If you’re like me, your first reaction was “What the heck is Poptropica?”. It sounds like some carbonated fruit drink, but it is apparently an online game for kids. Well, it has achieved the 10,000 needed votes to enter a future review (the next scheduled review covers projects from the first quarter of 2013, so I doubt this will be looked at before 2014), but I have reservations about this one that are different from previous licensed properties.
This project was submitted by the games creator just like Minecraft, but in that case if I remember correctly the company was willing to forego their cut of the proceeds just to get it made. Makes sense right? Anyone who would design a game like Minecraft is probably a LEGO fan already. In the case of the Popcreators, I’m left to wonder if it was more of a publicity stunt. If the set gets made, you have product on the shelves backed by a huge toy juggernaut and it cost you pretty much squat. If not, you still stand to get some publicity from the whole thing. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with that per se as it seems like a great business idea, but I wonder how many of the fans would actually buy the product. A set aimed specifically at kids seems like a no brainer, but CUUSOO is a different animal. Limited hand packed runs of special edition sets, only carried by a handful of retailers doesn’t seem like the best option for a set aimed primarily at kids. Previous CUUSOO sets had a far higher appeal to an older fanbase, but I could be way off here and there could be tonnes of teens and adults who love this too and if so that bodes well for both LEGO and Poptropica.
Again though, the vote numbers could be skewed because the pre-existing game users were given actual in game rewards as the project achieved certain plateaus. This Kickstarter like perk system is hardly new on CUUSOO, but I don’t think it’s ever given such a large group outside the LEGO community instant gratification as a project progressed. So how many voters came just for the promise of nifty in game costumes, etc? If I was just to go by the comments on the CUUSOO project, I could assume quite a few. Afterall, the project was started in January, but took seven months to amass 10,000 votes even though it has over 2 million views. CUUSOO will have a lot to take into consideration on this one as always, but at least the hurdle of getting licence approval from the creator is less of an issue. That could put it one step ahead of the Ghostbusters in the upcoming review.
All that aside, would I pay $40 for a pink bunny suited figure? If the parts were interesting enough and/or in the right quantity to offset the price, probably. If the set is too small or uninteresting, then no pink bunny. That’s what it comes down to for me. What are your thoughts?