The popular kids’ property and pre-school series, Bing is continuing to expand its UK licensing programme, building on the success the IP has seen across the toys and wider consumer product space to date.
Last year, demand for Bing products enjoyed an 11 per cent year on year increase, while this year, Acamar Films – the London-based studio behind the IP – has welcomed strategic new categories to the portfolio, dialing the UK licensing programme up to 25 licensees in total.
Not only will 2021 Bing move into bathtime and dental products with Solent, but also launch onto the children’s audio system, Tonies, as the platform prepares to deliver an audio storytelling experience for all Bingsters, slated for a 2022 release.
It follows a string year of sales growth across Bing’s master toy range with Golden Bear, a line that saw sales increase 115 per cent year on year in 2020. Golden Bear will be expanding the collection with the introduction of Nicky, a new character from the latest series, as well as siblings Coco and Charlie.
New lines for Autumn/Winter include a musical dancing Bing and a large play-set of Bing’s House. For the very first time, bath toys will be available for Bingsters with the new wind up Bathtime Boat set to make a splash at retail.
Meanwhile, 8th Wonder boasts a raft of new wooden toys and games to add to their Bing range, marking the Bing Skittles and Carry Along House as high performers, while MV Sports will be widening its retail footprint with additional listings of its wheeled and outdoor toys.
In publishing terms, Bing continues to perform well for HarperCollins, who witnessed a 62 per cent year on year net sales growth in 2020 and has nine new titles scheduled for release this year.
Juliet Matthews, publisher, media and brands, HarperCollins Children’s Books, said: “Thanks to strong support across retail and increased range space, Bing’s backlist continues to perform well alongside exciting new titles such as Bing and the Fire Engine and the timely vaccination picture book with stickers, Doctor Bing. Our single sound novelty title The Rainybow Song is a stand out title, selling 1k copies consistently every week.”
Softlines have also expanded across daywear and outerwear from licensees Fashion UK and William Lamb. There will be a specific growth in girlswear to match the boyswear offering and new lines include dresses, sweatshirts, joggers, trainers and rucksacks.
“We are excited to see the growth of Bing across our girlswear, boys and unisex lines,” said Hannah Miles, joint managing director at Fashion UK. “The trend guide collections bring fresh opportunities to tailor creative to each retailer and offer gorgeous designs to our consumers and their Bingsters.”
Aykroyds and TDP continue to build their business year-on-year and Smiffys has introduced an additional girls’ dress up line to their range with Sula, which launched exclusively with Tu at Argos/Sainsburys ahead of World Book Day 2021.
Continuing the focus on Acamar Films’ direct-to-consumer relationships, e-commerce hub The Bing Store will be expanding its product offering further in 2021.
Louise Simmonds, head of UK licensing and merchandising at Acamar Films, said: “It is wonderful to see steady growth across our consumer product programme for 2021 and the support from our partners during such tough times.
“Bing’s timeless and relatable core values, alongside the growing audience engagement we are seeing across our content, digital and social platforms, provides a reliable and trusted foundation for the year ahead.”