Toronto-based Epic Story Media has acquired exclusive distribution rights to Tina & Tony from Russian prodco The Riki Group. Epic will distribute the animated series across the US and Canada, in addition to managing the brand’s YouTube channel globally.
Epic is planning to begin shopping English- and French-language versions of the 52 x five-minute preschool series to broadcasters this fall. The 2D/3D-animated show premiered on Chinese platform Youku Kids in 2018. Produced by The Riki Group, with China’s Alibaba Cultural Media as a finance and broadcast partner, Tina & Tony focuses on the friendship and adventures of a baby elephant and hippo who explore the world and face typical childhood situations together.
It has been a busy year for both companies. Epic Story recently launched sister company Epic Storyworlds to create new multimedia properties. And it also signed on to be the North American licensing agent for Outfit7′s flagship brand Talking Tom and Friends, and partnered with burgeoning toyco HUGE! Play to develop and launch toys inspired by its slate of shows.
Meanwhile, Riki Group acquired Moscow’s Aeroplane Productions (The Fixies) to expand its children’s brands. Riki’s shows have also been reaching new audiences of late, with French distributor APC Kids signing broadcast deals for preschool series Dinocity with DeAKids (Italy) and YLE (Finland).