Magic Light and BBC reveal exclusive Tabby McTat trailer

Magic Light has also created three Christmas Idents exclusively for BBC One 2023 featuring Tabby McTat, Stick Man and the Gruffalo.

From BAFTA-winning and Oscar-nominated producers Magic Light Pictures, Christmas animated adventure, Tabby McTat, the 11th Magic Light Pictures adaptation for BBC One, is a story set on the streets of London about the warm and wonderful friendship between a musical cat and a talented busker called Fred.

Adapted from the hugely successful picture book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, the film stars Rob Brydon (Gavin and Stacey) as Fred, Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísú (Gangs of London) as Tabby, Cariad Lloyd (Peep Show) as Prunella, Joanna Scanlan (The Thick of It) as Pat, Jodie Whittaker (Doctor Who) as the Narrator, and Susan Wokoma (Enola Holmes) as Sock.

Magic Light Pictures has also created three charming Christmas Idents exclusively for BBC One 2023.

The three 40-second animations show Tabby McTat and family enjoying a quiet snooze under the Christmas Tree when they’re abruptly awakened; Stick Man and his family receiving their gifts from Santa and the Gruffalo’s Child’s playful antics that almost cause havoc for the Gruffalo and his Christmas Tree.

The idents will be revealed on BBC One after Strictly Come Dancing on December 2nd and will appear across the Channel throughout the festive season.

Animated by Red Star, these three idents will be shown along with four specially created idents that previously premiered in 2020. These feature Zog and The Flying Doctors, The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child.

Charlotte Moore, BBC’s chief Content officer said: “Especially for BBC One this Christmas, Magic Light has created charming, animated idents of some of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s best loved characters to bring some extra festive joy and warmth into everyone’s homes.”

An exclusive, first look trailer for this year’s BBC One and BBC iPlayer Christmas animation, Tabby McTat is now live.

Click here to watch the trailer.

Magic: The Gathering teams up with Teddy Fresh

The Teddy Fresh x Magic: The Gathering collection debuted with an exclusive in-person release at Complex Con, followed by an online release on 20th November.

Los Angeles-based fashion brand Teddy Fresh has announced a new collaboration with renowned card game Magic: The Gathering, under licence from Wizards of the Coast, a division of Hasbro. As two brands known for celebrating the communities in their industries, the collection displays beloved artwork from the enthralling world of Magic.

The collection was launched with an exclusive in-person release at Complex Con on 18th and 19th November. Following this, an online release took place on 20th November.

Artwork was curated from the H3 and Teddy Fresh team’s personal favourite Magic: The Gathering cards. A representative said: “Within our team, there are passionate Magic fans, and we were determined to collaborate using their chosen cards, rather than focusing solely on the rarest or most renowned ones. As a striking example, our Tech Design manager Jacob’s deep love for Liliana of the Dark Realm is so profound that he has her tattooed on his arm, and we’ve honoured her by featuring her on one of our knit styles.”

A foremost objective was to ensure that designs conveyed the essence of Teddy Fresh, rather than merely appearing as Magic merchandise. For instance, the Serendib Efreet Tee utilizes a Jacquard Intarsia knit technique, a method the team had employed on several occasions before, which elevates the classic tee and has become a staple for the brand. Similarly, the Corduroy jacket has been freshly updated with one-colour digital print graphics.

Meanwhile, the Mana Cardigan and hat have been designed to seamlessly blend the iconic Mana symbols, instantly recognizable to any Magic enthusiast, with the beloved Teddy Fresh bear silhouette. The fusion of the two most iconic logos is crafted from a slightly fuzzy knit for added fun.

The team hopes its reverence for MTG card art is evident in its designs, as it incorporates artwork from the vast array of Magic cards. Styles like the surgical extraction shirt and the Soulless one tee feature all-over prints of extended card artwork, offering fans a unique and unexpected way to wear their favourite cards, beyond the conventional frame format.

Infusing a sense of humour into some pieces, the Earl of Squirrel tee is a standout favourite among the team, and a testament to its willingness to embrace the whimsical and unconventional.


