License Global chats with executives behind the Littlest Pet Shop x Roblox collab to find out what made it, and partnerships like it, successful in the gaming space.

6 Min Read
Littlest Pet Shop key art
Littlest Pet Shop key artLittlest Pet Shop

Littlest Pet Shop, created in 1992, has generations of fans. Roblox, launched in 2006, boasts people across generations flocking to their platform. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that when the two came together, magic was made.

License Global spoke with Maureen Dilger, vice president, global brand marketing, Basic Fun!, and Ross Targett, general manager, Suit Up Games, about the success of the collaboration and what this means for the Littlest Pet Shop brand.

The Littlest Pet Shop collaborative teams decided that Roblox was the right platform for this initiative easily, based not only on sheer numbers but the possibility for phygital and collectible experiences.

“For Littlest Pet Shop’s latest launch, we knew we wanted to combine the best from past generations of pets with where today’s fans are – kids and kidults,” says Dilger. “On Roblox, the numbers speak for themselves with 70 million-plus daily active users and 200 million-plus monthly active users across ages. Thus, every physical LPS product includes a tie-in to the digital experience and vice versa – a way to collect in real life as well as digitally – a true boomerang of phygital experiences and collecting.” 

Roblox Creating Trends in the Gaming Space

Thinking bigger than Roblox, gaming has become a multi-generational, omnichannel medium for individuals of all ages and interests. Dilger says Roblox has been instrumental in creating this trend in the gaming space, allowing fans to take their fandom to the next level by engaging with the brand they love on a platform they love with a community they love. She calls this the trifecta of ongoing engagement that connects generations through play. The property reached 2 million players in the first month, and the platform continues to grow in power for brands to engage new and existing audiences.

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“More and more, today’s fans are less about a scripted series or one-way communication and instead, want to be a part of the story/conversation,” says Dilger. “Roblox is an ideal platform that puts fans in the driver seat – they can engage authentically with the brand while engaging with others who love it just as much. Plus, they can build upon the story with their actions in-game or feedback on places like Discord, which often leads to us releasing new features in the game or upcoming product launches. It’s an exciting time to engage with fans as our co-workers and teammates. LPS is lucky to have one of the best fandoms I’ve ever been a part of.”

Delivering an Experience That is True to the Brand

Dilger notes the collaboration itself is designed for all players, kids and kidults alike, and fans that have been around since the beginning. Since the inception of Littlest Pet Shop aligns with the timeline of Roblox’s inception, it was an easy fit for the two brands.

“Interestingly, Roblox is a platform that not only appeals to today’s generation it also brings back many 20-somethings that started when Roblox launched in 2006,” says Dilger. “So, when you have a brand like Littlest Pet Shop that has generations of fans – especially during the 2006-2010 time period – it’s fun to see the platform bringing fans of all ages together. The key is delivering an experience that is true to the brand. For LPS, it’s all about the community’s love of collecting cute, bobblin’ pets and expressing their love across multiple platforms – doesn’t matter if it’s Roblox, Instagram, YouTube or Tik Tok. And it doesn’t matter how old you are or where you live. So, when we worked with Suit Up games to design a game for Roblox, the key was delivering an engaging experience that was true to the brand regardless of age and other demographics. Suit-Up has done a great job at doing just that and is already beating expectations with over 2 million visits in under a month.”

Targett notes that for this collaboration and other licensed gaming endeavors, “The main game loop is everything.”

“You need to have a compelling ‘grind’ mechanic that makes the game fun throughout all tasks,” says Targett. “After that, make sure you design a strong theme/fantasy and with LPS the fantasy of growing your pet collection and playing with them is super powerful. Kids are aspirational and games with a strong goal will encourage players to stay for the long haul.”

Bringing a Non-Gaming IP to Life

Targett says there are key strategies in bringing a non-gaming IP to life on the medium, particularly through Roblox. The main strategy? Knowing “the Roblox community is exactly that, a community.”

“You need to build experiences that work for the player audience to be successful,” says Targett. “The Roblox front page algorithm is critical for driving the overwhelming majority of plays on the platform. The greatest number of players will discover your game organically from the front page where Roblox rotates the experiences it believes an audience will enjoy. The difference between your game generating hundreds of thousands of plays compared to tens of millions is down to mastering it. LPS on Roblox is all about the player community.”

Early on, multiple defining strategies brought the Littlest Petshop experience to life in Roblox, both digitally and physically. Dilger outlined the process of creating these strategies, from finding a game developer (Suit Up), to working on in-game features reflective of both brands.

“We knew we wanted to bring to life the love of collecting Littlest Pet Shop’s Generation 7 in both physical and digital ways – a truly ‘phygital’ collectible,” says Dilger. “Roblox was a natural fit given its global reach and appeal across generations. We worked with Roblox in-house dev forum to find the best game developer who got the brand, the Roblox platform and was just as passionate about delivering an irresistibly engaging and safe phygital experience. Suit Up ticked all the boxes, including many on the team being original collectors. We brought them on early to understand the magic of the brand and help influence the physical product vs. waiting until after the product was developed. This was a great way to embed the best of both worlds more organically across formats – like the features called out on Collector Cards (‘purrsonality,’ levels, rarity) key themes or destinations like the iconic Littlest Pet Shop that takes shape in the digital game now followed by the physical playset later this year.”

This momentum isn’t something that’s going to stop for Littlest Pet Shop. In fact, they recently launched six new pets from series 1, fast tracked a new region to explore – Red Rock complete with Panda Rocks, a log ride to enjoy with your crew, as well as many easter egg accessories to accessorize the pets. “UGC Fridays” – limited-edition LPS accessories released every Friday that fans can earn and wear in-game or in other Roblox games like the original LPS Panda Backpack, Walrus Head and more – have also been activated. A full year of content, Dilger says, is giving fans reasons to engage as often as they can.

About the Author(s)

McKenna Morgan

Content Editor, License Global

McKenna Morgan is Content Editor for License Global. Based in the Santa Monica office, McKenna specializes in coverage involving non-profits, beauty and cosmetics, health and wellness, new and social media and entertainment licensing.

When McKenna isn’t covering the latest licensing news, she spends her time attending live music shows and finding her next travel destination.

Ben Roberts

Content Director, License Global

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