Last week we had a chance to hear Line Corporation’s Akira Morikawa talk about his company’s fast and furious global strategy to promote their Line chat application. But it looks like the next few months will see the company quite active marketing to its home market of Japan as well, with a new ‘Line Town’ toy series to be released next month in cooperation with Takaratomy. Line Town, as you may know, is the animation series of the same name that broadcasts on Tokyo TV. Headlining its repertoire of toys will be a sort of imitation smartphone for kids called ‘Line Town MyTouch.’
With the goal of letting kids enjoy Line characters too, this pretend smartphone has a color LCD as well as sliding touch motion designed to look like smartphone interfacing. While there’s not actually a phone function, it looks like this toy handset will use an NFC function to let kids exchange stamps and some messages when one phone contacts another. It will also feature some mini games like picture matching, janken (or rock-paper-scissors), and brain training.
The toy phone will be released on August 8, and will be priced at 6825 yen (or about $70). It will be available in three colors: pink, green, and blue. Surely Line Corporation is hoping that if they can promote the Line brand to kids at a young age, that they’ll stick with the brand as they get older and buy real smartphones.
Line Corporation will be releasing a number of other toys as a part of its cooperation with Takaratomy, including a character branded version of the Automee-S smartphone and tablet cleaner that we featured back in February. There will also be a Line Town Message Seal Maker, Line Town figures, a ‘tobisau’ pop-up toy, and Line stamps as well (yes, actual stamps). See the pictures below, or Takaratomy’s website for more information. [Via Impress]
For more information on the growth of Line, please check out our interactive Line Timeline which chronicles its growth from its launch back in 2011 up until the present day.