Star Cutouts joins Acamar Films’ licensing programme for Bing

Acamar Films continues to build its UK licensing programme with its newest licensee, Star Cutouts, which has launched a new range of cardboard cut-outs for hit preschool show Bing.

Star Cutouts has launched the Bing range with four character Star-Minis, ahead of expanding into life-size cut-outs, table toppers and masks – all ethically sourced and perfect for Bing-themed parties, room decoration and dress-up occasions.

In addition to Star Cutouts, Acamar Films is celebrating a raft of recent UK renewals with existing partners. Roy Lowe has renewed its contract for a further two years; its matching Bing and Flop family socks provide Bingsters and grown-ups with a fun way to connect with their favourite characters.

Paper Projects first launched its reward charts and sticker sets in 2019 and its Bing Potty and Toilet Training Reward Chart has been a consistent Amazon best-seller in the genre. Moonpig has also renewed its licensing agreement, expanding its greetings card offering to 21 colourful designs, with two more arriving for this upcoming Mother’s Day.

Ian Ravey, Managing Director of Star Cutouts, says: “Bing is a perfect property for Star Cutouts and we are delighted to partner with Acamar Films on this lovely new range. The preschool space offers lots of opportunities for parties and special occasions and we look forward to seeing little ones celebrating with their favourite character and his friends.”

Louise Simmonds, Head of UK Licensing for Acamar Films, says: “We’re thrilled to be teaming up with Star Cutouts, adding another fantastic new licensee for Bing, as well as renewing with a number of our valued partners. Celebrations, as a category, is particularly strong for Bing and it’s brilliant to be able to offer even more ways to make those big days extra special for our Bingsters.”


Bing extends partnership with Alton Towers Resort with new themed bedrooms

Acamar Films has shared a first look at the new Bing-themed bedrooms coming to CBeebies Land Hotel at Alton Towers Resort in March 2022.

The rooms, along with a brand-new Bing and Flop live show, are part of Acamar Films’ recently renewed long-term partnership with Alton Towers Resort and BBC Studios, bringing exciting new announcements to CBeebies Land for 2022.

The unique and colourful designs have been created especially for families with preschoolers and include a special interactive entertainment wall and lots of other toddler- friendly features.

From March, Bingsters visiting CBeebies Land Hotel will be able to enjoy the ultimate sleepover in the two new bedrooms. Guests at CBeebies Land will also be able to experience the brand-new Bing and Flop live show, which will be performed daily in the Big Fun Show Time, and Bing’s Sleepover will continue to delight overnight guests at the hotel.

Kirsty Southgate, Director of Experiential and Promotions at Acamar Films, says: “Announcing these new Bing experiences at Alton Towers Resort is a fantastic start to the year. We are thrilled to continue our valued partnership with the BBC and Alton Towers, and incredibly excited at this wonderful milestone in our Bing journey. We can’t wait to see Bingsters’ reactions following the first sleepovers in March.”
Larry Roles, Marketing Director for Alton Towers Resort, adds: “We are really excited to be adding the Bing bedrooms to our portfolio of experiences at the UK’s only CBeebies Land Hotel. We pride ourselves on providing truly immersive experiences for families to enjoy together and really captivate the imaginations of young fans. We’re sure both parents and children will love experiencing this fun new addition to the hotel and we cannot wait to see them being enjoyed by our guests.”


Bing strengthens US presence with launch on Cartoonito on HBO Max

Acamar Films’ International Emmy Award-winning hit TV show Bing is set to make further inroads in North America with its launch on Cartoonito on HBO Max on Thursday February 24.

The HBO Max launch follows last September’s successful US debut of a new, bespoke American version of Bing on Cartoonito on Cartoon Network – created to make the preschool series as relatable as possible for US audiences.

According to WarnerMedia Kids & Family, Cartoonito, its new preschool block, offers “a modern approach to preschool programming with its proprietary educational framework, Humancentric Learning”. Bing, which celebrates the “joyful, messy reality of preschool life” is highlighted by Cartoonito as a series that helps young viewers understand how to manage emotions, understand others’ perspective and develop social skills.

