Metaverse and Chaowan IP, who is the “savior” of domestic theme parks?

“Random flowers” gradually want to be charming.

Recently, a news that ” Bubble Mart will build the first offline paradise in Beijing” has once again aroused the public ‘s attention to this trendy cultural and entertainment brand.

According to the information disclosed, Beijing Chaoyang Park Development and Operation Co., Ltd. (Chaoyang Park) will authorize Beijing Bubble Mart Park Management Co., Ltd. (Bubble Mart) to use the “European Charm” project in the park and its surrounding streets and forests. According to the person in charge of the Bubble Mart Park project, the feasibility study and conceptual design of the project have been completed, and the project is in the design stage. Cultural Paradise.

Although it is still only in the planning stage, when the two major theme parks of Beijing Universal Resort and Shanghai Disneyland are “crazy” to harvest IP dividends, Bubble Mart’s blind box IP has become a rare “seed” player for domestic companies to compete.

Domestic theme parks lack IP that breaks the circle and it is difficult to realize the dilemma of local IP. Can cross-border players who rely on the blind box economy really bring about a turnaround? In addition to IP elements, what preparations does Bubble Mart need to make to truly get a share of the theme park market? With the current blind box economy and new concepts such as the Metaverse, who will be the main theme of innovation in the theme park market in 2022? Wenlv talked to people in the industry.

1. New players enter the game, and the “big guys” in the trendy game industry cross-border into theme park “new stars” 

In order to cross the theme park market, Bubble Mart’s move was interpreted by the industry as eager to tear off the “blind box” label on his body.

Metaverse and Chaowan IP, who is the "savior" of domestic theme parks?

Molly Constellation II

As early as 2016, this trendy toy company quickly became popular through the Molly constellation series, the first trendy toy product designed in cooperation with Molly designer Kenny Wong, and thus gave birth to its most “profitable” IP – Molly.

Relying on the “blind box economy” that is highly sought after by young consumers, Bubble Mart is not only growing rapidly, but its revenue has increased from 158 million yuan in 2017 to 1.683 billion yuan in 2019, and it is still in 2020. It successfully landed in the capital market and became the “first stock of the blind box” listed in Hong Kong. As of 16:00 on January 10, 2022, its closing price was HK$44.1 per share, and the total market value reached HK$61.825 billion.

However, while the blind box concept is highly regarded, another voice calling for the market to look at it calmly has also begun to emerge in the industry. Take the recent joint sales of blind boxes launched by KFC and Bubble Mart as an example. Judging from the results, this blind box is very popular among consumers. In order to get their favorite dolls, this event has given birth to second-hand platforms to drive up prices and occupations. There are various irrational consumption behaviors such as making profits from eating on behalf of others. While seeing the charm of blind boxes “sucking gold”, this kind of irrationality also makes people have to re-examine, whether blind box gameplay is “creative gameplay” or “hungry marketing”? There is no long-term vitality.

If you look at the financial data disclosed in Bubble Mart’s listing prospectus, you can see that such “questions” not only appear in the product sales model, but also in the continuous growth of its business. Relevant data shows that in 2018 and 2019, The year-on-year growth rates of Bubble Mart’s total revenue in 2020 and 2020 were 225.5%, 227.2%, and 49.3%, which were obviously slowing down. For a newly listed company, a sudden slowdown in business growth is not a positive signal, so 2021 will be a year in which Bubble Mart urgently needs to prove its strength to the market.

Inventory of the new actions of Bubble Mart this year, from incubating the sub-brand “Paqu” to investing in 2D, Chaowan IP-related companies Mao Galaxy , 2:10 animation , more than 13, Solestage, Mumu Art Museum , etc., All in order to expand business lines, enrich IP elements, and tell a more promising “new story”, and announcing its entry into the theme park market is another important way for it to prove its IP value.

Metaverse and Chaowan IP, who is the "savior" of domestic theme parks?

source company

As early as August 2021, Bubble Mart registered and established Beijing Bubble Mart Park Management Co., Ltd. with a registered capital of 10 million yuan. Its main business includes urban park management, amusement parks, amusement and entertainment activities, etc. It is regarded as the official announcement of Bubble Mart’s entry into the theme park market. The reason why there is capital to enter this field is also based on its distinct IP attributes. Relevant information shows that Bubble Mart operates a total of 93 IPs, including 12 self-owned IPs such as Molly and Dimoo, as well as PUCKY . , The Monsters and other 25 exclusive IPs.

For this cross-border action of Bubble Mart, the cultural and tourism field has also received a lot of attention. On the one hand, domestic theme parks have been plagued by IP “deficiency” for a long time, and they have been cultivating and looking for high-quality IP to enrich their own. The format and business story, on the other hand, are also vigilant about this new entrant, and the form in which they will join this market has also become the focus of observation.

