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Metaverse Licensing: Squishmallows Enter The Roblox World

By Gary Symons

TLL Editor in Chief

Jazwares is working with game platform Roblox to bring its wildly popular Squishmallows line into the metaverse.

But the bigger news might be the developments behind this newest of metaverse licensing deals. Jazwares president Laura Zebersky says the company has created a new division called Jazwares Game Studio to lead the charge into metaverse licensing.

“Jazwares Game Studio is our next evolution in innovation,” Zebersky said. “We’ve always had our fingers on the pulse of trends and as we have seen the Metaverse expand, we wanted to be able to create enriching play experiences where kids are spending more and more of their time.

“That’s why we’re tapping into our powerhouse brands, beginning with the breakout plush sensation Squishmallows, to develop fun games and moments within Roblox.”

Squishmallows is seen as a logical entry into the popular 3D gaming and experiences Roblox platform. As reported in December in TLL, Squishmallows hit a major sales milestone when it exceeded 100 million units sold.

Cuddly Squishmallows have invaded the metaverse, thanks to a deal between toymaker Jazwares and game platform Roblox.

More than 1,000 Squishmallows ranging from two to 24-inches in size have gained the attention of bona fide Squishmallows fans in more than 40 countries, and while most of the sales have occurred over the past two years, Squishmallows has sold an average of 25 million units a year since launching in 2017.

The  collectible Squishmallows are also a social media sensation that continue to cultivate a strong following online. Organic Squishmallows content has generated nearly five billion video views on TikTok and @squishmallows (and related hashtags) have been tagged in more than one million Instagram posts. The Squishmallows social media channels have ballooned to more than 700,000 followers and nearly 100 global and local Facebook groups have been created by fans.

Jazwares is betting the egg-shaped plush toys will be just as popular in the Roblox metaverse. The Metaverse game brings together two pop culture favorites in a fun play experience for all ages. Developed in-house, the Squishmallows game is the ultimate social virtual world where fans can collect Squishmallows virtual plush, hang out with friends in an ultra-cool and colorful world, compete in fun minigames, and customize their very own Squishmallows-themed home.

With Roblox averaging over 47 million daily active users, Jazwares says it is leveraging its portfolio, and design and development expertise, to create new immersive branded experiences on the Roblox platform. Under the name Jazwares Game Studio, the company has assembled top talent helmed by Kyle Hulse and Samuel Jordan, who will help bring to life the studio’s vision of investing in the technologies and platforms kids, families, and fans are engaging on today. Hulse and Jordan are considered two of the top developers for the Roblox platform.

Hulse joins the company as Operations Director, while Jordan will lead as Creative Director.

Hulse began developing games on Roblox in 2015, and released his first game in 2017, at age 15, reaching over 30 million play sessions to date. Shortly after, he began working with Roblox Corporation as a consultant for original games, brand partnerships, and live ops events, and later relocated to the United Kingdom for Roblox’s prestigious Accelerator Program, where he worked on multiple games, helping to generate hundreds of millions of play sessions, and tens of millions of unique users across the platform.

Jordan started his career on Roblox designing maps and layouts for different developers’ games, which quickly caught the attention of Roblox, who then tapped him to design and create maps for two of their sitewide events. After participating in Roblox’s “Accelerator Program,” Jordan began creating 3D accessories for Roblox’s avatar marketplace, leading to opportunities to partner with large clothing brands, such as the luxury fashion house Stella McCartney, to design and create Roblox accessories for their lines. To date, his collection of original digital fashion pieces has sold over 20 million units on Roblox, making him one of the top-selling creators on the platform.

In many ways, Jordan’s ability to create and sell massive numbers of digital products on the platform is a vision of the licensing industry’s future in the metaverse, and it’s a future Jazwares intends to embrace.

“We want Jazwares Game Studio to be the number one place for play, physically and digitally,” said Hulse. “We see entering this space as a great way to continue to enrich our existing brands with the potential to grow them in multiple directions. It’s a really exciting, fast-moving space to be in, and we can’t wait for what’s ahead.”