The DNA of Jurassic Park

We spent a day at Frontier Developments in Cambridge and played Jurassic World: Evolution!

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Velociraptor (Film Universe)
There are three distinct variations of Velociraptor which were cloned by InGen, not counting sexual dimorphism seen within each individual version. However, despite the surface level variations, each sub-species remains relatively similiar in terms of physical attributes. Each species is roughly 6 feet tall…

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Jurassic World Toys Are Outperforming Star Wars – but How Can They Keep the Momentum? We Have Some Ideas!

Star Wars has long been the gold standard for licensed media in the toy aisle, with a multitude of products, quality items, and strong sales. While the craftsmanship on the toys from Hasbro has seen a recent downward trend, causing their 2015 Jurassic World line to be met with much ire, Star Wars continues to perform successfully. It’s an evergreen property, with numerous movies, comics, books and cartoons to support interest and awareness with fans of all ages, driving toy sales forward.

In 2016, it was announced Mattel had won the bid for the Jurassic World / Park toy master license, taking it from Hasbro who had held since 1993 (if you count that they owned Kenner). Mattel spared no expense, and hit the ground running with their Jurassic toy line which made its debut in Spring of 2018 to coincide with the latest sequel, Fallen Kingdom. With Mattel in charge of the license, they reaffirmed Jurassic as a quality industry leading brand, ripe with innovative and diverse play patterns, quality film accurate toys, topped off with incredible competitive pricing models not seen in current competition. These choices, along with the Jurassic presence in theaters now has led to kids, parents, and collectors all being enticed to purchase and play.

With the latest waves of Mattel Jurassic World toys hitting shelves now, the dinosaurs are on a rampage of fun – according to the NPD Group, Jurassic is currently outselling Star Wars action figures in the US. Jurassic and Marvel led action figures sales to grow by 16%, which is no small feat given the closing of Toys R Us. While internationally, Star Wars is the number 3 overall brand (this encompasses more than action figures), and Jurassic has not broken top 10, this performance shows great opportunity for momentum moving forward – especially as dinosaur toys have grown in popularity by 77% year to date.

Personally, I see incredible potential for Jurassic World moving forward – but it will take some work. As such, I’ve lightly outlined some of my proposed transmedia expansion concepts below.

Room for Growth

Universal Pictures in conjunction with Mattel and other brand partners are in the unique position to build upon this momentum to further strengthen brand awareness, diversity, and demand. Jurassic, regardless of a film in theaters, can and should become synonymous with dinosaur toys and products for fans of all ages. Dinosaurs have an everlasting appeal, and populate toy and product shelves even without expanded marketing. With Jurassic’s unique hold on pop culture, it can take hold of the forefront of dinosaur media and hardline sales, expanding it into new territory, just as Star Wars has become a prime staple of merchandise aisles.

To fully leverage this opportunity, the brand itself need to expand its transmedia thumbprint and target as many different age groups and demographics as possible. While the films target a slightly older audience (around 7 and up) with a PG-13 rating, there is plenty of room for growth in the pre-school sector. To drive that brand awareness and acceptance amongst parents, something like a educational and friendly ‘Jurassic World Rangers’ animated series could do wonders – let it take place when the park was open, and follow the paths of vets and trainers working with the animals as they become sick or distressed. Let it be about aiding the animals, and let it teach young audiences all about the dinosaurs and characters jobs in exciting and positive scenarios. With the kids and parents on board, they’ll surely be fans for life as they grow into the core media and product offerings.

To better sustain the core Jurassic brand, the possibilities and perhaps need for expanded media sustain programs are endless. This could range from toys backed by animated content targeting the appropriate age range and tone, animated series, books, comics, video games, and live action “spin-off” stories (be it film, TV, or shorts). Most importantly, this content must be high quality, representing the brands film legacy and reputation, delivering top of the line content no matter the outlet. In the age of social media, pop culture awareness and discussion is a self-running machine, but the more parts added into the mix, the more diverse, and prolific it becomes.

