9 Story Brands has secured a raft of new Australian licensees for Sutikki and Foundling Bird’s preschool series Moon and Me (50 x 22’), created by Andrew Davenport (Teletubbies, In the Night Garden). Following the successful June 2019 launch on ABC Australia, Scholastic Australia released two books in November 2019 (The Little Seed and Moon Baby Sticker Book), with five more titles planned for 2020. Additional partners include Hunter Products (toys, puzzles and wood), Kinnerton (confectionary), Redan Publishing (magazines) and Minor Entertainment (live shows). 9 Story has appointed Merchantwise as the licensing and marketing agency for the territory. The show made its global TV premiere on BBC’s CBeebies in the U.K. in February 2019 and more than 40 consumer product licensees have already been secured by Sutikki, including Hasbro (global master toy) and Scholastic (global master publishing). 9 Story Distribution International oversees global distribution of the series (excluding the U.S., U.K. and China), while 9 Story Brands manages global merchandising rights (excluding the U.K. and China).
Alpha Group UK returned to London Toy Fair to showcase a host of new master toy licenses, along with new additions to top-selling in-house properties.
- New products are being launched to support the extensive 2020 content slate for flagship preschool animation property Super Wings (airing through Cartoonito and Tiny Pop in the U.K.) Season 4 launches in Spring, with a new SuperCharged theme introducing new characters and storylines through 40 brand new 11-minute episodes, including 2 x 20-minute specials. The range impressed retailers with refreshed best-selling lines, keen price points and a host of new play patterns.
- Recently appointed as global master toy partner for gaming giant SYBO’s Subway Surfers, Alpha unveiled the hotly anticipated lifestyle and fashion-led toy collector range at the show. Announced this month as the most downloaded game of the last decade (2.7+ billion downloads worldwide), Subway Surfers has a huge global fan base. The collector range brings together street style and pop culture themes, including some exclusive digital interactivity integrated within key lines.
- Alpha UK introduced their SpongeBob SquarePants master toy license ahead of the hotly anticipated movie release in May, with a selection of new products including plush. With the iconic brand talked about every 4 seconds globally on social media, Alpha’s humorous line, uniting kids, teens and millennials is set to grow during SpongeBob’s 21 st anniversary year.
- Alpha Group have also been appointed as master toy partner for Chuggington,under new ownership through Herschend Entertainment Studios. As the much-loved preschool property anticipates the launch of its sixth TV series, the long-term franchise will be launching new content on both digital and linear platforms, along with an extensive licensing program including a new toy line in 2021.
- Gearing up for a powerful launch in S/S 2020 are the new high-octane U-Zoom Racers! These must have preschool vehicles power up effortlessly and can travel over 20 meters. Delivering loads of play value for an impulse pocket money price point, the U-Zoom Racers are expected to rev up preschool play.
- Alpha are also enhancing their in house offering with the new TerraTrax RC drift cycle which is new for A/W 2020 and will be TV supported.
Following the success of Kukuli and Briko (with Toonz Media) Turkey’s biggest kids’ entertainment company Fauna is betting on a new brand aimed at older audiences, Paper Poo! Paper Poo is a roll of toilet paper who doesn’t sugarcoat how he feels about living a life no one wants, who endures mood swings and a roller coaster life with his best friend, Pompous the plunger. The brand follows a non-usual expansion strategy based on viral marketing; first launched on Instagram in January 2019, Paper Poo attracted fans from East Asia, Latin America and the U.S. with its artsy, relatable yet kawaii daily posts. The L&M program kicked off with RedBubble for mugs, tote bags and t-shirts; Stickerfly (stickers); its first e-book (launched on Amazon in December); and now a capsule collection with Dutch sustainable/ecological toilet paper manufacturer The Good Roll — the initiative uses 50% of net profits to support the building and improvement of sanitary facilities in Africa. Developer Madde22 has signed on to develop mobile games for iOS and Android, due in May.
Ghost Corps, Sony Pictures Consumer Products, Printed In Blood and Insight Editions have teamed up to deliver Slimer fans an original, fully illustrated celebration of their favorite spectacularly spooky and delightfully comic film franchise with Ghostbusters: Artbook (May 5, SRP $39.99) ahead of the highly anticipated summer release of Ghostbusters: Afterlife. This deluxe, 208-page hardcover features a treasure trove of original artwork inspired by the ever-popular films. Bringing together brilliant artists from the worlds of animation, comics, fine art, graphic design and other disciplines, Ghostbusters: Artbook spotlights over 170 illustrators from around the world, all contributing previously unseen art to this comprehensive and unique collection.
WildBrain CPLG has inked a deal with indie British jewellery brand Tatty Devine for a collection inspired by Charles M. Schulz’s beloved Peanutscomic strip. The collection features necklaces and brooches with a spotlight on the brand’s inimitable take on love, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Following the success of Tatty Devine’s first Peanuts capsule, created exclusively for Somerset House’s 2018-19 exhibition Good Grief, Charlie Brown!, the new 15-piece range features the whole gang, including sweethearts Schroeder and Lucy at the little red piano, Peppermint Patty with a bouquet, and Snoopy waving a flag for “peach + love”.
WildBrain CPLG has also announced a deal with creator and influencer Alessandro Enriquez to launch designer capsule collections with big names in Italian fashion to celebrate fast-growing global character brand Line Friends. The loveable characters were originally created as stickers for mobile messenger app LINE and its 200 million active users worldwide. The collection is the latest installment of Enriquez’s annual Fashion Comics project for Pitti Bimbo and debuted at the event’s 90th edition in Florence last month. The project saw designers including Monnalisa, Mc2 Saint Barth, Diadora, Pinko Up, Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini Kids, 2Star and Akep launch exciting new capsule collections.
Zinkia Entertainment has reached an agreement with toy company Bandai to develop and launch a new Pocoyo toy line, to be initially marketed in Spain, Portugal and Mexico starting Christmas 2020. The companies have previously collaborated to achieve millions in sales in key territories. This alliance signifies an important boost in the worldwide relaunch of the Pocoyo brand. And in this context, Zinkia is currently producing a new season of the series that will be available in September; as well as special episodes and music videos that have already been released on YouTube (where Pocoyo has racked up 18 billion views and 19 million subscribers) and digital platforms. Recent broadcast agreements include Clan (Spain), TV Azteca (Mexico, Guatemala, Hondura), TFO Canada, RAI (Italy), CCTV (China), all local Asian regional channels and ABC Australia.