By Reyne Rice, Toy Trend Expert and Youth Market Specialist
First posted on the YourToyCom.com blog forum and community website serving the toys, games and childrens’ technology industries, on behalf of the Spielwarenmesse. Spielwarenmesse is the leading and largest International ToyFair in the world, held annually in Nuremberg, Germany in early February.
According to the Virtual Worlds tracking study by KZero Worldswide, virtual worlds crossed the 1.4 Billion cumulative registered users mark, with the largest quarterly growth in Q2 (the most recent data available) since KZero started tracking these worlds in 2008. This represented an increase of 214 million since Quarter 1 2011.
Second quarter 2011 growth came from a variety of sources, especially from the larger virtual world sites that are targeted to kids, including Moshi Monsters (up 16m to 50m), Poptropica (up 26m to 170m), Habbo (up 20m to 220m), and Stardoll (up 22m to 116m). These kid-focused virtual worlds represent a variety of play patterns, including role-play, pets/nurturing, casual gaming, chat and user generated content. The table below shows the quarterly growth numbers by age range.
For the toy industry age targets, the following two age groups grew quite significantly: The five to ten year old segment grew 17.6% from Q1 to Q2 assisted primarily by increases from Poptropica and Panfu. The next age segment, 10 t0 15 year olds grew by 16.2%, with Moshi Monsters and Stardoll leading the charge.