California-based toyco MGA has signed a licensing agreement with Chinese digital conglom iQiYi to launch popular collectible property L.O.L. Surprise! in China. Under the agreement the company is going to be the property’s master distributor and master licensee in China. On top of bringing the IP to the market, iQiYi will handle third-party licensing activities for the brand and use its expertise in the online content space to secure new retail distribution and licensing deals.
Launched in 2016 through digital marketing only campaigns, L.O.L. Surprise! has grown into a successful brand for the company, earning the US Toy Association’s Toy of The Year Award in both 2018 and 2019, as well as landing on the bestselling brands list on Amazon between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday in 2018. L.O.L. also contributed to a 7% jump in toy sales in the US in the first half of 2018, as well as the 4% growth in global toy sales during the same period.
Sony Pictures Consumer Products
Sony Pictures Consumer Products and Penguin Ventures signed agreements with a variety of licensing partners for the UK and abroad for Sony and Columbia’s upcoming live-action/CGI-animated feature Peter Rabbit 2 (pictured).
New UK licensees that signed on include Rainbow Designs and Whitehouse Leisure (plush), World of Confections (food), Solent (personal care), Puffin (tie-in books), Phidal (activity books), Redan (magazines), Aykroyds & Sons and TDP Textiles (swimwear, pajamas), TV Mania (apparel), Smiffys (costumes), Dinoski (ski suits and thermal wear), Cadbury (confections) and DNC (homewares).
Outside of the UK Sony appointed Melbourne, Australia-based Jasnor as its licensee for plush in Japan and Victoria, Australia-based Showtime Event Group for mall events in Australia and New Zealand.
Produced by Will Gluck and Zareh Nalbandian, Peter Rabbit 2 launches February 7, 2020 and is a sequel to the 2018 film Peter Rabbit, which grossed US$351 million worldwide, according to box office tracker Box Office Mojo.
Indian producer DQ Entertainment’s CGI-animated series The Psammy Show is making its debut in China on kids channel CCTV 14 Kids. No premiere date has been scheduled for the 52 x 11-minute toon, which sees five children befriend a fairy that can grant them wishes (which always bring unexpected consequences).
This distribution deal marks the first time the series will air in China and comes after the producer signed an agreement with Chinese distributor Cawro earlier this year.
After premiering on Disney Channel in Germany in 2018, the show grew to reach more than 500,000 kids aged three- to thirteen on the network, according to DQ. The series was later picked up by kidsnet’s Disney Channel in France and SH (Israel).
Kabul, Afghanistan-based distributor Moby Group has picked up Turkish producer Fauna’s animated series Kukuli to screen on its free-to-air TV channels and digital platforms in MENA. Fauna will translate the toon into 13 languages spoken in the region, including Farsi and Urdu. Targeting two- to six-year-olds, the Turkish series tracks Kukuli, a hyperactive monkey who adventures and learns life lessons with his friends, in 26 x seven-minute episodes.
No release date has been announced.
The series was picked up by Studio 100/m4e last year, with plans to exclusively distribute the brand and produce and distribute local versions of the show.
Finnish prodco Gutsy Animations has appointed DHX-owned digital kidsnet WildBrain to develop a global YouTube strategy for its 3D/CGI-animated series Moominvalley.
Adapted from Finnish writer and illustrator Tove Jansson’s popular Moomin book series, WildBrain is exclusively launching the show’s 13 x 22-minute episodes on its network today. The kidsnet is also going to manage all of the brand’s past content on YouTube, including the 1990′s series Moomin (130 x 22-minutes), produced by Finland’s Telescreen, as well as behind-the-scenes material and other content created exclusively for YouTube.
In the new series a young troll named Moomintroll goes on a fantastical adventure with his friends and family.
Jansson’s Moomin stories, which were first published in 1945, have since been translated into more than 50 languages. The brand is also a successful licensing property, with annual revenues close to $1 billion, according to its distributor PGS, which picked up global rights for the IP, this past May.
Each of the new series’ episode cost around US$1.1 million dollars (EU$1 million), making it one of the most expensive shows in Europe, according to PGS. Marika Makaroff, Steve Box (Wallace & Gromit), John Wooley (Shaun the Sheep) executive produce the series, with Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler (Peter Rabbit) serving as the screenwriters.