Hasbro Provides Insight on the Future of Their Building Block Line...
As a fan of modular toys and customization, I want Hasbro’s KRE-O line to succeed. The play pattern offers a quality product and advanced options for creativity and endless adventure, and I believe that proper merchandising and brand identity will allow Hasbro to carve for themselves a nice share of the brick-building market. I said as much in my recent posts about the line’s future and ways in which I think the company can capitalize on its strong foundation (original articles are HERE and HERE).
Hasbro seems to be equally optimistic, as implied by their responses to recent questions we submitted to Kristin Hamilton, Director, Global Brand Strategy & Marketing for KRE-O at Hasbro. Using words like “evergreen” implies staying power and long-term commitment to not only a line but core concepts thad define it. I could dissect the below answers line by line, but I’ll leave the speculation to each reader. Regardless, one thing is clear: Hasbro’s brand team has a focused strategy, with different goals than other modular toys and a firm grasp on what makes KRE-O a unique experience. If that doesn’t get you excited for the line's future, I'm not sure what will.
FIGURES.COM: What led to the decisions to license Star Trek and D&D rather than create in-house space and castle properties?
Will Transformers fans ever see an ARC for their Transformers KREONS?
KRISTIN HAMILTON: Our decision to license STAR TREK and DUNGEONS & DRAGONS was a two pronged approach, based on both traditional boy insights and Hasbro’s brand blueprint model. We saw these two licenses as strong evergreen themes in the construction category, as space & medieval battling have connected well with boys over the years. Both of these properties also have strong collector appeal, which opens up the brand to a secondary demographic of consumers.
Hasbro has been very successful in developing a parts catalog, but sets seem to focus more on the figures and play functions than large builds. Does Hasbro view KREONS as the driving force for the line rather than the building component?
Transformers is a core segment of the KRE-O portfolio and we are continuing to look at different building sets that will appeal to both kids and collectors. This year, we took direct feedback from GI JOE fans which inspired the production of the TERROR DROME which will be available this fall. We’d love to hear from Transformers fans on what they would like to see in future KRE-O building sets.
Has the development team entertained the idea of KRE-O entering the girl's market with My Little Ponies?
Part of our strategy on KRE-O has definitely been to focus on our KREON figures, as we know they are the key to unlocking a kid’s imagination and inspiring creative building. We have continued to deliver many different KREON figure innovations such as advanced articulation, 2-in-1 conversion play (Micro Changers), and micro KREON figures (CityVille Invasion), all of which enhance the building experience. As we build our brand in this competitive category, larger building sets featuring KREON figures will continue to be featured in our line.
This question has come up fairly often in the past couple years since the launch of LEGO Friends. Our goal with KRE-O is to continue to develop against Hasbro’s brand blueprint and provide consumers with many different ways to experience all of our brands. There are no official plans for KRE-O MY LITTLE PONY, but we will continue to evaluate new opportunities as we go forward.
Special "Thank You" to Joe Moscone of Hunter PR for arranging this interview.
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