09 March 2012 ~ 2 Comments

The Animal Kingdom – Why Kids Love Animalistic Toys

The old saying of ‘never work with children or animals’ does NOT apply to the Toy Industry!

In fact, the reality is that Kids and animals can be a dream combination – ask Hasbro about Elefun or Hungry Hippos. Or ask Schleich.

The ‘animal’ effect gets even stronger when you look at Movie franchises…from Madagascar to The Lion King, from Shrek to Finding Nemo, it seems that humanising animals i.e. giving them human style personalities and voices, really works wonders.

So is success in the Kids Entertainment and Toy Brand world as easy as slapping a couple of animals into the formula? Well not always. Not every animal based Property/range works. As ever, strong (distinctive) Branding, great marketing, massive fun factor and product features/benefits are also key, but for those stuck for ideas, a quick review of the animal kingdom should spawn some great creative ideas.

We have the cute but unthreatening such as Lambs, puppies and so on, we have the wild but stylish equine kingdom, and of course we have the tear ‘em into pieces predators. Then we can overlay environment for extra levels of Product & Brand distinction…mountains, deserts, rainforest, sea, urban et cetera.

If we next look a little deeper at WHY Kids like these animals, we can see several factors:

  1. Animals get away with things humans can’t i.e. eating other animals, fighting, being wild!
  2. Animals are there to be nurtured – they clearly need care.
  3. Animals can be really, really funny!
  4. It’s easy to portray ‘Goodies’ and ‘Baddies’ with animals.
  5. The animals natural state provides a ready made presumed personality i.e. a lion may be bold and aggressive, or for comic effect it might be the opposite (remember the Lion in The Wizard of Oz).

So – this animal thing is a definite reality. Can you deploy this in some way for your business…?


All the best


P.S. A gratuitous, and entirely un-related plug (!), I recently launched my 21st C. Toy Marketing Academy – helping people cut through the smoke and mirrors of modern media i.e. Facebook, Twitter et al. Free Guide available by clicking here… http://toymarketingacademy.comĀ