Punchbowl invitations to star Warner Bros characters

Inspired by fan-favourite Warner Bros. franchises, the branded invitations will feature iconic characters as well as themes from beloved holiday movies.

Punchbowl has announced the launch of a new invitation collection created in partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products. The branded invitations feature iconic characters including Harry Potter, DC Super Heroes Batman, Wonder Woman, Blue Beetle, Superman, The Flash and Friends.

In the coming weeks, Punchbowl will also debut Christmas invitations inspired by the beloved holiday films Elf, A Christmas Story, The Polar Express and Frosty the Snowman.

“We are thrilled to work with Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products to bring these characters to our online invitations and digital greeting cards,” said Matt Douglas, founder & CEO of Sincere Corporation, the parent company to Punchbowl. “The magic and adventure of a celebration begins with the invitation, and we’re excited to offer fans invites that perfectly match birthday themes inspired by these iconic franchises.”

The new online invitation collection includes dozens of vibrant designs that have the look and feel of paper with matching envelope liners, postage stamps and greetings. Consumers can personalize an invite in minutes, deliver it instantly by text or email, track RSVPs and add powerful party planning features like a guest poll or gift registry.

In 2014, Punchbowl launched the Characters Kids Love invitation collection and has since built the largest selection of branded online birthday invitations. 38% of parents choose a branded design when planning a kids birthday on Punchbowl. With the addition of Warner Bros. Discovery, the collection now includes over 650 beloved characters from Disney, Universal, Sesame Street, Mattel and many more.

Michelle Mendelovitz takes the helm at Mattel Television Studios

At Mattel Television Studios, Michelle will connect worldwide audiences with Mattel’s iconic brands, franchises and characters and expand the company’s content slate.

Mattel, Inc. has announced that Michelle Mendelovitz has been named head of Mattel Television Studios. In her new role, Michelle will oversee the development, production and distribution of Mattel’s robust slate of episodic content on broadcast and streaming globally. She reports to Josh Silverman, chief Franchise officer, Mattel.

Ynon Kreiz, chairman and CEO of Mattel, said: “Michelle is a powerful creative leader with a wealth of experience working with top studios and creators to make innovative, quality content across genres and platforms. We are excited for her to join at a time of such momentum for the company, and for the important role she will play in developing stories that resonate in culture and growing Mattel’s global fan base.”

He added: “The opportunity to connect worldwide audiences with Mattel’s iconic brands, franchises and characters through high-quality storytelling is greater than ever before. I look forward to the impact Michelle and Mattel Television Studios will have on expanding the content slate to the delight of our fans around the globe.”

Michelle brings with her significant expertise in content development and production gained from senior roles at Disney 20th Television Studios, Apple TV+, Sony Pictures Television, and CBS Television Network. She most recently served as executive producer at Hiddenlight Productions; Hillary and Chelsea Clinton’s production company.

Michelle commented: “Mattel is a globally revered brand that I’ve always admired for its ability to empower and relate to its audience generation after generation. Taking that bold spirit to speak to themes that impact people’s worlds, while simultaneously entertaining audiences of all ages, is what we are focused on as we grow Mattel Television Studios into an inspiring storytelling home for best-in-class creators. I’m so thrilled and honoured to join the Mattel team as we take our brands and franchises to a whole new level.”

Mattel Television Studios is the television production and distribution division of Mattel, providing global audiences with innovative and engaging content based on the company’s iconic portfolio of franchises. Featuring best in class distribution partners, Mattel Television Studios content offers animated and live action series and specials based on leading IPs such as Barbie, Thomas & Friends, Hot Wheels, Fireman Sam, Polly Pocket, Barney, Masters of the Universe, Monster High, and Pictionary. In 2023 alone, Mattel Television Studios has premiered 12 series and specials.


The Everywhere Group celebrates award for Peaky Blinders experience

The Everywhere Group has been recognised by the Themed Entertainment Association as best Live Interactive Experience, for Peaky Blinders: The Rise.

The international awards recognize achievement, talent and personal excellence from those who bring incredible experiences to life for people around the world.

