As Noddy (or Oui Oui as he’s called in France) celebrates his 50th birthday this month as a successful U.K. property, the Enid Blyton Company is concentrating on making him as much of a mainstay overseas as he is in the U.K. Originally created by British author Enid Blyton in 1949 in the book Noddy Goes to Toyland, Noddy now has over 450 licensees on-board in the U.K.
A worldwide video game publishing deal was signed with BBC Worldwide for a Noddy Game Boy title. Development on Noddy and the Birthday Party is already rolling, and the game is set to hit shelves in the U.K. next spring. As well, a third CD-ROM based on the character is in development for sometime in 2000/2001.
An exclusive six-month deal was also inked last month with J.C. Penny in the U.S. for soft goods based on Noddy such as sleepwear, playwear, footwear and accessories.
According to Samantha Paynter, director of international licensing for the Enid Blyton Company, now that the Noddy preschool series is seen daily in the U.S. on PBS’s Ready to Learn block, the time has come to increase the licensed merchandise presence in North America.’The program is really beginning to ramp up in the U.S. and Canada.’
And to celebrate Noddy’s half century with a bang, Middlesex, England-based Lledo will be launching a die-cast commemorative anniversary version of the Noddy car featuring a ’50′ on the grill. They mini auto will be available at mass in the U.K. in 2000. AD