Robot Galaxy: because cool toys want to play both off and online

Robots
Aboard GALAXY I, you can create virtual Robots in the Arsenal, as well
as play games in the Training Deck and Battle Station. There are two
ways to build a Robot: 1) Virtually or 2) Modeled after your Robot
purchased at ROBOTGALAXY stores. You can also go to our e-store to purchase a Robot resembling your online avatar.

If you already own a SUPERSONIC FUEL CELL, connect your Robot's USB
cable to the computer before going online. Once connected, you can
either program your robot for the first time or receive new robot
downloads as your Robot advances in rank aboard GALAXY I.

Enjoy,
CJ-531
Your Commander

is it me or is it every kids dream to get an email like this?  trendcentral has pointed us in the direction of a new offline / online / toy / game / story in the form of Robot Galaxy…  the trend central article explains it all better than I would:

"Not only are the
robots customized to each boy's specifications, but each one also has a
life online, offering boys a virtual world experience similar to those
so popular with tween girls, such as Webkinz and Club Penguin.

While at
the store, boys select from eight different robot characters from the
ROBOTGALAXY comic book series, subsequently building and "programming"
their choice as they wish. They then move on to a computer center,
known as the Lab, where the robots are connected to the online world
via USB cable; users then create an avatar for and register each in the
ONLINE GALAXY virtual world.

Once home, robot owners can play games
within the world and the higher the scores, the more light patterns,
sound effects, and phrases their physical robot will download."


so essentially… kids get to join up play in the real and online worlds, and get to share those experiences with other kids online.  social play in every sense.  but the best bit for me is that the advertising strategy is double genius.

one, it has consumer-to-consumer communication at it's heart.  kids will talk to other kids about this, and the fact that it's inherently competitive (blast those robots etc) means that there's always new communications to be had.

but the second bit of genius is how storytelling lies at the heart of the marketing strategy.  comics explain who the robots are and who they're battling, but as the project moves forward these will become free media to introduce new characters, models, ranges and stories.  stories that kids will want to engage with and then develop on their own terms both on and off line.  screwball scrabble was just never this cool.

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