The Toy Book catches up with Jennifer Eiselein, vice president of marketing and product development for VTech Electronics North America, about the company’s new animated series.
Toy Book: What is the Go! Go! Cory Carson series about?
Jennifer Eiselein: Go! Go! Cory Carson is an animated preschool series based on our hit toy line Go! Go! Smart Wheels. The show stars kid car Cory Carson, his family, and his friends as they go on epic adventures through the town of Bumperton Hills. Go! Go! Cory Carson is part of Netflix’s original animated programming [slate] and follows Cory as he goes to school, makes new friends, explores with his family, and navigates the winding roads of childhood.
TB: What was the process of turning the popular Go! Go! Smart Wheels product line into an animated preschool series?
JE: We launched Go! Go! Smart Wheels in 2012, and it quickly developed a large and loyal following. Building on the early electronic learning VTech is known for, the Go! Go! Smart Wheels line has content that crosses a number of early learning principles: colors, numbers, letters, first words, and more. Cory Carson carries these themes forward in a fun, heartwarming, and — more importantly — relatable way for little ones and their parents.
As we watched Go! Go! Smart Wheels grow, we could see the brand affinity with fans on social channels and the imagination it engendered, encouraging kids to build and customize their own Go! Go! worlds. This is what ultimately inspired us to take that idea and expand on it, engaging Kuku Studios to explore what could materialize if we channeled that imaginative element to bring the Go! Go! Smart Wheels world to life through storytelling.
TB: What sets the show apart from other preschool series?
JE: In the show, Cory Carson experiences many of the same life events that are familiar to his young audience. It’s the rollercoaster of emotions preschoolers feel on the first day of school, going to the doctor, or even living with a tagalong younger sibling.
Go! Go! Cory Carson conveys these scenarios in a fun, lighthearted way to entertain kids and to show them that these things, and the feelings that come with them, are all part of growing up. For parents, it’s a good way to talk about these life experiences and how [they relate] to their child’s life.
TB: What are the benefits of launching the Go! Go! Cory Carson series on a streaming platform?
JE: People’s viewing habits are changing and evolving, and streaming services are a cornerstone of that, with Netflix being the preferred streaming platform for kids. Access to streaming services like Netflix is also becoming more accessible … to a wider audience, with many TVs now featuring built-in streaming apps. For us, we felt Netflix was the most appropriate platform for VTech to launch its first-ever TV series.
TB: How did VTech incorporate elements from the show into the new product line? When will the toys be available?
JE: We are really excited to launch the toys in March! The line will feature elements from the show to bring Go! Go! Cory Carson to life. The playsets are all based on popular locations in the show, and kids will be able to create their own adventures with Cory and his friends in these locations. And because the playsets are electronic, kids can hear the character’s voices and unlock content as they invite more Go! Go! Cory Carson characters to play. There will be different vehicle formats featuring Cory and his friends, with some vehicles featuring the character’s voice saying phrases from the show, singing songs, and saying original lines unique to the toys.
This article originally appeared in the February 2020 issue of the Toy Book. Click here to read more!