ITV Studios Global Entertainment’s revamped series Thunderbirds Are Go has proven a hit across Europe, drawing strong ratings throughout France, Benelux and the Nordics. To meet this growing consumer demand, branded merchandise programs will launch in these three markets in September.
ITVS GE is working closely with master toy licensee Vivid Imaginations to bring its toys to these regions. The first items to launch will be flagship lines, including the Tracy Island interactive playset, Supersize Thunderbird 2 playset and Tracy Brothers action figures. Vivid’s roll-out will be supported by comprehensive marketing campaigns.
In France, Vivid’s toy line will have a special launch with Toys ‘R’ Us that will include dedicated end cap in all stores, back-to-school catalogue offers, website banners and a gift-with-purchase promotion for the winter holiday season. La Grande Récré will host end caps in 200 stores and will run an exclusive gift-with-purchase offer during October and November, present Thunderbirds Are Go content on its website and execute a parenting blogger outreach initiative.
In addition to Vivid’s line, ITVS GE is working with licensing agents to grow local consumer products programs. In France, where Thunderbirds debuted on Gulli in April, licensing agent Nelvana is developing a full line-up of merchandise, including storybooks from Hachette Livre (master publisher) launching in fall and back-to-school items from Kid’Abord in 2017.
In Benelux (broadcasters: Zapp Netherlands and Ketnet Belgium), Spin Master will debut its Air Hoggs collection in September. License Connection represents the brand in the region and has signed Meis & Maas as master publisher (books and magazines coming 2017), Jacob (boys’ bags) and Just Entertainment (DVDs).
And in the Nordics — where the show debuted this year on NRK Super (Norway), SVT’s Barnkanalen (Sweden), Juniori (Finland), Ramasjang and Ultra (Denmark) — Vivid’s toys will be distributed by TOPTOY starting this summer through its pan-Nordic retailer BR Toys and Toys ‘R’ Us. Local licensing agent Alicom is signing partners on for publishing, apparel, accessories and homewares.
Thunderbirds Are Go has sold to over 40 international markets, including in Europe, Japan, U.S., Canada, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand and Middle East; and signed over 80 licensees around the world. Season two will premiere later this year, with season three slated for 2017.