It is understood that before landing in the physical park, Bubble Mart has already landed its first global concept store in Beijing Universal Resort. At that time, when talking about this concept store, Xiao Yang, vice president of Bubble Mart, said that it is “the first global concept store”. Buying a ticket, coming in and feeling it, and cooperating with Universal is also a process of learning from each other.”

As for Bubble Mart’s goal in the theme park field, as early as 2019, Wang Ning, the founder of Bubble Mart, had made it clear that he would become the most Disney-like company in China in five years’ time, with the same ownership as Disney. A large number of valuable super IP, to incubate and dig out more international IP and commercialize it. In the blink of an eye, the time has come to 2022, and Bubble Mart still has a long way to go to realize the “Disney” dream with its current layout speed.

2. From trendy games to theme parks, what’s still missing from Bubble Mart’s IP monetization?

How attractive is the gold-absorbing effect of IP? The most popular and most valuable IP in 2021, Lingna Belle, has taught the Chinese market another lesson. It has only been four months since the official launch of Disney’s new IP, Lingna Belle, in September, but whether it is in terms of exposure, topic discussion, sales volume, and sales price, it can be called a “phenomenon.” class”.

Metaverse and Chaowan IP, who is the "savior" of domestic theme parks?

Source Shanghai Disney Resort

Relevant media statistics show that in less than a month, Lingna Belle has already won 32 hot searches, which is comparable to the first-line traffic stars. As of December 29, there were more than 90,000 Xiaohongshu notes and 7,700+ items related to Lingnabelle; on Weibo , the number of readings on a single topic of #林娜贝儿# exceeded 670 million. The number of discussions exceeded 4.88 million; the number of views of the #林娜贝儿 topic on Douyin reached 2.16 billion.

In terms of monetization ability, there are also data showing that since the launch of Lingna Belle in September this year, the popularity of Disney brand and related products has remained high in the station. Take the sale of Lingna Belle peripheral products on the eve of Christmas on December 12 as an example. Due to too many consumers waiting to buy, the official website once collapsed, and the price was also fired to an “astronomical price”. The purchasing agent was listed on the second-hand trading platform. The price of Lingna Belle Christmas series generally reaches more than 3,000 yuan, and the highest even exceeds 6,000 yuan.

“The reason why Lingna Belle shocked the industry is not only because of its ability to attract money as a Disney IP, but also because this IP has no story to support it, it is a work that was launched out of thin air. Everyone is talking about why Disneyland is successful and why it can endure for a long time. At the time, the ability to shape the story and the structure of the IP world all play a crucial role. Many beloved IP images grew up with tourists in their childhood, and Lingna Belle broke this logic and let everyone see Even if there is no story content and no time to precipitate, there is still a possibility of success. Therefore, why Lingna Belle is popular and whether it can be replicated has become a key issue for the industry to think about after the success of this IP.” An industry insider was interviewed by Wenlv said so.

As the leader of China’s local trendy play IP, whether Bubble Mart has such IP empowerment ability is actually the biggest attraction of this company’s involvement in the theme park field. As far as the trendy play market is concerned, Bubble Mart’s IP realization is also a small achievement. For example, in August 2021, Bubble Mart will release two limited editions of 1000% SPACE MOLLY, which are priced at 3,999 yuan. They also need to draw lots to obtain the purchase qualification. In the second-hand market, the circulation price of these two figures has exceeded 10,000 yuan.

It’s just from the crossover from the field of trendy games to theme parks, whether Bubble Mart’s IP scalability is enough to support, whether the experience of landing can meet the needs of the park project, whether the audience is large enough, etc., will all be Bubble Mart. Inescapable problems in the transition to the theme park market.

Metaverse and Chaowan IP, who is the "savior" of domestic theme parks?

Molly Ocean Collection

When talking about the value of IP and the vitality of IP, Lin Huanjie, president of the China Theme Park Research Institute, told Wenlv that the essence of IP is a brand, a symbol, and the core behind it is the core of the story. There is no shortage of high-quality targets, but when it comes to the theme park project, the ability to incubate from story to experience is what the domestic market really lacks. Just talking about IP, Bubble Mart wants to really step into the theme park prospect. Not optimistic. 

He gave an example, just talking about IP and stories, Huayi Brothers has richer accumulation as a film company and has a broader extension space, but as a theme park and a small town, they are not successful at present. , the key point is that I still haven’t been able to find the right transformation path from story to experience, but to incorporate some core elements that are not really a paradise project. Well-known IP elements can only help in branding, and truly attract consumers offline. It must still be an excellent product and experience.

“Similarly, when Bubble Mart landed in Chaoyang Park this time, there is a high probability that it is also the introduction of elements. The setting of the experience store and the scope of the venue limit the space for it to be a real experience theme park. What Bubble Mart needs now is to invest more. Time, energy and funds are used to create the breadth, depth and richness of story content of your own IP, so that it can be recognized and paid for by the public when it is transformed into a park IP project. If you want to have the same influence as Disney, there is still a longer period of time. We have a long way to go.” Lin Huanjie said.

