9 Story Brands
Five global licensing companies have signed on to create new products and experiences for the stop-motion/live-action preschool series Moon & Me, following its US debut on Universal Kids last week. Minor Entertainment has signed on as the global live entertainment partner for the 50 x 22-minute show, which is co-produced by Canada’s 9 Story Brands, LA-based prodco Sutikki and Teletubbies co-creator Andrew Davenport through his prodco Foundling Bird. Other new licensing partner include Amscan (party goods, balloons, dress up) for EMEA; Orange Tree Toys (wooden toys and puzzles) for the UK and US; Redan (children’s magazines) in various European territories; and Whitehouse Leisure (amusement park plush) for EMEA. The companies have not specified when the new products will hit shelves.
Munich-based mediaco Studio 100/m4e has partnered with JLK Brand Licensing Group to build a licensing and merchandising program in US and Canada for several of its animated series, including Maya the Bee, Mia and Me and Heidi (pictured).
This deal comes after the company saw that a spike in popularity for its brands in North America. On the American version of the YouTube Kids app, the company released a Maya the Bee playlist this past March and in just over a month the number of views grew to 7.6 million, according to Studio 100/m4e. Meanwhile, Playmobil recently signed a deal to launch a toy line for Heidi in the US and Canada next year.
Italian prodco Rainbow has partnered with Bandai America to distribute a line of toys for its animated series 44 Cats (52 x 13 minutes) across the US and Canada. Master toy licensee Toy Plus will create the preschool line (plush, figurines, playsets and musical toys) and Bandai will launch it in early 2020.
Centering around a group of kittens that form a band and solve problems together, the feline-fare is making its US debut on Nickelodeon next month.
Paris-based prodco Cottonwood Media has appointed Retail Monster as the exclusive UK licensing agent for its live-action drama series Find Me in Paris (52 x 26 minutes). Retail Monster will be responsible for the development of branded licensed products and merchandise across the UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) for the tween-skewing IP.
Gemma Witts, who joined the licensee after working on entertainment brands such as Despicable Me and Sesame Street, will manage the roll-out of licensing activities for the brand.
The series first premiered in the region in September 2018 on Nickelodeon UK and is distributed worldwide (excluding Germany, GST and Scandinavia) by Federation Kids & Family. Its popularity has propelled the show into a third season, which is beginning principal photography in July.