Since Bing’s US premiere, six episodes have been running each weekday on Cartoonito on Cartoon Network. The show’s availability on HBO Max will further increase its reach in North America, with the popular streaming service having currently reached a US subscriber base of more than 45 million.

Jodie Morris, Chief Content & Audiences Officer, Acamar Films, says: “We are absolutely thrilled with our new American version of Bing, and are delighted that, through its launch on HBO Max, we now have an even greater opportunity to move and delight US audiences with our stories and characters.”

Bing is currently distributed to over 130 territories and engages digital audiences on a daily basis via 20 language-specific YouTube channels, social media channels, and a suite of digital apps.

Growth for Bing softlines as Acamar Films renews deals with apparel partners

Continue reading

Acamar Films appoints EMEA Licensing Director and Head of Agent Management

Following the continued European success and expansion of International Emmy Award-winning pre-school series Bing, Acamar Films has promoted Laura Clarke to Licensing Director, EMEA and Luca Bonecchi to Head of Agent Management.

Reporting to Executive Director of Sales, Natalie Harvey, Laura will oversee the overall EMEA licensing strategy in conjunction with managing Acamar Films’ agents in Northern Europe, and will continue to manage and lead the European toy distributors under Golden Bear’s master toy agreement.

Laura joined Acamar Films in 2016 from Mattel, where she was Group Director for EMEA. Since then, Laura has taken Bing from strength to strength in EMEA with her wealth of experience working across all categories in the preschool sector.

Luca joined Acamar Films last year from Entertainment One where he worked as VP Licensing EMEA on major preschool properties including Peppa Pig and PJ Masks. Luca will continue to support and report to Laura, and with his new role will be responsible for the management of existing agents in Southern Europe and new agents outside of the US, in line with Acamar Films’ market expansion.

Natalie Harvey says: “Laura Clarke embodies all the values of Acamar Films in everything she does and with Bing‘s growing international footprint, it is essential we remain focused on servicing the needs of each of our markets and their respective audiences. We are thrilled she has the brilliant support of Luca Bonecchi, who we are very lucky to have as part of our team and who has in a short time has contributed greatly to the ongoing success of Bing in EMEA.”

Growth for Bing softlines as Acamar Films renews deals with apparel partners

Following the continued success of Bing softlines in the UK, Acamar Films has announced the renewal of existing apparel partnerships with William Lamb, Aykroyds & TDP and Fashion UK.

In the last year, there has been an increase in the overall apparel business with sales doubling in the first six months of 2021 against the same period in 2020 and the daywear business seeing a significant increase. Yearly trend guides are supporting the development of fresh and colourful designs and the latest guide, released in September, is already inspiring new ranges for delivery in 2022.

Aykroyds & TDP has been a successful long-term partner for Bing, with its nightwear range naturally aligning with bedtime routines, one of the show’s key themes.

Dean Greasley, Head of Licensing at TDP Textiles, says: “Bing has been a core offering in our preschool stable since 2016 and each year the Bing business has steadily grown for us. We are delighted to be renewing our partnership once more with the Bing team.”

Bing’s gender-neutral appeal has enabled Fashion UK to capture key online retail space during a challenging time, offering apparel-buying departments flexibility with their merchandising.

Hannah Miles, Joint Managing Director at Fashion UK, says: “Gender neutral brands are becoming more of a consideration when our buyers are looking at properties to support. Bing has a unisex appeal and the yearly trend guides mean that we can offer each of our retailers a different look and feel, with timeless designs to suit any time of the year.”

Online was a key area for softline growth in 2021. The launch of new girlswear lines on the Asda George website for spring/summer, Smiffys’ new Sula costume at Sainsbury’s TU for World Book Day and a website takeover in July generated a huge audience response, with Bing’s highly engaged social community sharing photos of their Bingsters enjoying their Bing apparel.

Meanwhile, autumn/winter has seen the launch of the new Bing BBC Children in Need range, with exclusive clothing lines available on The Bing Store and a portion of the proceeds going towards helping young people across the UK.

