In June 2022 the first Asterix Playmobil sets will be released, an initiative in line with the diversification strategy through licenses of the famous toy brand: “We have accelerated this process since 2017, with licenses such as Ghostbuster, Dragons, Spirit and Scoobidoo. Every time, we are concerned with choosing quality and timeless licenses, without urban violence. Today licenses represent 10% of our range with the ambition to reach 15% but not beyond, in order to preserve the good part in our native universes (police, farm, fire brigade etc.). The goal for us is for children to be able to afford to mix all the themes during their playtime, whether they are licensed characters or not.”, Explains Stéphane Drilhon, Playmobil’s marketing director.
What is the genesis of this rapprochement between Asterix and Playmobil?
“JI must admit that Albert René’s teams were the first to nurture the idea, with the desire to contact the Playmobil brand in the face of some evidence of shared values: intergenerationality, diversity and inclusion … and markets where we are expected, in particular France, Germany and Belgium. However, this first contact dates back to more than 6 years ago! The project therefore really started three years ago, with the first attempts to give life to Gallic and Roman figures in the form of Playmobil figurines.“, Confides Baptiste Cazaux, Licensing Director of Albert René Editions, before specifying:”This rather long time derives, I believe, from a certain importance for the two teams to establish a long-term collaboration and not in an opportunistic way, especially since the news around Asterix promises to be dense in 2023.“.
The minifigure challenge
This licensed collaboration has led to a great challenge: that at first glance both the characters of the comic and of Playmobil can be immediately recognized from the stickers, no universe should therefore be distorted to the advantage of the other. Several round trips were therefore needed between the Playmobil teams and Albert René: “Several technical challenges had to be addressed, including that of Obélix, which required the design of a specific mold to respect his morphology (“I’m not fat, just wrapped!”) And that his arms could go backwards to carry the its menhir“, Details Stéphane Drilhon before Baptiste Cazaux continues”Another important element, the noses are rather representative of the personalities of comics while the Playmobil figurines are natively devoid of them … So we had to pay particular attention to the detail of the eyebrows, mustaches, beards and accessories, so that each character is perfectly recognizable. The Romans even have a double facet – classic or with a cockade – to feed the fantasy of the game“.
How was the collection imagined?
For this launch, seven first game boxes are offered, with prices ranging from € 7.99 to € 154.99, which allow to satisfy all budgets. “They are aimed at nostalgic children, adults and grandparents, as well as fans of Asterix and Obelix. To design it we were inspired by the first album, Asterix the Gaul“, Explains Stéphane Drilhon and Baptiste Cazaux to abound:”We therefore find the famous banquet, which concludes every adventure but also all the main characters: the druid Getafix, the Roman legionaries and of course Idefix as well as cult scenes such as boar hunting“. “It was important to add the Romans to maintain the principle of duality that we find in almost all of our collections. It serves as a play aid for children to help them create their own stories ”, Explains Stéphane Drilhon. A Playmobil Asterix Advent Calendar will complete the collection at the end of the year.
What is the media plan to support the launch?
The communication plan wants to be at 360 °, with activations both on mass media and on digital: TV campaigns, contents dedicated to social networks, relations with the press and influence alongside the Rezokids agency, specialized in the family. Many collaborations are also planned with distributors: “It is certain that the pleasure we had in creating this collection, where each of us has rediscovered the soul of our son, will shine through in the communication system put in place! There are also many activities in collaboration with the amusement park: toys sold in the park, competitions to win places and stays, etc.“, Confides Baptiste Cazaux before specifying:”We are also delighted with the first very positive reception given by our community when we unveiled the first elements on social networks.“. Stéphane Drilhon also confirms an equally enthusiastic reception from retailers.
So, are these Romans really all crazy? There is no doubt that 2022 will still leave a lot of space for the irresistible Gauls, especially since the release of the film “Asterix and Obelix, the Middle Kingdom” is scheduled for 2023, directed by Guillaume Canet!