The Themed Entertainment Association has announced this year’s award-winning Thea recipients, honouring teams and individuals who contribute in a brilliant way towards creating unique guest experiences around the globe.

The Everywhere Group is delighted to have been selected by the Themed Entertainment Association as best Live Interactive Experience, for Peaky Blinders: The Rise. Along with the other companies and experiences on which the TEA has bestowed awards, the company will be celebrated at a special gala. This takes place on March 16th, 2024 at the Dolby Ballroom in Hollywood, California, and coincides with the 30th Anniversary of the Thea Awards Program and Gala.

The Everywhere Group (TEG) is an award-winning live events company and leader in the immersive sector, known for turning the world’s biggest entertainment brands into unforgettable live experiences. Comprised of a team of industry leaders spanning various disciplines within the experience economy, the group merges the boundaries of live theatre, interactive technology and immersive entertainment to create the extraordinary moments that leave a lasting legacy.

A spokesperson for TEG told Toy World: “This is equivalent to an Oscar for us! The entire team is truly proud.”

Peaky Blinders: The Rise was produced in association with Caryn Mandabach Productions and TV series creator, Steven Knight. At the experience, visitors are invited to step back in time and into the world of TV’s most notorious gangsters for a fun packed evening of high-stakes drama, live music and endless possibilities.

“Celebrating excellence is core to the TEA mission”, said Melissa Oviedo, TEA International Board president. “These remarkable individuals have demonstrated unparalleled creativity, innovation and commitment to delivering extraordinary guest experiences on a truly global scale. Their work has not only entertained and inspired millions but also continues to shape the future of our industry.”

“Each year, hundreds of exciting and unique submissions from across the globe are received and reviewed by the Thea Awards Judging Committee to arrive at this final list,” said judging chairman, Andy Westfall. “This year’s major submission trend included a heavy emphasis on consumer and hospitality-based experiences which personalized guest engagement in new, impactful, and meaningful ways.”

For more information and to see the full list of awardees, visit the TEA website here.

To learn more about The Everywhere Group, click here.

Zag welcomes Michael Berreth as Franchise Marketing director

As Zag expands its management team due to global growth, veteran marketing executive Michael Berreth joins the company in a newly created Franchise Marketing director role.

Zag continues to build its brand roster on a global scale and has created a new Franchise Marketing director role, with the appointment of veteran industry marketing executive Michael Berreth to the position.

Michael joins Zag with over 20-years of experience working on some of the world’s most beloved consumer brands including Disney’s Winnie-the-Pooh and the Strawberry Shortcake property. In this new role, reporting to Julian Jacob Zag, EVP, Global Operations and head of Consumer Products, he will be responsible for steering franchise marketing strategy for Zag’s brands. These include the globally popular Miraculous, which follows the adventures of secret superheroes Ladybug and Cat Noir; and the cinematic CG-adventure series  Ghostforce, which fights the ghosts of New York.

Michael will work with Zag’s business partners across the globe to develop customized marketing plans that will drive business growth and retail development. Internally, he will collaborate with cross-functional teams to develop marketing strategies, messaging and collateral materials that will generate excitement, drive sales and manage brand integrity. He will also develop a digital marketing strategy.

“With Michael’s extensive background and expertise, he is uniquely positioned to develop and implement marketing strategies that reflect our mission and values to content and licensing partners and stakeholders, and we are thrilled to have him join our management team as we continue to build our brand franchises around the globe,” commented Jeremy Zag.

“Zag’s content has captivated a diverse global audiences with its  top-tier, family-friendly narratives that blend real-life elements with a little magic,” added Michael. “This is a wonderful opportunity to work with a best-in-class studio with its focus on developing global entertainment franchises that become iconic in the hearts and minds of their audiences everywhere.”

Most recently, Michael led the start-up of a successful boutique youth marketing agency, Marketing Brands Consulting. Prior, he served as head of Marketing at DIC/Cookie Jar Entertainment for six years; globally managed the Winnie-the-Pooh franchise across The Walt Disney Company and launched The Fast and the Furious on DVD for NBC Universal. He began his career managing major consumer packaged goods brands at Nestlé and Kellogg’s.

