It’s February, which means Toy Fair in New York City. Every year, Mind Candy CEO Michael Acton Smith comes to town to peddle his little monsters. Those would be Moshi Monsters, one of the largest social game sites for kids 6 to 11, with 10 million monthly visitors. It’s huge in the UK, and this year Smith is going to make a major push into the U.S.
And it’s not just online. Moshi Monsters are finding their way into all sorts of kids merchandise, including collectible toy figurines (more than 20 million sold in the UK alone last year), plush dolls, games, the No. 1 kids magazine in the UK, mobile apps, and even temporary tattoos. While we were talking about his plans in the video above, Smith put one of the tattoos of the Snookums “moshling” character on my arm. My kids were pretty impressed when I showed it to them.
Last year, Smith’s goal was to sell $100 million worth of Moshi Monster merchandise, and he exceeded that goal, selling $105 million worth directly and through licensees. Mind Candy’s revenues was a portion of that, but it is profitable with 100 employees and Smith says revenues “tripled” last year.
He is constantly pushing the brand into new areas, including Moshi TV, which is like a YouTube for Kids with a mix of original and curated programming. If you haven’t heard of Moshi Monsters yet, you will. The toys will be in Walmart, JC Penny and pretty much everywhere else this year.
Moshi Monsters is a virtual world for children that allows users to adopt and care for their own pet monsters. Monster owners can make new friends and connect with existing friends through a wide variety of safe social networking features such as Monster blogs, Newsfeeds, pinboards and buddy lists. Users create a home for their pet monster in Monstro City, play games and make friends, and show off their monster and home to everyone else. The world of Moshi Monsters...
Mind Candy specializes in the development of new types of multi-player, online gaming experiences.