If you feel like you need a big bear hug to get through 2020, you’re not alone—the team at PhatMojo feels the same way. And while the ongoing pandemic prevents us from being together physically, the LA-based toymaker’s new consumer products program is designed to create those same warm and fuzzy feelings.
Inspired by Blue Zoo’s animated series The Adventures of Paddington (as well as the 2014 and 2017 feature films), the CP range includes figures, plush, vehicles and playsets. The show, which launched in January, airs on Nickelodeon worldwide.
Each item is connected to Paddington’s focus on kindness and caring in what the brand is dubbing its “BearKind” initiative.
“For us, it was about taking the essence of what Paddington stands for and translating that into the consumer products,” says Bill Graham, PhatMojo’s chief business development officer.
One theme is about caring not just for people, but also for the environment—manifested through the use of sustainable materials and packaging that includes tips on how to be more eco-friendly. Another theme is about paying happiness forward to others, and PhatMojo is currently working to create a system that will allow families to redistribute their Paddington toys to kids in need.
“We’re taking a look into how these toys can be shared,” says Graham. “We want to make sure these products are well-loved and that there’s a place where they can be redistributed beyond the initial consumer.”
Play patterns for plush items, figures and playsets will also build on the brand’s “BearKind” message of being kind and polite. This will be translated through toy design, packaging and marketing efforts. The importance of friendship and being a good friend, for example, will be a focus for plush items, while lessons about politeness come through with vehicles and playsets. (Paddington might teach children about the importance of waiting your turn while getting on the bus, for example.)
Launching in October, the toys will be available in the US, UK, Canada, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand. The toyco is already working on additional items for 2021, including products inspired by new characters introduced on the series.
“It’s not lost on us that the Paddington brand feels right for this moment,” Graham says. “There are a lot of worries for all age groups, but I think people overlook how much these issues impact little kids.”