Moonbug teams up with George at Asda

Moonbug Entertainment has announced the My First CoComelon infant fashion line, inspired by the popular series.

Moonbug Entertainment, a subsidiary of Candle Media, has announced a new fashion collection for infants in the UK with George at Asda, inspired by the global hit kids’ show CoComelon. The My First CoComelon collection includes a pyjama set and a sleepsuit featuring the CoComelon characters and melon from the show. This launch will support Moonbug’s growth in the new-born and infant category with its first branded products.

The My First CoComelon collection was developed in collaboration with Blues Group, a licensee well-known for its high-quality infant products. To support the release, Moonbug launched a three-week marketing campaign that includes social media, influencer relations and inclusion in the CoComelon magazine.

“Launching this product line will strengthen our connection with fans and provide fun and comfortable fashion for more children,” said Francesca Gianesin, head of Consumer Products & Experiences, International at Moonbug Entertainment. “It’s important for us to reach families with kids across different ages with our fashion and product launches, and we are excited to have a great partner in Asda, which has been a trusted retailer of families for years, for our first infant collection.”


As the number one pre-school entertainment franchise in the world, CoComelon supports kids in their foundational years through positivity, with a song for every big-little moment. The CoComelon franchise is available in more than 20 languages and is widely popular among children across the globe with more than 4b monthly views across platforms. The brand now extends far beyond the screen, as a successful licensing partner for brands such as Puma and Crocs, helping little ones to laugh, learn and grow.

Moonbug’s soft goods creative in-house team has a combined 40 years’ experience across trend forecasting, design and product development. By blending creativity with data-driven insights, the team consistently develops beautiful designs that resonate with both parents and kids, leading to successful partnerships with top brands and expansions into new categories.

For more information, visit

Exclusive: Licences boost “best year ever” at Sambro

Publisher John Baulch speaks to Sambro CEO Paul Blackaby about the company’s quiet (r)evolution and how licensing has always been a key element for the company.

It had been a few years since I last visited Sambro’s UK office – the large, imposing building in Bury it has called home for many years. My trip saw me meet with CEO Paul Blackaby, the man at the helm who has been quietly transforming the company from its pure value roots into a company that still offers great value across all of its product ranges, although now combined with far more exclusive product development and an ambitious environmental strategy.

110 people work from the Bury headquarters, which is the hub of the company, according to Paul: “The business is all about people and product. Co-operation is key. We don’t own factories, ships or trucks – we rely on many different partners, and it’s a massive effort to co-ordinate them all.”

However, like many other British-based operations, Brexit had a profound impact on the business, leading to some operations moving to an EU location. The company now operates a 3PL facility in Rotterdam and an office in Amsterdam.

Licensing has always been a key element for Sambro, and the business has become far more focused on properties from key partners in recent years. “First and foremost, we focus on our ‘big 4’ licensing partners – Paramount, Mattel, Hasbro and Disney,” explains Paul. “Then we look to build out a broader portfolio through partnerships with key licensors which have properties that align with our product ranges and our retail customers. We are happy to take calculated risks on successful new and emerging properties, as well as some brands which have proved that they have staying power, such as Acamar’s Bing.”

Paul goes on to talk about the company ethos of “unashamedly value driven”, key changes within Sambro, and why it has been its “best year ever”. He also shared exciting plans for 2024.

Click here to read the full article, which appeared in the November edition of Toy World.

Fenwick’s Christmas windows celebrate The Chronicles of Narnia

The windows depict scenes from The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis as a celebration of family, community and the joy of reading.

Fenwick has revealed its much-anticipated Newcastle Christmas window theme: The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, depicting the beloved tale of four curious children discovering the magical world of Narnia; “a place where it is always winter but never Christmas.”

This year’s Christmas window sees Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy step through the magical wardrobe and embark on a fantastical adventure with Aslan and Mr. Tumnus, where they navigate the land of eternal winter which has been enchanted
by the White Witch.

