Piggley Pooh emerged last year, opening two stores in Dublin, Ireland. The shopping-mall based retail franchise is billed as a retail gift shop for kids, selling personalized books, soft toys, cards, gifts and a new range of children’s apparel. There will be five more Piggley Poohs opening in malls in Galway, Cork, Limerick and Belfast by mid-2000. President Francis Fitzpatrick has high hopes of opening more stores worldwide, first in Europe and the U.K., then in France and Germany. Fitzpatrick is also turning the franchise into a television series, naturally named Piggley Pooh.
The animated 52 x 10-minute, US$8-million series is geared to preschoolers and is scheduled to air in late 2000. The co-production partner is Cascade-Scottish Tele-vision, and Toronto-based Telegenic will market Piggley Pooh products in Canada.
The story of Piggley Pooh, a young, porcine father living in barnyard bliss, is set in a mystical Celtic Ireland, steeped in fairy tales and folklore. The countryside creatures tell Piggley Pooh all about their trials and tribulations. Piggley Pooh, in turn, acts as Seannachai (that’s Gaelic for `master storyteller’) and passes along all of this educational and entertaining info to any preschoolers who are tuned in.