How did you come up with the idea of producing kids products based on Augmented Reality?
HoloToyz was born out of a passion for fun and technology – this is why we call ourselves the world’s first FunTech company!
Over the years, we have seen the proliferation of AR into society. We have also seen first-hand how our children love playing with the filters on social media but it is simply not a safe environment for them. Why should adults have all the fun?!
Both the adoption of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths) within the toy industry and the creative possibilities of AR technology inspired the HoloToyz team to create a range of products for children that magically come to life – that is the beauty of Augmented Reality – it really is like magic – both for children and adults alike!
Why do you think toys based on technology are important for kids these days? And what kind of feedback have you received so far?
We feel it’s important to offer children the opportunity to learn about and through technologies in a safe and fun environment. There are many benefits of introducing these technologies to children across all spectrums — from education to creativity, which will be a key focus for HoloToyz.
According to studies, well-designed digital educational games can play a significant role in early childhood education. Since our launch, we have received incredibly positive feedback and have been approached by some of the world’s best licensors for collaborations.
Why should your products be part of retailers' assortments? And do you support them so that they can present or demonstrate your products perfectly?
The world is about to experience an Augmented Reality boom. You only have to look at the smart devices people have today – they are now equiped with LiDAR and Time of Flight camera sensors, which specifically help with 3D imaging and Augmented Reality experiences.
Young children today - generation Alpha, otherwise known as ‘Tiny Tech Titans‘ or ‘iGeneration’ - are the first generation who will be immersed in technology their whole lives and are expected to surpass their parents’ technology skills before their eighth birthdays! The toy industry is keen to introduce innovation to this new generation and HoloToyz is able to provide that fun, educational range of products that allows them to do this. What makes our product range so attractive is, that each product is still fun and engaging in its own right. Our HoloToyz app simply enhances them through an immersive, digital experience.
For retail, we have a range of creative POS, including counter display units, free-standing video displays, in-store sidekicks and gondola end displays. We also work with our distributors and retailers on social and influencer marketing, which helps to demo our range perfectly and grow the brand in their territories.
HoloToyz was launched during the Covid19-Pandemic last year. How did these circumstances influence the development and launch of HoloToyz?
In January 2020, we took a stand at Spielwarenmesse and received an overwhelmingly positive response from the industry. Three weeks later, we attended the New York Toy Fair and shortly after that the entire world seemed to be locked down. We came home to a re-imagined workplace and almost overnight virtual meetings became the norm. Despite retail lockdowns and an apprehension amongst distributors, the pandemic did help us to a large extent as it allowed us to meet some great people we would never have otherwise had the chance to meet. This has enabled us to scale the business globally within a short timeframe.
Which marketing activities are most important to you?
From a B2B perspective, toy fairs will always be key to our marketing strategy. Partnerships with trade publications like ToyWorld Magazine are also crucial to the growth of our brand. Our B2C marketing activities focus predominantly on digital channels, influencer marketing and in-store POS. For many, social media became one of the only ways to connect with family and friends. Consumers also shifted to a new habit of online shopping. For this reason, influencer marketing has become almost more important in this new world we live in, however it has also become more challenging due to the volume of brand activity.
How important are trade fairs for you and will you be part of the Spielwarenmesse 2022?
We have booked our stand at Spielwarenmesse 2022 and are counting down the days already! Trade fairs are hugely important for HoloToyz. They offer the perfect opportunity to meet the right people, showcase our brand and discuss our future plans. Some of our best customers and suppliers are those we met at last year’s fair, so we’re really looking forward to making new connections in 2022.
What are you planning for the future of HoloToyz?
The future of HoloToyz is an exciting one — full of original content creation along with exciting collaborative partnerships which will be announced in the coming months.
A huge focus of ours will be on STEAM education. We believe in leveraging new technology to enhance children’s play and learning experiences. The possibilities are endless in this space, but our main priority will be ensuring that fun is at the heart of everything we do.