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Disney pursues multiple revenue streams with ToyHopper shopping app

Disney is pursuing multiple revenue streams with FamilyFun magazine’s new commerce-enabled ToyHopper application, including pay-per-download, ad-support and a partnership with

The ToyHopper application lets parents complete all of their holiday and birthday shopping using their iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. The application filters more than 280 toys by age, price, type of product and theme—from pirates and princesses to bikes for tikes—and lets users buy products through

“We continually innovate and find new ways to make FamilyFun accessible to today’s families,” said Aparna Pande, vice president and general manager at the Disney FamilyFun Group, White Plains, NY. “Partnering with Amazon, a proven and trusted consumer brand and ecommerce force, is one great way for us to extend our reach.

“The ToyHopper app builds on FamilyFun’s 19 years of editorial expertise in selecting the best toys for kids,” she said. “Every year we test more than 500 toys with real families and zero in on the best of the best, so our readers trust our selections.”

Published by Disney Publishing Worldwide, Disney FamilyFun magazine, which targets families with children under 12, has a rate base of 2.1 million and a total audience of 5.4 million.

The magazine’s content focuses on making the most of family time together through cooking, crafts, celebrations, volunteering, travel and other family activities.

The Disney FamilyFun brands include, a part of the Disney Online Mom and Family Portfolio of sites, books, craft kits and special interest publications.

Mobile ToyHopper
All the products recommended in the ToyHopper application were selected by FamilyFun editors as well as parent and kid testers, who evaluated quality, value and fun.

The ToyHopper application gives parents a way to find hundreds of family-tested products via a carousel to browse a mix of toys and collections that present hand-picked groups of toys for a variety of interests.

The application also features video demos and personalized wish lists that moms and kids can select and share with family and friends. 

The ToyHopper application features the 34 T.O.Y. Award winners from 2010, featured in the November issue of FamilyFun magazine, and past years’ winners.

“The ToyHopper app is unique in that it features 280 toys that have all been parent and kid tested and can be sorted into shopping lists, shared with friends and filtered by age, price, type or theme,” Ms. Pande said.

“ enhances the user experience and enables consumers to purchase toys on the spot through the app,” she said.

“ has the largest breadth of product featured in the app, as well as a good mobile interface, making it an ideal partner.”

Ms. Pande  said that FamilyFun appeals to parents with kids aged 3-12 and also to grandparents, aunts, uncles and any family or friend who wants to buy a gift for a child.

Disney FamilyFun is currently evaluating other smartphone platforms.

Disney is promoting the ToyHopper application to FamilyFun’s 5.4 million readers through editorial mentions and print ads in the magazine, online through placements on, as well as email blasts, mobile ads and social media.

“We also integrated the message about Toyhopper into our Toy of the Year Awards campaign, which traditionally gets a lot of consumer impressions,” Ms. Pande said.

Disney FamilyFun offers ‘app-vertising’
The ToyHopper App is available for $1.99 from the App Store on iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, or at

However, Disney is also seeking sponsors for the ToyHopper application.

An exclusive integrated sponsorship of product collections within the ToyHopper application is available for companies looking to target the Apple device users among Disney FamilyFun’s 5.4 million readers.

Sponsors will receive a prominent display of their logo on the splash page of the ToyHopper and also on a sponsored collection page.

Sponsored collections can be customized by theme using products in the editorial database or with incremental sponsor products.

“In addition to being an innovative app for consumers, we are offering a unique product integration opportunity for sponsors,” Ms Pande said.

“What sets it apart is that a sponsor can customize a collection of products by theme using products in the editorial database, such as Road Trip Games for a travel or automotive sponsor, or with incremental sponsor products, such as a toy manufacturer’s own collection,” she said. “This sponsorship is hard coded into the app and can result in direct purchases from Amazon.

“With the ToyHopper app, we’re transforming the FamilyFun brand to cater to the way parents consume media today and are offering a new, non-traditional way for marketers to engage and interact with this key audience.”

Final Take
Dan Butcher, associate editor, Mobile Commerce Daily