Belgium-based prodco Studio 100 and Spanish entertainment company Planeta Junior have tapped Giochi Preziosi to serve as master toy partner for the Maya the Bee brand.
The agreement sees Giochi Preziosi handle manufacturing, distribution, promotion and marketing for an upcoming toy range. Licensed products are set to launch in fall 2018, including figurines, playsets, role play and feature plush. The deal covers key territories including Italy, France, Spain, the UK, Portugal and Greece.
The show’s upcoming 52 x 13-minute second season will air on a number of networks, including Gulli, Tiny Pop and RTP. In addition to fan favorites Maya, Willy and Flip, a new character named Theo–a bee with a prosthetic wing–will be joining the series.
Maya the Bee will also return to the big screen in 2018 with the new feature film Maya the Bee Movie–The Honey Games. The sequel is being co-produced by Studio 100 Media with Australian production company Studio B Animation, in association with Flying Bark Productions. A third movie is expected to bow in 2020. The brand’s digital presence is also growing, with a web series in development that will be tailored to specific digital platforms.
Maya the Bee first launched in 1912 as a children’s book by German author Waldemar Bonsels. It has since inspired a comic book series, a Japanese anime TV series in the mid-70s and Studio 100′s current CGI series, which launched in 2012.
Earlier this year, Studio 100 took a 68% stake in German production and distribution company m4e, which joined forces with Planeta Junior in long-term co-production, distribution and consumer products partnership in early 2016. The agreement saw several of Planeta Junior’s family entertainment properties and a crop of m4e’s projects become jointly co-produced.