This week, Koba Entertainment and Australia’s Moose Toys announced the first live theatrical performance for the toy and YouTube sensation Shopkins, a collection of mini figurines based on items found in grocery stores and a group of “Shoppies.” The Shoppie characters were then developed into a YouTube series called Shopkins World. Starting on Sept. 14 at UB Center for the Arts in Buffalo, N.Y., the toy brand will come alive in Shopkins Live!
“It’s really quite a phenomenal toy brand, especially after researching it and spending time with the people,” President and CEO of Koba Entertainment Gilles Paquin told Amplify.
Shopkins Live! will feature the characters taking the stage for the first time with an all new storyline as they prepare for Shopville’s annual “Funtastic Food and Fashion Fair.” The show will run from September until February 2018, with over 75 stops in the United States, including F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts in Wlikes-Barre, Pa., Fox Theatre in Atlanta, and Dolby Theater in Los Angeles.
“This is a show that has never been seen. We’re taking some of the music that already exists from their webisodes or their DVD and we’re creating new original music with more of a pop feel to it,” Paquin said.
The 90-min show will have brand new musical numbers by the three female stars of the show: Jessicake, Bubbleisha, and Peppa-Mint, who will be played by actresses signing live. The performers will be accompanied by the Shopkins characters in new and classic video highlights. As Koba continues to build the show, Paquin says there will be interactive components for the fans that skew a little older than most of their production demographics.
Koba has previously created live productions for Dora the Explorer, Backyardigans, Strawberry Shortcake, and Franklin whose audience tends to fall below the age of seven. Shopkins fans are slightly older and required the Koba team to get creative with new content.
“Using guidelines given to us by Moose, we are building these characters. It is a lot of fun and it is a creative challenge. The creative team is having a great time,” Paquin said. In addition, when the two companies connected, Moose Toys had not taken their product beyond the shelf.
The Shopkins brand began in 2014 and took off to international success, becoming the number one kids toy in the United States. The company did not yet have a series or film when they approached Koba Entertainment to produce and create a live show, but Koba jumped at the opportunity.
“We just fell in love with the brand,” Paquin said.
Moose Toys has since put together a YouTube series, the Shopkins movie, Shopkins Chef Club, and numerous apps.
“Shopkins is literally on every child’s wish list,” commented Paquin, who also serves as Executive Producer of Shopkins Live! “Koba Entertainment’s partnership with an innovative and leading toy manufacturer like Moose Toys allows us to bring one of the most successful toy brands in history to life on stage.”
Tickets for Shopkins Live! go on sale Friday, April 28 with VIP packages available. VIP packages include a seat in the first ten rows, exclusive Shopkins Live! merchandise, and a meet and greet with the cast at a private themed after-party. For a full list of dates and more information, go to ShopkinsLiveOnTour.com.