The Gangnam Style trend showed the world that South Korea might just be the next global pop-culture hub. In its wake, The Jim Henson Company has mined the territory, finding IP I Love Egg, which it intends to take to global TV and consumer products markets.
The project will be jointly steered under the Henson Independent Properties banner with EVP of global distribution Richard Goldsmith heading up the content side, along with Melissa Segal, SVP of global consumer products, who’s taking care of the licensing angle.
I Love Egg, first developed by D&H, a Seoul-based media distribution company, has enjoyed a cult-like status in parts of Asia, fuelled by its unique design, a number of interstitials and webisodes, and a successful mini-figure vending machine business led by Japan-based toy licensee Tomy.
“It’s kitschy, wacky and cool,” says Segal, describing the broad appeal of the IP. “I see it as the same type of property as Domo.”
Last month, Henson acquired the global merchandising and content distribution rights for the property that were previously held and promoted by UK-based brand manager Coolabi in the mid-2000s.
Goldsmith says that the market has changed since I Love Egg’s first exposure to the global market, and broadcasters are now on the hunt for the type of interstitial content that I Love Egg offers. “The TV networks have been asking for interstitial content,” he says. “When they ask for something, you jump. This is the type of program that can run anywhere from preschool to tween channels.”
Goldsmith is currently shopping 37 short-form I Love Egg toons, fielding significant interest from channels in South America and Western Europe. “When you see the cartoons, you soon realize there is nothing out there like it,” he says. “The humor is so broad and well done it has such a wide appeal.”
Henson will be officially unveiling I Love Egg at MIPTV next month. Segal, meanwhile, will be showcasing it to potential licensees, with a design-led tween-based consumer products program as her end goal.
“We are going to follow the distribution strategy,” says Segal of the consumer products rollout. “We’ll see which countries buy into the webisodes and we’ll start there.”