From a global coloring contest to a partnership with the HEYMRJIM Podcast Network, schleich® celebrates the power of storytelling to bring people to together
CHARLOTTE, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–This holiday season, schleich®, the world’s leading manufacturer of characters and playsets that let kids’ imaginations run wild, is tapping into the storytelling superpowers of children around the world by asking one big question: “do reindeer always have to look the same?” Through thousands of videos and coloring sheets depicting the many different reindeer they’ve imagined, kids shared stories that revealed a powerful understanding of the beauty and strength in being unique, and that differences make us better.
Inspired by kids’ heart-warming responses, schleich® incorporated some of the thousands of videos and coloring pages shared into its multi-lingual 2022 global holiday video, capturing sentiments that underscore the power of storytelling and imagination to bring people together. Children can continue sharing coloring sheets of their own unique reindeer by visiting the contest landing page through December 16 for a chance to have their drawing made into a schleich® character.
The holiday campaign is also helping to bring families together through stories in partnership with a rising star in kids audio entertainment, Jim Jacob, better known as Mr. Jim of the HEYMRJIM Podcast Network. The imagination and voice behind the popular podcasts, “Kids Short Stories,” “Kids Animal Stories,” and “Spyology Squad” found inspiration in the children’s touching responses and crafted his own story for families to enjoy together over the holidays. In the two-part audio story, Mr. Jim introduces Stripes, a reindeer with green and white striped antlers and a colorful nose, who must find a way to fulfill his dream despite not being accepted for his differences. Families can also enjoy watching Mr. Jim tell his story, in a fun and animated video launching today on schleich®’s YouTube channel. The unmistakable green and white striped antlered reindeer featured in Mr. Jim’s audio story and throughout the schleich® holiday campaign is available for purchase as a special edition collector’s item at schleich-s.com.
“The beautiful messages of togetherness and acceptance that children shared with us were truly inspiring,” said schleich® USA Director of Marketing, Kelli Masilun. “We hope that by working with Mr. Jim to bring that to life through the story of Stripes, along with all the other elements of our global holiday campaign, we are creating a wonderful way for families to connect at the holidays and all year round.”
While exploring the power of storytelling, a recent survey from schleich®, conducted by OnePoll, found that of 1,000 US parents, 76% wish they were better at using their imagination, and believed their own imagination had peaked at an average age of 14.5 years old. To support these parents, schleich® worked with Mr. Jim to develop tips and advice to spark their own imaginative and storytelling abilities as a way to connect and engage with their kids more deeply.
“Storytelling is an opportunity to create special moments of connection with my family,” said Jim Jacob, founder of the HEYMRJIM Podcast Network. “These tips are designed to inspire parents to create these special moments in their own homes and continue building strong relationships with their children through imagination and the power of storytelling.”
To facilitate these stories and conversations, Mr. Jim offers the following key tips for parents and caregivers –
- Make the time for stories – Finding time to play and tell stories with your kids ignites imagination and is a great way to build a deeper connection together.
- Stories can be fun, and also really meaningful – It’s all about imagination, but be purposeful with your creativity by incorporating core values that are important to your family into your storytelling. Listen to how I weaved in the power of friendship and inclusivity in the story I created about the schleich® 2022 reindeer, Stripes.
- This or that? The key to jumpstart your stories – Give your kids two options to choose from to create the path of your story, focusing on elements like the type of adventure, setting, and characters. Keep the story going with simple prompts, like “what if?,” “and then” and “why not?”
- Incorporate play into your storytelling – Whether you want to enhance the way you play or tell stories, using toys like characters and playsets from schleich® as inspiration for a story can guide your imagination.
- Be an active participant – From silly voices to fun sound effects, actively participating in storytelling and playtime with your children will strengthen your imagination, create a deeper connection, and even help build their comprehension.
Families can bring the special edition schleich® 2022 Reindeer home this holiday, available at schleich-s.com. The HEYMRJIM audio story is available in two episodes, part one and part two. For additional information on the schleich® brand and the holiday campaign, visit the schleich website or follow the brand on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.
Founded more than 85 years ago by Friedrich Schleich in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Schleich is one of Germany’s largest toy manufacturers and a leading international provider of figurines. The famous Schleich figurines are sold in more than 60 countries and are loved by children around the world. As a global player with Swabian roots, Schleich currently generates more than half of its sales outside its core market in Germany. The Company is majority owned by Partners Group, a global private markets investment management firm. Further shareholders are the management team around Dirk Engehausen (CEO). The design of the Schleich play worlds, the manufacturing of the production tools and all quality and safety checks are carried out in Germany. Production itself takes place at the company’s site in Schwäbisch Gmünd and in other production plants abroad.
HEYMRJIM features three children’s podcasts: Kids Short Stories, Kids Animal Stories, and Spyology Squad. With more than one million downloads per month worldwide, HEYMRJIM has one of the largest podcast audiences for kids’ audio content. The podcast joined iHeartMedia in 2021 to debut its dedicated family and children’s platform, and has reached #6 in Apple Podcasts for kids. HEYMRJIM was founded with the purpose of providing products and content that help kids embrace their imagination, build strong relationships, practice purposeful creativity, and make brave choices. Visit heymrjim.com to learn more and stay tuned for the fourth podcast launching soon.
This random double-opt-in survey of 1,000 parents with children aged 3–18 was commissioned by schleich® between Nov. 1 and Nov. 2, 2022. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).
Litzky Public Relations