Hasbro is launching a new initiative through its crowdsourcing platform Pulse HASLAB (short for Hasbro Lab) for fans to help create and support a full-sized pose-able replica of Sesame Street’s iconic character Cookie Monster, to promote the 50th anniversary of the brand.
Hasbro has set a goal of getting 3,000 backers for the project, who need to invest US$299.99 each. If this target is met before August 25, the company will move into production of the life-sized model in 2020 and deliver the figure that same year.
Standing just over three-feet tall, the figure will also include two original artwork lithographs and a certificate of authenticity. This isn’t the first time Hasbro has launched a crowd-funding campaign through HASLAB. Last year, the toyco launched a Star Wars-themed project and more than 8,880 fans boarded it, according to the company.
Australian toyco and distributor Headstart International has closed a deal with DHX Media-owned digital kidsnet WildBrain to manage the Aussie company’s Best Furry Friends brand on YouTube. The kidsnet is responsible for growing the global audience through exclusive content targeting the IP’s target demo of six- to nine-year-olds.
WildBrain is managing the brand’s existing channels on YouTube (5,500 subscribers), launching new channels across international territories and manage advertising for the digital platforms. Content for the IP includes 13 x 11-minute 3D CGI-animated episodes, 13 x 11-minute unboxing videos, six x 12-minute toy-play videos, and six x 12-minute stop-motion videos.
Launched as a collectibles brand featuring six animals who hang out with their human owners, Turner partnered with Headstart in 2018 to co-produce the animated series, which aired on Turner’s Australian channel Boomerang. Today, the IP’s toy range includes collectibles, dolls, playsets and plush, with the toyco planning to extend the brand into the interactive toy category.
DHX’s WildBrain has been busy making moves to build its portfolio and engage users this year, including hiring former Disney exec Elia Bouthors as the company’s strategy and innovation director, in May. The digital kidsnet also brought on Sony Pictures Entertainment exec Rachel Taylor as the company’s new commercial director.
China-based prodco Up Studios has partnered with the National Hockey League to produce a new CG-animated series about hockey in China.
Created by Up Studios’ CEO Trevor Lai, Super BOOMi Hockey Hero (pictured) will teach kids of all ages how to play the sport. The animated series builds on Up Studios development of hockey-based content, and a growing appetite for the ice sport in China, according to Up Studios. The Chinese prodco is using the series to expand its popular brands, by including the character BOOMi from its popular animated series Super BOOMi (which launched on Chinese broadcaster CCTV in 2018). Toronto prodco Nelvana partnered with Up Studios when the producer/distributor picked up the global distribution, licensing and merchandising rights for Super BOOMI in 2018.
Jointly invested in by Up Studios and China-based media conglom Tencent, Super BOOMi Hockey Hero‘s 10 x three-minute episodes follow the character BOOMi as he completes his ice hockey training in a virtual reality game world inspired by NHL superstars. The first episode launched during the Stanley Cup Final in June, and has already earned more than 1.3 million views on Tencent Video for the first three episodes alone, according to a spokesperson from Up Studios. The remaining episodes will be released on a weekly basis throughout the summer.
First Media-owned kidsnet BabyFirst TV is adding to its slate of baby-targeted educational shows. Premiering July 15, the network’s new 1,2,3 Race features three anthropomorphic vehicles who work together to teach the fundamentals of counting and problem solving. The series has also been adapted into Spanish-language and will be released in LatAm and US markets. To expand its portfolio further, the kidsnet is releasing a new song about counting and a line of plush toys that are going to be available online later this summer.
1,2,3,Race joins fellow new BabyFirst series Shapes School, which launched past spring. In 2017, the network expanded into China after distributor HBO Asia signed an exclusive multi-year deal with children’s VOD service iQIYI Kids. Today, the kidsnet is available in more than 120 million global households and in 14 languages.