two of Warner Bros. biggest movie stars Batman and Harry Potter. Both are incredibly popular year-on-year, both have billions of fans around the world. Yet Batman toys are considered "evergreeen" in the toy aisle which means essentially whomever holds the master toy license (I'm looking at you now Spinmaster...) has pretty much guaranteed placement of 2-6 feet depending on how fresh the content is (i.e. a "movie year").
Yet Harry Potter who's films have collectively outpaced the revenue that Batman has generated in a shorter amount of time and with fewer films. But where are the Harry Potter toys?
Sure their are some awesome adult collector items out their. I personally love my Dumbledore wand replica and house scarf. I even own a NECA Harry Potter action figure. Mattel did snag the license to the very first Potter film, but their is a reason they did not renew. The toy did not sell.
And why is this? Simple. While Harry is one of the most beloved literary and cinematic characters of all time (sorry Ron), he lacks the fundamental Toyetic elements that a character like Batman has already baked into his character and world. And it is these Toyetic elements that make kids want to BE Batman and not just be friends with Harry Potter.
So how do you bridge that gap in your entertainment or character design? It really is rather simple. Design your character and content with Toyetic elements from day one. Create these elements as an essential part of both your character and his or her universe. Populate the story with villains, vehicles and powers that translate organically into toys and established toy play patterns (we will get into established play patterns in next week's blog!).
And how do you do this? Contact Spector Creative! One of the solutions we provide is working with content creators to infuse Toyetic elements into content from the beginning and in an organic way. Consumers (kids) can smell a fraud a muile away.
Toyetic elements need to feel organic and simple. Once you start over-thinking it, these elements can also backfire as well. But baking them into your content from day one can be a key to huge success when licensing product based on your content.
Want to know more about Toyetic elements and which ones work best? Click here or drop us a line at scott.neitlich@spectorcreative. We love to talk solutions!