Trends come and go but some trends appear in a screaming blaze of noise and obsession.
That is exactly what has happened with moshi monsters – a web game turned toy offering from British company Mind Candy.
I have three children and my oldest is 11. In the last decade I have spent a small fortune on various fads from crazy bones to zhu zhu pets but none have come close to matching moshi mania.
All three of my children have an account with Moshi Monsters, my 11-year old daughter paying £5 a month of her own pocket money on a full membership.
All of them obsessing over the toys and making sure they have the rarest, swapping at school, in the neighbourhood and I image, if they had the chance, at church as well.
These tiny bits of moulded plastic work out at about £1 each but are also very hard to get hold of.
A toy seller in Jersey said it was the most obsessive toy phenomenon he had seen in 20-years in the industry.
He said: “I see children coming in, buying the packets, opening them and actually crying when they haven’t got the one they are looking for.”
It was launched in April 2008 and within three years had grown to have about 50m users around the world.
Some of the characters are based on famous names including Dustbin Beaver, Simon Growl and my daughters favourite Lady GooGoo.
The beauty of the website is both its simplicity and depth – it can be used equally by my four year old son as much as my 11 year old daughter.
It is also safe, it is a social network that allows them to connect with friends but in a VERY limited and controlled way – easing them into interactions online without opening them to risk.
- Licensing Maven Mind Candy Signs Moshi Monsters Record Deal (techcrunch.com)
- Mom’s – Do Your Monsters *heart* Moshi Monsters? (sharonannevanwyk.wordpress.com)
- Monster success (cleardebt.co.uk)
- Moshi Monsters signs Sony Music record deal (telegraph.co.uk)
- A plea to startups: kill your nonsensical stats (gigaom.com)
- Moshi Monsters: What You Can Learn About Raging Success From a Kids’ Game (entrepreneur.com)