Interested in learning what's next for the gaming industry? Join gaming executives to discuss emerging parts of the industry this October at GamesBeat Summit Next. Learn more.
WowWee is introducing a new toy line to its portfolio. The My Avastars line of toys grew from the fact that kids use avatars to explore, create and express themselves in the metaverse. In fact, the metaverse is so deep in the DNA of My Avastars that WowWee is partnering up with Gamefam. The toy maker and the Roblox publisher are creating a doll that enables seamless interactive play in the physical and digital worlds.
The My Avastars launch is kicking-off with three unique dolls. Each doll comes dressed in a signature, fashion-forward outfit. On top of that, you also get a mystery bonus outfit and reusable sticker sheets. Everything combines into more than 100 possible unique looks.
“As the Roblox universe continues to grow, we’re focused on creating the next generation of hit franchises born from the metaverse,” said Gamefam boss Joe Ferencz, in a statement to GamesBeat. “My Avastars marks the first time a toy and Roblox game have been developed concurrently, reaching players with an engaging experience both in the real world and in the metaverse.”
So that’s the physical side, but how does Roblox tie in?
Each of the dolls comes with an individual code for unlocks in the new My Avastars: RP game inside Roblox. The roleplaying game isn’t launching until July, but it will let kids bring their dolls to life online. Doll owners will be able to use the codes unlock new fashions, hairstyles, and facial features.
“One of the things that’s unique about My Avastars is the aesthetic of the doll itself,” said WowWee’s Andrew Yanofsky. “Traditionally, fashion dolls are molded to perfection. In comparison, the blockish shape of My Avastars, the flat surfaces, the peel and repeat sticker play, are all designed to provoke kids’ creativity by allowing them to change and rearrange their dolls as they do their avatars.”
The entire project is going to be a community-driven property. WowWee and Gamefam are launching a Discord server to let fans engage in a two-way conversation with My Avastars. Their voices will have a real impact in how My Avastars evolves, both physically and within the game.
So the question is…
The thing I had to sit down and think about was whether or not this counts as Toys to Life. These dolls are actual toys, but they don’t have wireless chips. They don’t need a special piece of hardware to interface with a game.
I think they might be better toys than actual Toys to Life toys. Skylanders, Starlink ships, and even Amiibos are all more figurines or statuettes than anything else. My Avastars are dolls you can actually just sit down and play with.
Or maybe this doesn’t count as a Toys to Life thing. Maybe it doesn’t need to. Maybe this works just fine as a set of fun kids dolls which come with a bonus for the tie-in game.
GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. Learn more about membership.