Louise Simmonds, Head of UK Licensing at Acamar Films, comments: “We are delighted to have seen real growth this year across all our apparel categories. The launches of some great new products and an expansion of our retail footprint is a real positive in what has continued to be a tough year. We very much look forward to continuing with all our partners.”


Acamar Films launches Bing dental and bath time products with Solent Brands

Acamar Films, producers of award-winning TV show Bing along with Brown Bag Films, has launched Bing’s first health and beauty products in the UK with new partner Solent Brands.

Hitting shelves now are a Bing toothbrush and toothpaste, launching in B&M, and tissue packs, available in Poundland.

“Bing is a great addition to the Health and Beauty category in our Solent Brand group,” says Anthony Balkin, Managing Director of Solent Brands. “A much-loved gender-neutral license, Bing supports real life learning and skill development and we are excited to encourage this with the launch of our Bing oral care products and tissues. We look forward to extending the range in 2022.”

Louise Simmonds, Head of UK Licensing at Acamar Films, says: “It is wonderful to begin this exciting new partnership with Solent Brands and to see Bing launch into a new category in the UK. We hope these fantastic new products will delight Bingsters as they build healthy bedtime routines and equally, support the grown-ups in their lives.”


Acamar Films renews Bing partnership with master toy licensee Golden Bear

Acamar Films, producers of the multi-award-winning TV show Bing along with Brown Bag Films, has renewed its licensing deal with master toy licensee Golden Bear. The EMEA agreement, which extends the partnership for a further four years, will run until 2025.

Golden Bear has seen huge success with its Bing toys since launching into the UK market in the autumn of 2019. The initial range, featuring core character plush toys – including the award-winning Light Up Bing With Hoppity and figurines – was a sell-out sensation for Christmas 2019.

A pan-European partnership, Golden Bear’s toy sales for Bing have increased not just in the UK but across multiple markets including Italy, where Bing continues to be the top pre-school property, the Netherlands and Central Eastern Europe. Further expansion is planned for 2022 and beyond, in line with Bing’s growing licensing programme.

Over the three years since the range launched, Bing has become Golden Bear’s number one global license and seen an impressive 110 per cent sales uplift between 2019 and 2021. This growth continues into Christmas 2021, with a 52 per cent increase in retailer stocking points compared to AW20.

Delivering a multi-year product strategy to steadily expand the toy lines, the range has expanded further across feature plush, playsets and most recently bath toys. The development of additional characters and locations are serving to grow Bing’s world and ensure the longevity of the range.

Set to delight Bingsters this Christmas are the hero lines for AW21: Bing’s House Playset, with nine accessories, and the fun and interactive Musical Statues Dancing Bing, both of which will be fully supported across TV, digital and social platforms. The toys aim to inspire creativity, build imagination and encourage role-play in little ones as they bring the TV show to life.

“I am very proud of what our team and distribution partners have achieved with Bing over the last three years,” says Barry Hughes, Managing Director at Golden Bear. “We are delighted to have signed a further long-term agreement with Acamar Films on the property and look forward to introducing Bing toys into new markets. The highly experienced Acamar Films team have proven themselves to be experts in getting all the building blocks in place to ensure success in every market in which we have launched. We are so excited about what the next few years hold for Bing in both current and new territories.”

Natalie Harvey, Executive Director of Sales at Acamar Films adds: “Golden Bear have delivered a wonderful range of Bing toys which continue to delight our Bingsters across the world – with so much more to come. In the last three years, the Golden Bear team has shown true innovation, care and talent as they have built out the world of Bing, whilst successfully negotiating the industry’s many challenges.”

Bing is an International Emmy award-winning show with broadcast deals in over 130 territories worldwide including the USA, where it launched on Cartoonito with WarnerMedia in September 2021.

Acamar Films’ Bing partners with BBC Children in Need for activities, merchandise, and more

Acamar Films and Brown Bag Films are joining forces with BBC Children in Need to inspire young children with this year’s fundraising efforts, as flagship character Bing prepares to feature alongside Pudsey across a range of activities, merchandise, and more for 2021.

The cast of Bing will all be donning their own Pudsey ears and feature alongside the popular BBC Children in Need mascot for a range of fundraising activities, offering preschoolers a host of imaginative ways to participate and help young people across the UK this year.

