Ferly and APC Kids take playtime seriously. The companies—based in Finland and France, respectively—signed a master toy agreement with Hong Kong’s Toy Plus for their new CGI comedy-adventure series MiniMecs, which is still in development. In addition to creating vehicles, figurines and playsets based on the 52 x 11-minute series, Toy Plus will also provide input on the development of the show.
“Usually, the master toy deal is further down the road,” says Lionel Marty, managing director of APC Kids. “But at that stage it’s harder to make adjustments on the creative side. It’s better to make those changes early on, when they’re easier to implement.”
Discussions with Toy Plus are in the early stages, Marty says, but the toyco’s team has already provided feedback on how characters’ costumes, vehicles and tools could be tweaked to better facilitate consumer products down the line.
“This partnership allows us to fine-tune the concept and make sure we’re maximizing the potential for it to be a success in merchandising, and in toys especially,” he says.
Aimed at kids ages four to eight, MiniMecs was created by Ferly and is co-produced by APC Kids’ studio Zephyr Animation and Canadian production company Yellow Animation. The series is expected to bow in 2022, with global distribution rights shared by Ferly and APC Kids. Additionally, Ferly manages global consumer products and gaming rights for the property.
Pitched last month at Cartoon Forum, MiniMecs is about the tiny beings dedicated to keeping human households running smoothly. A group of new recruits and their fearless leader use teamwork and problem-solving to fix everything from clogged drains to broken appliances, all while trying to stay hidden.
Earlier this year, Ferly joined forces with Zephyr Animation and Yellow Animation on another project to co-produce the comedy-adventure series Gone Gills. The show follows three prehistoric creatures that find themselves stranded in present day.