Lithuania’s top-performing kids brand is looking to replicate some of its massive domestic success with a push into the European market.
Nelly Jelly first hit the local scene in 2010 as a book written by author/illustrator Lina Žutautė about a five-year-old girl who goes on magical quests with her squad of imaginary friends. It has since spawned a kidlit series (with 100-plus titles) that has sold 2.3 million copies in Lithuania, featuring fantastical characters such as gnomes and pirates in stories that deliver grounded lessons about everything from the importance of cleanliness to understanding why parents work hard.
Beyond publishing, the brand also has a robust domestic consumer products program. According to the company behind Nelly Jelly (which has the same name), it sold nearly two million products last year across nine categories—including plush toys, apparel and food & beverage.
And marking its first move into entertainment, Nelly Jelly: My Movie premiered in Lithuanian theaters on April 21, beating out strong international competitors like The Super Mario Bros. Movie to win at the local box office.
Nelly Jelly is now developing a 2D-animated series for kids ages three to six, and seeking co-pro partners for this project.
And Spanish licensing agency Caravanserai Partners has also just signed on to spearhead Nelly Jelly consumer products programs in the Iberian Peninsula region, which encompasses major markets such as Portugal, Spain and Andorra. The plan is to publish localized Nelly Jelly books and develop licensed products with local partners.