As for how Bubble Mart should penetrate into the theme park market, he also gave suggestions that the first is to sort out and select IP, which content is suitable for the park project, and which content can be used by consumers. Love and mobilize the emotions of consumers; secondly, innovate, seriously study the live entertainment, that is, the experience mode, what kind of entertainment mode can accurately show your best stories and experiences to consumers, and do a good job in IP content The transformation to the paradise experience; the last and most important thing is to have patience, do not rush for instant success, and have sufficient time and money to continue to invest.

3. Competition increases, new concepts emerge, domestic parks seek to break the game and do not rush for quick success

Looking back at the theme park market in 2021, the opening of Universal Beijing Resort has completely changed the domestic market.

In addition, more international brands are accelerating their projects in China, such as Lego’s projects in Sichuan, Shenzhen, and Shanghai have started construction one after another; American Paramount Pictures will land Dianchi Tourism in Yunnan. Paramount Kunming International Resort; world-class The theme entertainment brand Pu Defu has also completed the signing of the contract to launch the first comprehensive theme park in Asia in Yunnan.

China has become the world’s largest theme park market, and more and more high-quality players are ending. Driven by the catfish effect, domestic theme park companies have to make changes faster. In this context, Bubble Mart has an IP advantage. The entry of enterprises has brought more imagination to the industry.

Another big imagination space is the Metaverse. Disney CEO Bob Chapette has publicly stated that the Metaverse is the future of Disney and will build its own Metaverse. Just recently, a patent has been granted for Disney’s Metaverse technology that works by tracking visitors’ use of their phones, generating and projecting personalized 3D effects on physical spaces, walls and objects around the park. , will create personalized interactive attractions for theme park visitors, thereby promoting the use of non-head-mounted augmented reality (AR) at Disney theme parks.

Although compared with history and precipitation, most of the domestic theme park companies cannot be far behind international brands, but since the concept of the Metaverse has been sought after, the theme park market that stands at the forefront of technological experience is considered to be a place where the Metaverse can play its value in the future. Important areas are also the direction for Chinese amusement park companies to speed up catching up. For example , Songcheng Performing Arts said in response to investors’ questions that the company is organizing to increase efforts to explore and develop the application of the Metaverse in theme parks and live performances.

Lin Huanjie said: “The popularity of the Metaverse concept is a more impactful and subversive event. For theme parks, the challenge brought by the Metaverse does not lie in what products it has created or seized at the moment. How much market share it has ignited the raging fire of entertainment virtualization. Regardless of whether the Metaverse itself can become the mainstream product or platform of virtual entertainment in the future, the form of virtual entertainment will be an option to replace physical entertainment, diverting physical theme parks. Tourists occupy the living space of physical theme parks. Some new features of virtual entertainment form will make traditional physical theme parks fall into a very difficult competitive situation. At the same time, it will also promote the extraordinary development of theme parks.”

But it should be noted that in the pursuit of this new concept, the need to avoid quick success. At the beginning of December last year, an event called “Adventure Little Prince Metaverse Theme Park Press Release and Academic Dialogue” was held in Shenzhen. At the meeting, it was announced that the first domestic Metaverse theme park developed by Shenzhen Fairy Dad Culture and Tourism Technology Co., Ltd. Landed in Guangming Town, Shenzhen, the project plans to invest 7.5 billion yuan in three years, leading the IP “The Little Prince of Adventure” into the Metaverse era.

According to public information, this fairy tale dad company was established on November 29, 2021 with a registered capital of 10 million yuan. It claims to have Metaverse theme park IP, content, strong capital strength and rich project resources.

Soon after, Shanshui Bide, a comprehensive landscape design platform, also announced that it hadsigned a “Strategic Cooperation Agreement” with Shenzhen Fairy Tale Dad Cultural Tourism Technology Co., Ltd. and Shenzhen Huafu Information Technology Co., Ltd. The theme park and other fields cooperated. After the announcement, it quickly attracted the attention of the supervision department. The Shenzhen Stock Exchange issued a letter of concern asking it to explain whether there was any “hot spot” and illegal trading of stocks by disclosing the “Metaverse Theme Park”. .Although Shanshui Bide denied this possibility in the follow-up reply, it also caused major companies to be more calm when chasing hot spots in the Metaverse.

“The actual application of the Metaverse requires mature technology as support. At present, such technology is not available. The biggest difference from VR/AR and other virtual reality experiences is that the experience of the Metaverse will no longer rely on glasses or With technical means such as helmets, the field of vision will become wider and more realistic. More importantly, from the perspective of experience, in addition to vision, it can also increase the authenticity through touch, which is not yet possible for practical applications. It is unrealistic and impossible to start the project promotion and pre-sale of the Metaverse Theme Park, and it needs to be carefully judged by park companies and consumers.” Lin Huanjie said.

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