The Littlest Pet Shop brand, which launched the Littlest Pet Shop VIP virtual world last September,
contributed to a 24% revenue growth in the girls category for Q2 2008,
the company said in its earnings call last week. That's for the entire
line of toys. Of specific interest, though, almost 2 million VIP toys
have been registered online. Hasbro and EA are slated to release three
Nintendo DS games and 1 Wii title this fall, though it's not clear if
they will tie into the VIP virtual world.
It doesn't sound like that number includes the "borrowed" virtual pets for users
that don't want to "adopt" a physical toy. Actual user numbers might be
even higher, but Hasbro has said it doesn't view the world in and of itself as a revenue source,
just the fact that it drives toy purchases and engagement. It sounds
like that's significant, though. At Toy Fair in February, Hasbro
announced that it was expanding the Littlest Pet Shop VIP line with 11 new pets.
"Littlest Pet Shop did contribute to growth in the second quarter and
it’s across a number of different categories," said President and CEO
Brian Goldner. "It was up double-digits in the quarter by itself, and
it’s a combination of the traditional products, the collector
characters, as well as playsets. VIPs, we’ve had almost 2 million
registered adoptions of VIPs online globally. Our VIP website has been
done in 12 different languages across 20 countries already just since
early this year, so again, well on track. This fall we’re very excited
because EA will come out with three Nintendo DS titles as well as a Wii
title for Littlest Pet Shop, and that will all be integrated with our
marketing efforts through the holidays."