London-based agency Bulldog Licensing is ready to rumble, with phase two of its licensing program for Animation Collective’s quirky Thumb Wrestling Federation property about to hit the mat in the UK.
The short series is heading into its fourth season and has achieved widespread broadcast reach in the region, running on BBC1, BBC2 and CBBC. And Bulldog MD Rob Corney says licensees and retailers are knocking on his door for a change. Phase one of the program is already locked down, with product hitting shelves this summer on the high street. Partners involved include Sambro for masks (think Mexican wrestling) and wrestling rings, Aykroyds TDP for nightwear and underwear, and Random House for publishing. Now Corney is actively seeking partners for late 2008 and 2009 in categories such as sporting goods, footwear, lunch bags, stationery, backpacks, clocks & watches and capsule vending.
While the product aims for a core target of boys six to eight, TWF has also found a secondary fanbase with the university crowd. To target this older demo, Bulldog will be looking for record retailers such as HMV and Virgin to carry a DVD to be released by Delta in June/July, plus the agency would like to find retail partners to host promotional thumb wrestling tournaments. To drive collectibility, Corney is also creating a price arc from dollar store pricing for smaller items like masks, to gift pricing for wrestling rings.