News in Brief

HIT expands consumer products reach, relaunches Pingu
October 1, 2006

HIT expands consumer products reach, relaunches Pingu

Since being acquired by Apax Partners in June 2005, London-based HIT Entertainment’s consumer products division has been on something of an expansion tear. To that end HIT opened a new Asia Pacific Licensing, TV Sales and Distribution office in Hong Kong in September to service markets in Australia, Korea, South East Asia and India. Claire Dicey has moved from HIT’s London office to Hong Kong to take the role of sales direct, South East Asia and the company is currently recruiting additional staff.

Back in the U.K., HIT has just appointed Golden Bear as U.K. and Ireland master toy licensee for quirky character Pingu, who turned 20 this year. Golden bear will kick things off with new playsets and plush modeled on the precocious penguin in January. And a new 12-minute format based on the original stop-motion shorts – currently broadcast in 140 countries – is in the works at HOT Animation Studios. Undoubtedly, there will be more merch to follow.

Shutterfly snaps Clifford’s picture

On-line social expression and personal publishing service Shutterfly has signed its first character license for Scholastic’s Clifford the Big Red Dog. The result is the new Clifford-themed Photo Books in which consumers incorporate their own photos with templated backgrounds featuring the giant crimson canine using a drag-and-drop interface. Two formats are available at An 8 x 8 Story Book (US$34.99), and a 12 x 12 Memory Book.

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