Review Fix chats with Robert Siddell, Managing Partner, Popar, who lets us know why his augmented reality-based products are so much more than educational tools.
Review Fix: What do you think makes it special?
Robert Siddell: One thing we have noticed about a lot of toy/product companies is that they try to shove technology into a product line that disrupts the standard play pattern and offers little added benefit. We are coming at it from a whole different angle as we are a tech firm at hard (been building VR and AR experiences for over 10 years) that has learned the toy and consumer product industry and understand user interface design and game flow, as opposed to being a toy company who is trying to learn technology. We believe that this gives us a leg up as learning manufacturing and packaging design 8 years ago was fairly easy, learning technology comes with a way harder learning curve.
Review Fix: The educational application for this is wonderful, but have you thought of contacting any popular licenses for this?
Siddell: So we have two different business models that I will explain below:
- We invent, manufacture, and distribute our lines of 46 different children’s smart products comprised of smart toys,
smart books, smart puzzles, smart charts, and smart mats. Each of these smart products comes included with a FREE bonus app brings the smart product to life to extend the standard nostalgic play patters, and gamify education for children. Everything from the app development, product creation, etc. is all done in-house from our headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona. The only thing we outsource is our mass manufacturing which is done at our factory in China.
- We also build
customapp for clients with pre-existing products and new products. These are some examples below and do not represent all that we have done.
- National Geographic-We developed the Augmented/Virtual Reality app for the animal and dinosaur figurine line called “Wildlife Wow” that is currently in Target and other participating retailers.
- GigaPetsAR-We developed the Augmented Reality app for the re-release of the classic digital pet from the 1990’s call GigaPets. We partnered up with the original inventor who licensed the product to Tiger in the
1990’sand relaunched the product line this year with three SKU’s T-Rex, Unicorn, and Puppy that all come to life in Augmented Reality (AR).
- Dragon-i Toys-We developed the Augmented Reality app for the Mighty Megasaur toy line that is sold all over the world,
- Works of Ahhh-We developed the Augmented Reality app for their DIY line that allows the child to plan out their project before the
actuallypaint the physical bird house, wind chimes, race car, and so much more.
- NBA & Kia-We developed an Augmented Reality app that all attendees of specific NBA games had the opportunity to play a networked basketball game that they could play in AR off of their ticket during halftime. The winner of the game was displayed on the jumbotron and had the opportunity to win a new Kia.
Review Fix: What are your goals for this line in 2019?
Siddell: Continue to expand our own children’s smart product lines as well as securing more custom app development clients such as above.
Review Fix: Anything new that you’re working on with it that you’d like to discuss?
Siddell: We are currently completing our new Augmented Reality temporary tattoos and sticker lines that will be hitting vending machines around the USA quarter two of this year. We also have some other projects we are working on for some high-end toy clients but are unable to discuss the projects due to NDA’s.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Siddell: Continue to launch our smart products in foreign markets. Close larger USA distribution deals. Close bigger and better custom app development clients so that our company continues to be attached to large IP properties.
Review Fix: Anything else you’d like to add?
Siddell: I will send over an an article I wrote about our company that will give you a lot of insight into where we came from, why we do what we do, and where we want to go in the future.
Review Fix: Bottom line, why must someone check these out?
Siddell: Parents and teachers all over the world are always seeking out physical tangible items, while the children and students seek out the digital. Popar bridges the gap between the physical and the digital to meet the both needs and to further engage children in the learning process. We pride ourselves on offering quality standalone products with a digital enhancement to keep your children entertained with the right type of content that is not focused on mind game play.