Perhaps most unique to Jurassic, is the outlet for creative growth in the education sector. While the dinosaurs of Jurassic World are different from their real world namesakes, these differences can be fully embraced while collaborating with STEM partners to expand dinosaur knowledge. If Jurassic began partnering with the science community to expand real world dinosaur information in ways they cannot typically achieve alone, paleontologists, schools, museums, and other similar outlets will embrace the brand with open arms. Be it reinstating a website like Jurassic Park Institute, sharing news from Paleontological discoveries, or even sponsoring or curating dino-education TV or web programs such as documentaries, Jurassic would only further strengthen brand awareness while achieving a genuinely positive impact.

The future for our very own Jurassic World is a vast expanse of endless opportunity of innovation and entertainment, fueling engagement across multiple platforms. My hope is new programs are continuously implemented to keep this momentum moving forward – spare no expense, and let dinosaurs rule the earth.

Source: NPD Group (via Jedi Temple Archives)


20 thoughts on “Jurassic World Toys Are Outperforming Star Wars – but How Can They Keep the Momentum? We Have Some Ideas!

  1. Honestly I think this was an easy feat to do considering how overexpose Star Wars has been as a brand lately that audiences wanted something new in the toy department and Jurassic World delivered and appeals to both looking for something new and the nostalgia side. The better quality toys certainly did help as well as being a line where everything can interact with each other (as oppose to the terrible size differences of Hasbro that made playing jarring) which each new figure being a expansion.

    Seriously can’t think of what other way to improve this other than perhaps bringing in the original line as special releases, how about that unreleased Ultimasaurus as a collector’s item?

  2. Great article Chris! First I was just hoping you woud call on Mattel to resculpt the Allosaurus head, but I like your ideas.

    I could imagine a Jurassic show for kids could be an opportunity to importance of preservation of ecology, environment, exinctions and most of all, understanding of real animal behavior (including extant).

  3. International sales are low because they’re not available internationally. The Battle Damage and Legacy Collection lines aren’t available here in Australia at all. I haven’t been able to get any info out of Mattel either. They just say to contact retailers to order them. But retailers say Mattel doesn’t have them available for order in Australia. They need to sort out the distribution issues. Whole countries shouldn’t have to resort to scalpers or insane international shipping costs just to buy these toys.

  4. How can you say SW is being successful?? Look at the issues with the last few movies. It’s far from a success now. They need to restart the EU timeline. Those figures sell very high.

  5. They are very expensive in asia x2 the price and some item are exclusive in USA spinosaurus etc and only 2nd wave entered philippines no t rex class mossassaurus colossal t rex

  6. The reason why international sales haven’t been as successful is mainly due to the poor distribution.
    Here in Hong Kong, China, we’re still missing Wave 1 items like the Mosasaurus, Legacy humans etc.
    Zero signs of Wave 2 releases besides the blind bag minis.
    Stores have either kept re-stocking old Wave 1 stuff, or haven’t stocked anything all together after the film’s run.
    Mattel REALLY needs to work on distribution, hopefully they’ll meet demands for the upcoming holiday season.

  7. Mattel, I would like to see Starwars Scrapped off the shelves because they suck. Oh, if you havent created an animated show yet for jurassic world/park, then you’re not that bright. Cartoons sell the shit out of toys.

    Make youtube your biotch of animated content and they watch the same dumb stuff 100 times over. Kids fricken love youtube and falling for product.

    You already got us vintage adults buying your toys for the amazing sculpts.

    PLease don’t wait for the death of the toyline to do a swan song of fun paint apps on your toys. #chaos effect @hasbrohybrids. I want fun repaints!

  8. What I’d like to see new are already more up-to-date dinosaurs, like feather-covered raptors, t-rex’s ability to crush bones, a variety of t-rex: similar to Sue, Stan , Trix and other different individuals;
    utahraptor, achillobator or dakkotaraptor may be the real raptors of Jurassic Park and Jurassic World.
    As for the future of Jurassic Park movies, I would agree to spin-offs and prequels in live action and animated serie taking place between JP3 and JW, TLWJP and JP3, and between JW and JWFK as they did for Star Wars, some of whose stories will be inspired by comics like Jurassic Park’s Dangerous Game IDW, video games like Jurassic Park Trespasser, and others like how Eric Kirby has survived on Isla Sorna since landing on the tree with Ben until the arrival of his parents and Alan Grant, the adventure of Blue and Rexy from the end of Jurassic World until the beginning of the eruption of Mount Sibo, etc … the moment that we do not see a t-rex being killed.

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