Indian kids and family entertainment company Toonz Media Group has acquired an equity stake in Indian AR/VR game developer TiltLabs, with plans to produce VR games based around Toonz’s popular kids properties. Toonz acquired the studio because of the growing presence of VR in the kids space and a desire to compete globally with other companies embracing the new tech, Toonz CEO Jaya Kumar tells Kidscreen. With TiltLabs, Toonz found a studio that was financially viable because of its service work (Slipstream-The Game, Traffic Guru) and the producer/distributor has already greenlit two games aimed at kids 10-and-under, which are expected to hit market in April 2020. Based on its popular kids brands Gummy Bear and Friends and Chacha Chaudhary, the new games will be Toonz’s first step into VR and the company plans to continue making more games going forward, says Kumar.
The Jim Henson Company’s third-party distribution label Henson Independent Properties has sent LA-based prodco Alchemy II’s to Amazon Prime Video via the SVOD’s Video Direct platform. The 65 x 22-minute animated series The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin debuted yesterday on the streamer. The ’80s series has been remastered in HD and centers on a young teddy bear who follows an ancient map to discover treasure. The ’80s property earned US$7 billion, according to Henson Independent Properties.
Corus Studios is growing its slate of lifestyle series and formats with the new kids cooking competition series Junior Chef Showdown. The eight x 60-minute series see 14 young chefs cook-off against each other in a series of challenges to impress judges with their dishes. The new show is produced by Toronto’s Proper Television in association with Corus Studios for Food Network Canada.
London-based prodcos Twizzlewhizz Ltd and Blue Zoo Animation are teaming up to co-produce new CGI-animated preschool series Stella and the Starlets (pictured). Created by Twizzlewhizz’s managing director Kate Wogan and indie producer Debbie Macdoanld (Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom, Peppa Pig), the 52 x 10-minute series orbits around Stella, who finds a bracelet that lets her open a secret portal and find a group of intergalactic heroes called The Starlets. The series will be pitched at MIPCOM later this month.
Over on the licensing front, the London-based arm of Discovery Inc has partnered with apparel maker Scouts UK on a line of Discovery Adventure children’s apparel. Featuring jackets, activewear, hoodies and baseball caps, the new collection is now available at Scouts UK website.