We find out more about the product which is bringing licensed stories to life in a different way.
“Moonlite came about in the most organic of ways, through bedtime shadow play with my daughter,” Natalie Rebot, inventor and founder of Moonlite World, explains. “We had this ritual where I would bring my phone up into her room, turn on the flashlight and make up stories out of shadow puppets.
“We had so much fun doing this and that is what first gave me the idea of Moonlite. I wanted to find a way to get her favourite stories up onto the ceiling or wall.”
That was back in March 2016 and by June, Natalie had her first prototype in hand, with the product launching on Kickstarter in December 2016. Following the Kickstarter campaign and New York Toy Fair, Spin Master became involved with Moonlite in May 2017, giving the toy company the chance to tap into the publishing sector.
Natalie and Spin Master are both keen to highlight the fact that Moonlite promotes early literacy skills and a passion for reading from a young age. “It gets kids excited about reading and promotes bonding time between parent and child,” says Natalie. “Children get to experience their favourite books in the most magical of ways with Moonlite.”
Licensing is “instrumental” for the Moonlite brand, says Natalie, and there are between 20-25 different licensing partners on board, ranging from Eric Carle and Sanrio through to Disney and Penguin Random House.
“We have partnered with the most iconic children’s book publishers to bring the very best content to Moonlite,” Natalie continues. “We are only as good as the content we have. Moonlite is already an incredible experience for children, but when they get to experience their favourite stories come to life in their bedroom, something magical happens. We also create original content from classic, public domain titles such as Goldilocks and the 3 Bears and The Three Little Pigs.”
Reaction from retailers has been positive, says Natalie, and she is confident that the UK launch – which took place on October 1 – will be met with the same response. Bespoke retailer launch plans were created focusing on fun in-store activities where Moonlite will be accessible for consumers to try and experience. “We are also launching the items on an out of aisle merchandiser which allows for the product to be very visible in store,” Natalie adds.
“Outside of stores, we will have a brand ambassador who will be representing the brand throughout their online and social media channels. Twitter parties and Facebook discussions featuring key experts who can speak to the importance of bedtime, reading and bonding with children will occur throughout the launch season. Will also be getting into the hands of key bloggers and UK notables.”
Natalie recommends that retailers really focus on demoing the product to parents. “Experiencing Moonlite really brings it to life in front of parents’ eyes so we would recommend that retailers focus on demoing the product as much as possible,” she says. “Parents love purchasing items they believe will enrich the lives of their children and Moonlite does just that.”
As the end of 2018 approaches, Natalie would like to see Moonlite continue to acquire more content and develop strong relationships with key publishers. She adds: “I am also very proud that we are supporting a charity and helping to get books to children in need. I think that giving back is a big part of any business and we want to strive to give all children access to amazing books.
“I would also be very excited to see Moonlite launch into different countries. We have had so many international requests, so it is a big achievement to see Moonlite move across the globe into homes everywhere.”
And the ultimate future goal? “It would be incredible for Moonlite to be a household name,” Natalie enthuses. “Moonlite has already brought so many families closer together and it would be my dream to have everyone experience this with their children. I would also like to see Moonlite become an essential early learning tool in classrooms. With our new educational content in the pipeline, the classroom would be a natural fit. It gives learning a fun, new twist and keeps children engaged.”
Natalie concludes: “We have so many new products in the making that will continue to drive excitement and innovation in the children’s publishing space.”
Moonlite: Need to know
Moonlite launched in the UK on October 1 with three product lines.
- Gift Packs, containing one projector device and five story reels, will be priced at £39.99. The Gift Set has two sets of stories available: Moonlite Originals – Fairy Tales featuring classic tales like Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk and Goldilocks and the Three Bears, while the other set contains a collection of five Roger Hargreaves’ Mr. Men Stories.
- At £19.99, Starter Kits contain one projector device and two story reels. The two stories featured are The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Very Busy Spider.
- Finally, at £7.99, there is a collection of individual titles including Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit and The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck, plus Dinosaur Roar, Spot Goes Shopping, Spot Loves Bedtime and Wherever You Go.