Still fresh from its latest portfolio extension with Disney earlier this week, the children’s audio storytelling platform, Tonies, is continuing to roll out the classics, having welcomed the popular works of Dr Seuss as well as the British preschool sensation Clangers to its content library.
In a new partnership with Dr Seuss Enterprises, Tonies is introducing a series of five bundles showcasing the most beloved Seuss characters and stories, kicking off with The Cat in the Hat in early 2022. The deal arrives as Dr Seuss Enterprises details a new major focus on building more audio-first experiences for children.
In time for its 65th anniversary, The Cat in the Hat will be the first Dr Seuss Tonie to debut, and will feature original audio productions of some of the most iconic characters and stories, including The Cat in the Hat, The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, and There’s a Wocket in My Pocket.
Further titles will be unveiled in the coming months.
Susan Brandt, president of Dr. Seuss Enterprises, said: “Audio continues to be on the rise as parents look for new ways to entertain their kids beyond screen time, whether its audiobooks or podcasts, or something as innovative as tonies.
“The tonies team has created an experience that is verbal, tactile and inspirational for kids’ imaginations. As our team continues to bring our properties further into the world of audio, we see tonies as a cornerstone partnership.”
Christoph Frehsee, president of Tonies USA, added: “The Dr. Seuss library is filled with timeless and universally loved stories that appeal to imaginations of so many youngsters. Beginning with The Cat in the Hat, we are looking forward to bringing this whimsical world of characters to the Tonies universe in 2022 and beyond.”
But the new additions to the Tonies platform don’t end there. The system has also welcomed the popular preschool property, Clangers, to the portfolio. Narrated by Sir Michael Palin, the new Clangers Tonie figurine can be placed on top of the Toniebox to take listeners to the unique and imaginary world on the little blue planet, somewhere out in space.
Billed by the company as ‘a great introduction to the CBeebies TV show for little ones’, the new Tonie plays six adventures that take children on an exploration of the Clangers’ planet under the stars, where they will be joined by Small, Tiny, Mother, Major and Granny Clanger.
As well as encouraging independence, the stories told by the new Clangers Tonie will inspire conversations and the development of emotional bonds with parents.
Jeremy Banks, CEO of Coolabi Group, rights holders to the Clangers IP, said: “We are absolutely over the moon to be announcing this new partnership and the Clangers Tonie release. The partnership celebrates all the fantastic music and sounds that make Clangers so magical and unique.”
Pinky Laing, UK partnerships at Tonies, added: “Tonies is committed to helping children through the power and magic of storytelling. We are delighted to be working with Coolabi Group to release our new the Clangers audio Tonie for families.
“Telling the nostalgic, loveable and iconic tales of the pink, knitted creatures that live together on a little blue planet, we hope that the new Tonie will develop bonds amongst parents and their little ones.
“Fostering a love of narrative and adventure, the launch of our new Tonie continues our commitment to engage the next generation by introducing them to beloved classic stories, such as The Clangers.”
But hold on a minute. The thing about Tonie figurines is – they’re like buses. And indeed there is a whole trail of new releases for the month of August, including the new How to Train Your Dragon Tonie boasting 35 minutes of adventure with the young dragon trainer Hiccup and his loyal dragon Toothless, as well as Trolls, following the adventures of Poppy, Branch, and the residents of Troll Village, and Super Wings – a full 72 minutes of quests with Jett as the plane sets off to deliver packages to children around the world.