2013 CEA winner in Internet: TheRealToothFairies.com
Tooth Fairy in the digital age
May 13, 2013By Kimberly King
Marilyn Bollinger, CEO
Howard Bollinger, president
Year Founded: 2011
Number of employees: 0
With a reported seven million cumulative unique visitors, and adding about a million new uniques a month, Marilyn Bollinger’s multi-million dollar online venture called The Real Tooth Fairies has been a dream come true – and one more than 20 years in the making.
“My daughter wrote a letter to the Tooth Fairy when she had lost her first tooth, and something amazing happened – the Tooth Fairy wrote her back,” she said.
It was that seed that gave Bollinger, author of more than 30 Disney books and a former consultant for LeapFrog and Fisher-Price, and her business partner husband Howard, a former longtime senior vice president for Hasbro and Kenner toys, the inspiration to develop www.therealtoothfairies.com.
Girls can register and log on for free to enter Real Fairyland, an extensive wonderland. Once on the website, girls can create their own avatar called a “Me-Doll” they can dress in different outfits and get matched to one of their favorite of six, ethnically diverse “Real Tooth Fairies.”
“For so many girls, the Tooth Fairy is a cultural icon that everyone knows,” Marilyn Bollinger said.
The company launched in December 2011 with about 500,000 unique users.
“Google measures it for you,” Marilyn Bollinger said. By December 2012, the numbers of unique visitors had grown to 3.5 million, she said. And by April of this year, she said, the numbers swelled to 7.1 million with an average of 11-12 page views per visit and a 700 percent year-over-year growth.
Digital revenue is generated from upgrades and letters from the Tooth Fairies, along with books, costumes, “Kindness Kits” and other ancillary products sold online.
But Marilyn Bollinger stressed the real value was the potential growth of the website’s target demographic – girls aged 5-10.
The company raised $2.9 million in operating capital prior to 2013, with a current capital raise of $5 million to reach a goal of 30 million unique users by the end of 2014, company officials said.
The Bollingers said more than $1 million of that $5 million has already been vested by prior investors.
“Our intent in two to three years is that we project we’ll have over 30 million girls, unique users to the site,” Howard Bollinger said. “At that point, the site will become a hugely valuable asset and a prime target for acquisition by scores of companies who want to connect with our girl demographic.”
Marilyn Bollinger said that during the second half of this year, the company will reach out to licensing partners, “and we expect to have many licensed products in retail stores in 2014.”
But more than anything, she said, the website has fulfilled her lifelong passion and love helping engage and educate children.
“This is what I was meant to do. This is my dream job,” she said. “My passion is empowering every girl in helping her to know that she is a precious gift to our world.”