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The paperdoll virtual world takes a crack at the real world
Stardoll, the online fashion and celebrity community for girls between the ages of seven and 17, announced Tuesday that it has signed a multi-year licensing agreement with toy manufacturer Mattel to launch Stardoll’s first physical product line this fall. No word on what the product line will include at this point, but it’s Mattel, and Stardoll is a virtual paper-doll world, so the product line will presumably include dolls and their outfits.
Founded in 2006, Stardoll has collaborated with Mattel in the past to work with such brands as Barbie, Fashionistas, and Monster High, which have a broad appeal to Stardoll’s target demographic of teen and pre-teen girls. The campaigns have included the creation of a fan club, exclusive dolls, and the launch of a virtual store.
“The reason Barbie and all of Mattel's venerable brands have stayed popular over the years is we keep them relevant through innovation, trends and smart partnerships,” a Mattel spokesperson commented, though declined to say what the product line will include. “Stardoll is an incredible brand and the association is a natural one to keep people engaged in our Brand."
In September 2010, Stardoll teamed up with publishing giant Random House to produce an interactive online book, called “Mortal Kiss,” for teens in time for Halloween. One chapter was published each week, leading up to Halloween, and registered Stardoll members could dress the characters in different outfits, participate in online writing contests based on themes from the book, explore a map of the fictional New England town of Winter Mill, where the story took place, and interact with other Stardoll members on the site to discuss the story.
The project was the first time Random House had ever created an online interactive reading experience on a social media platform.
As it turns out, “Mortal Kiss” was such a huge success that Random House Children’s Books announced in January that it would publish a printed copy of the book for readers who missed the Web version, marking the first time that Stardoll stepped out of the virtual world and into the physical retail world.
The Stardoll network includes Stardoll.com, which focuses on entertainment and fashion, Piczo.com, a visual blogging social network, and PaperDollHeaven.com, which offers an online gaming experience geared towards younger girls who are interested in dolls and fashion. The company has 92 million registered members and sees 15 million unique visitors each month.
Image source: Stardoll.com
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