Technology has an ever-increasing role to play in the action sports market, changing the way we interact with sports and giving us the ability to share information instantly through social media. With that, comes the need for quicker ways to capture that information, and POV cameras have emerged as a clear solution. Compact and powerful, POV cameras capture a unique angle, but with a $250+ price tag, they aren’t for everyone.
Enter JAKKS Pacific.
The company, which has made its name by creating high-tech gadgets at a more affordable price, recently released its own spin on the POV, called the Action Shot ™. The camera functions much the same as other POV cameras on the market, with a twist.
Action Shot films in 640×480 at 30 frames per second, or 320×240 at 60 frames per second, which is perfect for the web, while cameras from brands like GoPro and Contour produce a higher resolution film at 1080 pixels. The upside is, instead of dropping several bills on an Action Shot, the POV is $49.99 off the shelf, with accessories such as high-impact and waterproof cases and mounting kits available separately.
In addition, Action Shot has rallied a team of some of the best riders in the action sports industry, including Rob Dyrdek and Travis Pastrana. We caught up with Greg Mitchell, JAKKS director of marketing for interactive and electronic toys, to better understand the development and future of this exciting new product.
Where did the project start and what was the inspiration for this new POV sports camera?
JAKKS Pacific has always excelled at bringing high tech, high price-point items to the mass market at more affordable prices. JAKKS has introduced night vision goggles to the mass market for under $100 and have improved that product’s performance while bringing the price down further since. They have even brought an award winning, real video watch to the mass market as well. JAKKS saw an action sports specific POV camera as a logical next "must have" product. Action Shot was created to be an affordable and easy to use POV camera that would allow the POV market to grow.
Who were the founding partners on this project and what is Rob Dyrdek’s involvement with Action Shot?
Action Shot was built by skaters, surfers, snowboarders, and BMX riders who all happen to be designers, marketers, and tech experts. JAKKS knew in order to be authentic in the space they needed the support from the best athletes in action sports. Rob Dyrdek, Travis Pastrana, and Scotty Cranmer have been very influential in how to make Action Shot a better product for people to truly use and enjoy. Action Shot has benefited immensely from their experience and passion.
In developing this new camera, how important was it to make the interface familiar to people who may have used cameras like this before?
Coming up with a good user interface – and on such a small surface – is always a challenge. The goal was to maximize the few buttons on the Action Shot Camera for the multiple functions it offers, while not creating a hassle for users. There’s always a small learning curve with any electronic device, JAKKS wanted to make the Action Shot Camera intuitive and user friendly to use it on the go and not think twice about it.
How was the team formed?
When forming the Action Shot team, JAKKS hand picked the best action sports athletes who believe in the brand, that kids look up to, and who are constantly producing their own content. Rob is the king of content, his personality has made him a television star and he just happens to be one of the best skaters in the world. Travis is one of the busiest athletes between racing NASCAR & Rallycross, along with filming for Nitro Circus. Scotty is no different; he is a Dew Tour Champion and X Games Gold medalist.
Rob, Travis, and Scotty have all been very involved with the product and development from the very beginning. They use the product on a daily basis and have tested the camera to make sure it can keep up with their daily lives and video needs.
Together with our elite team, JAKKS will be releasing the Action Shot HD Camera in Q2 of 2013.
Is there a specific target group for this product?
The target market for Action Shot Camera is entry-level POV camera users, kids, price conscious consumers, and electronics enthusiasts.
POV cameras are quickly becoming more available and varied--what were your strategies for separating the Action Shot from the rest?
The recent popularity of POV cameras and the POV angle/viewpoint has opened everyone's eyes to a new perspective, and has allowed everyone to capture amazing footage without boundaries. Yet, not everyone has $300 to go get a camera, this is where JAKKS saw an opportunity for Action Shot Camera. This product is not a competitor to expensive POV cameras; Action Shot Camera is an entry level POV camera for the price conscious consumer, kids, and first timer POV camera users.
The free online editing software is a huge advantage for many of the POV camera users out there, will this grow and develop as time goes on?
The free online editing software's basic set-up performs a number of functions and will continually evolve to accommodate the feedback and needs of Action Shot users.
Are there plans for the creation of an online community around this camera?
The driving force behind Action Shot is user driven content via the online community. Currently Action Shot has their own YouTube channel that posts content from the brand and their athletes. Using the free online editing software that can be downloaded from their website, ActionShotCam.com, makes it easy for users to create their own videos and upload to online communities such as YouTube and HookIt and tag Action Shot ™ Camera.
What retailers are carrying this product? Surf/skate/snow core shops or larger big box retailers (or both)?
Action Shot Camera is available at retailers nationwide in the Toys and Electronics Section including: Target, Walmart, Toys R Us, Kmart and Zumiez. Action Shot ™ will continue to organically build their distribution channels from there within the core shops as demand grows.
What do you think is the future of POV cameras and is this linked with the future of action sports films as far as digital platforms and retail models?
The future holds endless opportunities for POV cameras, users have really only scratched the surface with the possibilities of POV cameras. POV will continue to evolve as the technology improves and users get more and more creative with the various mounts for the cameras. Mostly though, the POV camera will continue to be a unique part of not only action sports films but all video content because they are so user friendly and can be taken nearly anywhere, meaning that the only limit to the POV angle is where athletes and filmers decide to take them.
What do you foresee as the biggest opportunity and the most pressing challenge within this market?
Consumers have more options than ever before. The traditional camera market's venerable names like Nikon and Canon are trying to speak to young smart phone users, reminding them of why they can benefit from having a ‘real’ or higher performance camera to capture life’s moments. Parents have to choose where to invest their money when a kid has an iPod Touch and an expensive POV camera on their wish list - Action Shot Camera makes that job easier for everyone. As far as POV cameras go, Action Shot is the go-to brand for great value. Everyone should be able to shoot it and share it without breaking the bank.