Riding on the tailwind of market buzz generated by its recent kidvid label launch, Broadway Video is now making aggressive strides in kids licensing. On deck for licensee pitches are Cuppa Coffee trio Ted’s Bed, Cinema Sue and Gordon Giraffe, as well as Wreckless Abandon’s A Freezerburnt Christmas.
‘We’re putting a large push behind holiday specials that we are either acquiring or developing ourselves,’ says Broadway Video Enterprises president Alex Drosin, concentrating on A Freezerburnt Christmas for the 2002 holiday season. BVE was nailing down a television broadcaster for the special at press time, while working ahead on a retail promotion for the property that will coincide with its holiday launch on video and DVD.
Cuppa Coffee’s diverse slate of properties will also receive a 2002 push, with BVE scoping for novelty and accessories licensees for edgy tween property Cinema Sue, as well as toy, apparel and home furnishings partners for softer kids series Gordon Giraffe and Ted’s Bed.
When it comes to choosing licensees, Drosin will hone in on those able to create product with a unique look and feel. Gone are the days when a simple character translation would do–now you’ve got to add dimension, he says. ‘It comes down to quality, thorough distribution and being proactive with retailers in coming up with creative approaches to product. We all know there’s a glut of merchandise out there, so success is going to hinge on your ability to tie in these three components.’
As far as what’s next goes, Drosin will continue to focus on international acquisitions while ramping up in-house development on long-form series and specials inspired by BVE’s library of kids book options.
On the acquisitions front, Drosin feels there’s still a fair bit of room in the market for anime projects, and is currently finalizing distribution and representation agreements with partners in Asia.
On tap from the company’s in-house team is a new series for the five to seven set based on the Walter R. Brooks book Freddy the Pig. BVE is developing the 26 x 30-minute toon with a soon-to-be-announced co-pro partner.
Drosin feels his team can also offer added value to broadcast and merch partners through BVE’s strong ties to Saturday Night Live talent. ‘We intend to maximize that relationship in terms of voice talent for projects we’re developing on the kids side,’ says Drosin. ‘We’ve had a very strong response from broadcasters [to the idea]. It does make a difference to them, and it brings a lot of credibility to edgier tween projects.’
Asked if there’s anything he’ll stay away from, Drosin says live action won’t be an initial focus for BVE. ‘We’d rather concentrate on animation for the first year. We have a roster of properties on the animated side that we feel are going to work well for us on the licensing front. That’s not to say that live action doesn’t work well, but it’s sort of a second step for us.’