Sunday, April 29

Monster High Doesn't Have a TV Show, Isn't That Weird?

Or, so says one of my kids.  Turns out, she was right.  A huge trend right now is taking advantage of all the media available to kids, natural business opportunity.  Kudos to my kiddo who noticed one successful franchise which hasn't needed a television presence.  Some musings, after the jump.
     If you have no idea what Monster High is, you aren't alone.  I had never heard of it until this kid walked into my office with a Lagoona Blue doll and was super excited to tell me all about it.  As an old person (ok, I'm not that old, but these fads are lost on all but the very young), it sounded like NeoPets with weird people (also, can you believe that NeoPets is still around?).  But, so, Monster High has a website with all kinds of games, information about the 'students', simple art projects, videos, and naturally, a shop.
     It's no secret that the driving force of most kid, tween, and even some teen franchises is the Disney channel.  They use those 'stars' to the fullest with movies, shows, music, and interactive websites.  Monster High takes advantage of this by filling in the opposite end of the spectrum with 'goth' appeal, even to 10 year olds.  Business props for filling a market void.  Going back decades it has been the norm for shows to have action figures (I'm looking at you, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and likely a movie.  The action figures make it into the hands of kids who haven't seen the show and then the show gets more viewers, the show further drives the sale of action figures.  Comic books have also been a big part of this multifaceted barrage. 
     So, today, these marketing plans must include facebook, twitter, interactive websites, books, comic books, movies, television, music (did you know there's a Peeps album?  Actually, more than one . . .), and stores with toys, notebooks, pillows, jewelry, and who knows what else.  Hello Kitty has been champion of random crap, though . . . my Hello Kitty toaster worked great, no lie.  Ok, so, you know all this.  People muse about this all the time.  I'm not wasting your time, really.
     The weird thing is how wildly successful this whole thing can be and how the whole idea has continued to perpetuate itself to the point that kids have downright come to expect it.  Beyblades are tops.  Beyblades made tops popular enough to spur a television show based on tops.  The television show and the tops managed to get so popular that there are video games to play and you can now battle your tops online.  TOPS.  Beyblades even makes arenas to battle your tops in . . . because they figured that tops alone aren't annoying, but the sound of Beyblades battling in an arena, I assure you, fits the bill.
     And so, Monster High doesn't have a tv show, isn't that weird?  Turns out, yes!  But, you can buy dolls, sketch books, underpants, t-shirt kits, books, barrettes, make-up, tattoos, tablecloths, and earphones.  I can't end without the obligatory: these dolls are made by Mattel who also makes Barbie and while Barbies and Monster High are apparently rivals . . . they are both obscene.  Apparently a Monster High movie is in the works and will make my kiddo's dreams come true.  She was right though, it's unusual for a fad franchise to gain so much momentum without taking advantage of all the bells and whistles that sing to kids these days.  It's astonishing that she noticed.