Adorable plush toy and apps are a winning combination at Who’s Got Game competition

Above: The ZowPow team -- founders Jennifer Lu and Brian Krejcarek -- collects their prize for winning the Who's Got Game competition.

Image Credit: Michael O'Donnell/VentureBeat

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. — ZowPow Toys’ unique mix of plush toys and mobile devices proved to be a winner with the judges at Wedneday’s Who’s Got Game Innovation Showdown, one of the highlights of GamesBeat 2013.

Using wireless Bluetooth controllers in the shape of plush toys, ZowPow plans to partner with developers to create mobile games based on their products. Potential concepts include a simple side-scrolling flight game controlled by a plush airplane and an app that reproduces a plush figure for manipulation on a tablet screen.

Brian Krejcarek, a founder of ZowPow (Jennifer Lu is also a founder), believes his products can be a brand-new revenue stream for mobile developers: “People who may not have purchased virtual goods before may purchase toys related to the app they love.”

Krejcarek envisions a relationship in which the toys function as a discovery platform for a related mobile game and then turn into a recurring revenue stream as consumers buy more toys from their favorite apps — similar to the model that Activision uses for its line of Skylanders action figures and video games (one that Disney has copied with Infinity).

ZowPow’s pitch was one of seven finalists in this year’s Who’s Got Game Innovation Showdown. Other pitches included a transmedia romance game and an app designed to teach users how to play their favorite pop songs on the piano. A full roundup is here.

As for ZowPow, Krejcarek has high hopes that the company’s products will eventually be coming to a toy store near you.

“We want to create a whole line of ZowPow toys,” he said. “Eventually, we want there to be a shelf at Toys ‘R’ Us that parents will recognize.”

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