Collabsco Levels Up with Expanded Connected Play Landscape

Collabsco Connected Play Landscape

Collabsco is ready to “power up play.”

The Texas-based strategy and innovation firm unveiled its second annual Connected Play Landscape — a digital road map that shows the different companies and products that are connecting to merge the worlds of physical and digital play in a single view.

For 2019, the Connected Play Landscape highlights 262 companies, products, and emerging technologies — a 150% increase over last year. Categories include internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), robots, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), wearables, near field communication (NFC), radio frequency identification (RFID), voice assistants, and data over sound. The Landscape also shows additional areas centered around how various technologies are implemented, such as EdTech, makers, social, location-based entertainment (LBE), and “let’s play” content — such as video game walk-throughs and tutorials.

Collabnsco's Valerie Vacante
Valerie Vacante, founder and managing partner, Collabsco.

“Our goal is to educate, collaborate, and inspire the industry and future leaders by uncovering emerging technologies, real-world consumer insights, business growth opportunities, and collaborative partnerships to create experiences that ignite imagination, create a sense of wonderment and shape the future of play,” says Valerie Vacante, founder and managing partner, Collabsco. “The connected play landscape was designed to provide a single, consolidated view of the companies and collaborators breaking barriers through emerging technologies and the power of play.”

Connected play is a growing sector that major companies are investing in, with products such as Mattel’s Hot Wheels TechMods and Hot Wheels id — which the company calls “mixed play” experiences. The company’s east coast rival looks at connected play as an area of growth as well, developing products such as the forthcoming Star Wars Lightsaber Academy.

Rich Mazel - Hasbro
Hasbro’s Rich Mazel

“At Hasbro, we’re committed to reinventing invention,” says Rich Mazel, senior director, global product acquisition, Hasbro. “As we look into the future, we’re interested in new ideas from new voices; Collabsco’s Connected Play Landscape provides us with an expansive view of the industry and potential collaborators to evolve our portfolio and bring the world’s best play experiences to life.”

Growing toymaker WowWee, the company behind Fingerlings and Untamed, is also paying attention, with Chief Technology Officer Davin Sufer calling the Connected Play Landscape “a really comprehensive view of the entire space,” noting that it “encompasses early stage efforts, well-established incumbents, and everything in between.”

“This will certainly be a go-to as we look at new product plans, opportunities for partnerships, and evaluate the competitive landscape,” Sufer adds.

To dive further into the business of connected play, visit Collabsco.

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.