Turner Broadcasting has announced the launch of a new online virtual world for kids called Toonix across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
Available at www.toonix.com, as well as www.cartoonnetworkafrica.com/show/toonix, the site calls on kids to “Be Whoever You Want To Be’ by creating and customising their own unique avatars and interacting within the exciting new gaming platform.
Toonix is rolling out across EMEA following a beta launch in the UK at the start of the year. The UK soft launch, with no promotional push behind it, has seen over 250,000 registered users sign up to what looks set to be the latest phenomenon in virtual gaming for kids. Turner is planning an extensive on-line and on-air marketing campaign to support Toonix’s EMEA debut.
Aimed at kids aged seven to 11, Toonix is completely free to use once users have registered to the site. As well as creating their own avatars, kids will be able to express themselves by customising their own room, play games and complete missions, thereby earning XP (experience points) and coins which they can redeem for virtual goods and access to new areas of the site. They will also be able to chat with their friends by sending pre-selected messages, as well as send gifts and stickers.
Toonix will be split into three game play worlds – MyWorld, Games World and Shopping World – each of which will be packed with content for kids to engage with and explore. There is also a Training World, where kids can learn how to navigate the Toonix virtual world and earn coins whilst doing so.
Louise Okafor, director of Digital Entertainment, Turner Broadcasting, EMEA said: “A truly interactive experience, Toonix puts community and imagination at its core, encouraging kids to express themselves, get creative and interact in a fun and safe environment. We know that kids really love the customisation and creation element, so there are many functions tied into this, whether it’s the ability to change their avatar to suit their mood, play games, do daily challenges or explore the vast Toonix world. Toonix is a truly digital-led initiative, with advertising and licensing opportunities built into it and it’s an exciting step forward in our digital strategy.’
Advertising and sponsorship opportunities via integrated commercial opportunities across Toonix World will be built into the site, including branded virtual goods, pop up stores, posters, costumes and discount vouchers.
Turner is also developing a licensing and merchandising programme for the site – its first ever for a digital-only property. The media owner has already appointed Wow! Stuff as Master Toy Manufacturer across EMEA for Toonix.
In most regions, the site will be accessed from Cartoon Network websites which average 3.5m unique users a month across EMEA. Some regions will link to Toonix from Boomerang. As well as benefitting from traffic to both brands, Toonix is a standalone destination in its own right.
Toonix originally launched in Latin-America in 2008 where it has over 13m registered users. The EMEA wide version of Toonix has been created by Atticmedia, specialists in creating sites for kids.