Mind Candy’s ceo Ian Chambers talks to The Source about the return of Moshi Monsters.
Firstly, for the uninitiated, please can you give me some background on the Moshi Monsters brand?
Over 100 million monsters have been created since Moshi Monsters first launched as an online world in 2008. The world of Moshi has since expanded successfully offline into bestselling books, magazines, toys, trading cards, chart-storming music albums and a movie. In 2012 Moshi Monsters was the number one selling collectables range in the UK. In many ways Moshi created the template for collectables that others have followed in recent years.
To further help set the scene, what has been happening at Mind Candy over the past few years in terms of restructuring, new staff, licensing, etc?
Over the past few years Mind Candy as a business has changed dramatically. We have reinvigorated the team with new talent and launched new brands and products such as Petlandia, which is seeing tremendous success in the personalised storybook market. Our core philosophy though has maintained constant: to create worlds that fire the imagination. This has been at the heart of our plans to expand Moshi on mobile through our newest Moshi products: Moshi Monsters Egg Hunt and Moshi Twilight.
Now Moshi is back – if we can take Moshi Monster Egg Hunt first; can you talk us through what it?
Kids want to have fun and parents want kids to do so in a safe environment. Moshi Monsters Egg Hunt is a free top five mobile game for kids 4-8 that does just that. It has no in-app purchases or social media features to worry about. We’ve created a window into the world of Moshi to let kids explore our universe and its vast array of characters in time-limited sessions that last, on average, ten minutes. Our goal is to maintain this window into the brand with the goal of expanding into other products and services off the back of the game.
To date we’ve had over one million downloads.
I understand Flair is launching a toy line in January – what will this consist of? Are there plans for any further licensed products?
Flair is launching the Moshi Egg Hunt collectables at the end of January 2019. Series one will feature over 40 Moshlings to collect including Ultra Rare and Limited Edition Super Moshlings. With this range we will be connecting the digital and physical Moshi experience. Fans will be able to collect physical eggs with the new range of collectable Moshlings inside and each pack will contain unique codes to unlock digital gifts within the mobile game.
Can you explain more about Moshi Twilight and the partnership with Calm?
Mind Candy’s founder and creator of Moshi Monsters, Michael Acton Smith, is also the co-ceo of Calm so a partnership with Calm was a natural step to take. We have embraced Calm’s model of creating audio Sleep Stories that help people relax, unwind and fall asleep at bedtime. We have brought this idea and the world of Moshi together to create completely original, melodic stories that help kids drift off at bedtime – our mission is to make a billion families around the world happier and healthier by helping their kids sleep.
I understand a new global licensing deal has been signed for 2019 – can you explain more about this for us?
Our licensing ambition for Moshi Twilight is to create a range of products that, when used alongside our Sleep Stories, help kids drift off to sleep easily at bedtime when the lights go out. Our first step on this journey has been to sign a global deal with Posh Paws International and we will be revealing more at Toy Fair in January. All of our licensed products will bundle a subscription to the app giving families instant access to hours of enchanting sleep stories, music, soundscapes and guided relaxations.
Again, is there scope for further licensing deals around Moshi Twilight?
Absolutely. We are talking to a number of licensees about other products in the range. That said, we are not looking to put Moshi Twilight on every possible product in the bedroom that can be branded. All of our products will actively contribute to some part of the bedtime routine to help kids sleep more easily. We want to bring a handful of incredible products to market that will give our licensed partners their own gap in the range. Working in collaboration between partners to establish the full Moshi Twilight range will be key to our success.
What kind of reaction have both Egg Hunt and Twilight been getting from retailers and licensees?
Feedback has been very positive. The Moshi IP is unique and magical and there is a common belief that our world and its characters that have inspired 100 million kids has an opportunity to inspire a whole new generation of kids and parents.
Why do you think that now is a good time to reintroduce the Moshi Monsters franchise?
Because even though Moshi has been absent from the high street we have been growing strongly in other areas. We have millions of kids enjoying the world of Moshi in our new apps, and after all these years we still have hundreds of thousands of kids playing the original Moshi Monsters web game. We’re now ready to bring Moshi back to retail through these new partnerships.
How did the franchise need to change to appeal to today’s generation of children?
The obvious focus for us now is on mobile where we are seeing all of our recent success. For Egg Hunt the key difference with the new collectables range will be the link between the physical products and digital game. Each collectable purchase includes a code that children can use to unlock goodies in the Moshi Monsters Egg Hunt app. It won’t matter if they came to the toys from the app or if they found their way to the app through the collectables.
With Moshi Twilight we are incredibly excited about the potential to create a non-seasonal range of products that will perfectly enhance the digital audio experience of our audience listening to Sleep Stories. Millions of kids struggle to get to sleep every night and we believe Moshi Twilight and the products we create will be bought all year round by parents or their friends and family to bring the gift of sleep into their lives.
What would you most like to achieve in 2019 with Moshi Monsters?
Our focus is on the future with a mission to create worlds that fire the imagination and, with Moshi Twilight, to help a billion parents get their kids to relax and sleep. If we achieve that in 2019 we will be over the moon.