California-based OTT distributor Future Today is growing its HappyKids.tv app by picking up TV shows from Mattel, Corus and 9 Story Distribution International. Barbie (75 x 25 minutes), Thomas & Friends (551 episodes) and Hot Wheels (54 x 22 minutes) from Mattel, Bakugan (100 x 11 minutes) from Corus, and Camp Lakebottom (26 x 22 minutes) from 9 Story will all be available for free on HappyKids.tv through Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, xFinity and Cox.
Magic Light Pictures
Magic Light Pictures, the London-based prodco behind The Gruffalo and The Snail and the Whale, has appointed Wow! Stuff as master toy partner for its entire catalogue of brands. Wow! Stuff will start launching new toy lines based on the studio’s brands—including The Gruffalo, Zog, Room on the Broom and The Snail and the Whale—in January 2021. The master toy deal covers multiple territories, including the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Germany and Australia.
Philadelphia-based toyco Just Play is going retro with its acquisition of the Slinky and Shrinky Dinks kids brands. Just Play will roll out new products from both bands this fall. Slinky, a pre-compressed spring that can stretch and reform itself, first hit toy shelves in 1945. Shrinky Dinks, meanwhile, launched in the ’70s and gained popularity in the ’80s as an arts and crafts activity letting kids cut, shape and color plastic designs, and then bake them in the oven to harden.
Digital media division WildBrain Spark has inked a deal with Japanese kids education company Benesse Corporation to manage the English-language YouTube channel and content for Benesse’s preschool brand Shimajiro (pictured).
Under the deal, WildBrain will introduce an English-language version of the content to audiences in the UK and US. Shimajiro is a hybrid live-action and animated show that centers on a preschooler learning different lessons everyday (like brushing his teeth, and washing his hands), while acquiring more social skills and empathy for others.