The fantastical world of Narnia was unveiled in front of children and families from Fenwick’s partner schools, hospitals and charities, as well as competition winners on Sunday evening.

Mia Fenwick, chief Marketing officer at Fenwick, said: “Our Christmas windows are a celebration of the importance of storytelling. We are thrilled to celebrate the joy of reading once again, by bringing the classic Chronicles of Narnia to Newcastle and to viewers tuning in from our global Fenwick community. The Chronicles of Narnia fantasy series, imagined by C.S. Lewis, brings together readers of all ages, inviting them into an enchanted land filled with mesmerising characters who teach us all about courage, kindness, family and the thrill of adventure.”

The window display showcases the twists and turns of the popular fantasy novel published by HarperCollins. Head of Creative, Paul Baptiste added: “We are really excited this year to create and share the story of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It’s been a joy to explore the fantastical world containing such amazing characters, wonderful scenery and incredible storytelling for our windows, also featuring a few special surprises.”

This year, Fenwick has once again teamed up with The Glasshouse International Centre for Music, to provide a specially created soundtrack for the festive window, and shoppers can also bring the enchanted tale of Narnia home with a limited-edition version of the book.

The windows will be in place from now until early January 2024.

Hasbro to open Nerf Action-Xperience (NAX) in Beijing

NAX unlocks a new way to experience the Nerf brand for fans of all ages and will be followed by other locations throughout China in 2025.

Kingsmen Creatives has announced that Kingsmen Xperience, its US location-based entertainment focused subsidiary, and Max-Matching Entertainments have formed a strategic partnership to bring the globally popular Nerf Action Xperience family entertainment centres, under licence by Hasbro, to China beginning in 2025.

Under the partnership, Kingsmen Xperience will manage the intellectual property and licensor relations, and lead design and development. Max-Matching Entertainments will identify the locations and destination venues, develop the properties, and provide best-in-class operations and facilities management. The permanent Nerf Action Xperience indoor family entertainment centres (NAX) are planned to open first in Beijing, followed by other locations throughout China.

A true active play centre that unlocks a totally new and exciting way to experience the Nerf brand for fans of all ages, NAX promises to bring Nerf play to never imagined heights of immersion and excitement. Facilities will range in size from 1,500 m2 – 4,500m2, and will feature everything needed to realize the ultimate Nerf experience: blaster battle zones, sports challenges, an obstacle course, a food & beverage area and a retail store.

“The strategic partnership with Max-Matching Entertainments is a perfect complement to our core skill sets and represents our continued commitment to expand the Nerf Action Xperience throughout China and Asia-Pacific,” said Corey Redmond, senior executive vice president of Kingsmen Xperience. “With the team’s vast experience and knowledge of attraction operations and Chinese consumer insights, combined with Kingsmen Xperience’s ability to collaborate with best-in-class brands across disciplines, it will allow us to create wonderful and memorable consumer experiences.”

“China is one of the world’s fastest growing markets for family entertainment products,” added Owen Zhao, president of Max-Matching Entertainments. “There has been a growing demand for world-class leisure and entertainment experiences and destinations by families and young travellers. Our strategic partnership with Kingsmen Xperience will introduce a line-up of adrenaline-pumping adventures, taking the Nerf Action Xperience to a new level in China.”

“For nearly 55-years, Nerf has grown from a toy brand to a true social, active play lifestyle with a passionate global following and footprint across 25+ diverse categories. Nerf Action Xperience is a perfect example of how the spirit of the brand can be translated to new and truly immersive touchpoints for fans,” said Matt Proulx, VP, Global Experiences, Partnerships and Music at Hasbro. “Following the Nerf Action Xperience centres in the US and UK, we’re eager to expand our reach with Kingsmen Xperience and Max-Matching Entertainments and bring adrenaline-packed experiences and dynamic gaming to our fans in China.”

Andrew Cheng, group chief executive officer of Kingsmen, said: “The opening of these new attractions marks another step in our drive to deliver new and unparalleled experiences around the world.”