(Photo: Courtesy of Universal Pictures)
The Pop Insider’s Ali Mierzejewski chats with Shayne Mifsud, senior director, franchise strategy, Universal Brand Development
How do you incorporate aspects of the original Jurassic Park franchise into your Jurassic World product line to reach out to lifelong fans?
Our Jurassic World program has evolved throughout the years and continues to expand into new product categories that appeal to all ages and genders, and range from mass to retailer exclusives. We are incredibly excited about our new global partner, Mattel, who is reimagining the Jurassic World line by leaning into the franchise with iconic storytelling moments through toys and innovative accessories.
We’re also super-serving our collector fans with a legacy program from Mattel that features core action figures, as well as some of the most recognized dinosaurs and vehicles from previous Jurassic World films.
Additionally, Funko debuted a collection of Jurassic Park 25th anniversary Pop! collectibles, featuring fan-favorites such as Dr. Ian Malcolm, T. rex, and a Dilophosaurus.
On the lifestyle front, in the U.S., we collaborated with Gen Art to develop a men’s and women’s capsule collection, inspired by Jurassic Park’s 25th anniversary, which is available now at macys.com.
What’s new to the Jurassic World product line that will surprise fans and collectors?
Mattel is debuting the largest toy collection ever for the Jurassic World franchise. The multi-category program will feature more dinosaurs, action figures, play sets, vehicles, plush, and accessories than ever before. The core segment alone includes more than 70 unique dinosaur figures and a variety of new action figures. Inspired by the franchise’s biggest stars, the collection includes authentic character details and is scaled to promote a variety of play opportunities in a way that feels organic and true to the franchise.
Fans also can look forward to new innovations, such as the Jurassic World Kamigami Robots: Blue and Indoraptor, which promote STEM skills and teach coding, and the Jurassic World Pterano-Drone, which features realistic wings that flap in flight. Also, new this year from Mattel are the Barbie Jurassic World: Claire and Owen dolls.
For the collector, we partnered with Chronicle Collectibles on a line celebrating the Jurassic World franchise that includes a wide array of action figures, dinosaurs, and accessories.
How do you balance your product line between younger fans and adult fans and collectors?
Twenty-five years in the making, Jurassic World is a unique franchise that connects fans across multiple generations. The program offers a wide range of both toy and lifestyle collections targeting every age segment. For example, through our continued partnership with LEGO, we are expanding into new demographics in construction with product offerings across LEGO systems, LEGO Juniors, and LEGO Duplo, as well as a LEGO Brickheadz exclusive. Additionally, Mattel’s product line features a broad multi-category program spanning preschool—with Imaginext—to adults. Whether it rests on the core dinosaur play pattern for the youngest fans or brings the wonder and thrills to adult audiences, Jurassic World is truly exciting for the entire family.
What are the benefits of incorporating “experiences” into the Jurassic World universe, such as the recently announced Jurassic World Alive mobile game?
Consumer experiences such as Jurassic World Alive and Jurassic World: The Exhibition provide fans with a unique opportunity to go beyond watching the films and to become fully immersed in the franchise. In Jurassic World Alive, using location-based technology and augmented reality (AR), dinosaurs come to life to interact and roam freely alongside you in the real world.
Currently on a global tour, Jurassic World: The Exhibition is an interactive experience that takes visitors through a park-like tour of Jurassic World through exhibits featuring life-size animatronic dinosaurs. Making its world premier in Melbourne, Australia in 2016, the Exhibition has set attendance records at venues in Philadelphia, Chicago, as well as Melbourne. The Exhibition launched in Paris on April 14.
We also recently announced our partnership with Feld Entertainment to collaborate on a groundbreaking global arena show, Jurassic World Live, which will launch in the fall of 2019. The show will use state-of-the-art projection mapping to transport fans to Isla Nublar and will feature life-size dinosaurs extending up to 40 feet long.
Last year’s T. rex costume from Rubie’s Costume Co. became a popular meme and had a great response. What has the demand been like to make more products like that?
The response to Rubie’s Jurassic World Inflatable T. rex has been tremendous, and we continue to see fans create new videos to share online. Additionally, we are so proud that the inflatable costume received a 2018 TOTY Award for Innovative Toy of the Year. The Jurassic World Inflatable Velociraptor Blue is also currently available, and we are looking forward to the debut of all-new costumes, including the Jurassic World Inflatable Triceratops and Pteranodon at retail this fall.
What are your plans for the 25th anniversary of Jurassic Park?
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Jurassic Park, we partnered with creative network Tongal to launch a user-generated contest that invited fans to submit videos re-creating their favorite moments from the Jurassic Park films. Compilation videos showcasing the best and most original fan-generated content were posted weekly to the official Jurassic World social channels as part of #ThrowbackThursday. Additionally, our consumer products program includes Funko Pop! collectibles, a legacy program from Mattel that includes core action figures and dinosaurs, and apparel and lifestyles collections from partners worldwide. Fans also can look forward to more celebratory moments with planned events coast-to-coast.