Turner Broadcasting launches online virtual world

Turner Broadcasting, which owns the Cartoon Network TV channel, has launched an online virtual world for kids called Toonix.

Toonix: Turner Broadcasting's virtual world
Toonix: Turner Broadcasting's virtual world

Toonix.com calls on kids to "be whoever you want to be" by creating their own unique avatars and interacting within the new gaming platform.

The site is rolling out across EMEA following a beta launch in the UK at the start of the year. Turner Broadcasting claims that the UK soft launch, with no promotional push behind it, has led to more than 250,000 users signing up.

Toonix is aimed at kids aged 7 to 11 and is the latest in a succession of kids' virtual worlds and social networks including Habbo Hotel, Stardoll and Moshi Monsters.

Its key competitor will be Disney's own Club Penguin. 

Turner is planning an extensive online and on-air marketing campaign to support Toonix's EMEA debut.

Advertising and sponsorship opportunities will be built into the site via integrated commercial initiatives across Toonix World, including branded virtual goods, pop up stores, posters, costumes and discount vouchers.

Louise Okafor, director of digital entertainment for Turner Broadcasting, EMEA, said: "Toonix puts community and imagination at its core, encouraging kids to express themselves, get creative and interact in a fun and safe environment.

"Toonix is a truly digital-led initiative, with advertising and licensing opportunities built into it and it’s an exciting step forward in our digital strategy."

Turner is also developing a licensing and merchandising programme for the site – its first ever for a digital-only property. The media owner has already appointed Wow! Stuff as master toy manufacturer across EMEA for Toonix.

Turner Broadcasting claims that in most regions, the site will be accessed from Cartoon Network websites which average 3.5 million unique users a month across EMEA. Some regions will link to Toonix from Boomerang. 

Follow Nick Batten on Twitter @NickBatten2

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