I was sitting with my boss yesterday and she told me yet another fascinating story about her son (the 7 year old). Her son had received an awesome iPod docking station from his grandparents, a gift valued at around $150. Just this weekend, her son had a total meltdown (tears and all), begging mom and dad to return the gift from his grandparents and instead use the money to buy an assortment of $6.99 Club Penguin “puffle” plastic figurines.
While online may be the thriving and emerging mode of play for kids, I don’t think anything will ever replace individual or group play in the real world. Despite having an entire virtual world to play with, the kid was crying for plastic figurines!
Which brings me to my next point – I was floored to hear that Club Penguin had crossed the divide into physical in-store merchandise. I suppose lots of online children’s brands move from online to real world, but Club Penguin seemed different to me. I didn’t expect toysrus.com to have an entire “Character/Theme” page to Club Penguin.
But then again, kids want and can consume their favorites on all screens and apparently all stores – virtual goods from virtual stores and real life Puffles at brick and mortars. Forget content is king… kid is king.