Activity packs filled with easy and creative ideas – including dressing up, playing musical statues or going on a Bing treasure hunt will be made available through the collaboration, while the BBC Children in Need website will host Bing colouring-in sheets, craft activities and recipes to download.

Exclusive Bing BBC Children in Need product will also be available from September on The Bing Store, a one-stop-shop for all things Bing. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the charity. The specially designed range for Bingsters and grown-ups will include apparel, an apron, mug and towel.

The campaign will drive fundraising ahead of the 2021 BBC Children in Need Appeal night in November and will include highlights from the early years fundraising campaign.

“We are thrilled that Bing has been chosen by BBC Children in Need,” said Mikael Shields, CEO and producer and series voice director at Acamar Films. “The values that make Bing so important to our Bingsters, such as kindness, empathy and looking after one another, fit seamlessly with BBC Children in Need and we are delighted to see Bing and Pudsey inspiring young children in support of this wonderful cause.”

Claire Hoyle, commercial director at BBC Children in Need, commented: “We are delighted to be partnering with Acamar Films to bring Bing and Pudsey together this year for our nursery and pre-school fundraising campaign. Bing is so well-loved by children and we’re really excited to be offering them lots of fun Bing inspired activities they can take part in this BBC Children in Need day.

“Partnering with such a beloved programme will inspire our youngest supporters to get involved in fundraising and help make a positive impact on young lives in communities across the UK.”

Acamar Films partners with ZSL London for Bing family activities this autumn

Acamar Films’ flagship preschool property, Bing is heading to ZSL London Zoo this autumn to bring a host of family activities to visitors and fans. The new partnership is the latest expansion of Bing’s live events and experiential licensing portfolio.

Under the new partnership, ZSL London Zoo will host a variety of themed activities, free to its visitors, from September 20th to October 31st. These will include storytime sessions throughout the day for children to join Bing and Flop in learning about animals.

There will also be a themed self-led Activity Trail around the zoo which features a series of clues and interactive activities at each station. At the end of the trail, families can celebrate their visit with a photo opportunity alongside Bing and his friends.

Kirsty Southgate, director of promotions and partnerships at Acamar Films, said: “It’s an exciting time for Bing and we are thrilled to welcome ZSL to the programme. We hope our Bing experience at London Zoo will encourage young children to build a lasting connection to animals and the natural world.”

ZSL London Zoo chief operating officer, Kathryn England, added: “We’re delighted to be welcoming Bing and Flop to ZSL London Zoo this autumn, supporting our mission to engage the next generation of young animal lovers with the importance of wildlife.

“Bing fans will be invited to go on a journey of discovery, exploring the value of nature, surrounded by more than 20,000 animals – while making lasting memories during a fun-filled family day out.”

Acamar Films launches Amazon Alexa Skill for its hit preschool IP, Bing

Acamar Films is extending the reach of its multi-award-winning preschool series Bing with the launch of a new interactive Amazon Alexa Skill, Bing Time.

Developed in partnership with voice design agency Voxly Digital, Bing Time aims to bring together new script writing, high production values and technical innovation to deliver exclusive audio stories and play-along games, in addition to a selection of Bing music and songs.

The Skill has been designed to respond to the rhythm of a child’s day; encouraging movement and active play during the morning and afternoon, while offering calmer bedtime stories and soft music in the early evening.

Jodie Morris, chief content and audiences officer, Acamar Films, said: “We are thrilled to be able to launch Bing’s fantastic new Alexa Skill with Amazon’s Kids+, and can’t wait for Bingsters to start exploring our new digital innovation.

“As with everything we do, we have designed Bing Time to serve the needs of our treasured young audience, and – working alongside the wonderful team at Voxly Digital – I think we have succeeded in delivering something really quite exceptional; providing children with a brand new, immersive way to deepen their relationship with our stories and characters.”

In its 2020 research, Voxly Digital identified that families make up a big proportion of regular voice users in the UK, with two out of three of them actively using their voice-assistants together.

Ravi Lal, CEO of Voxly Digital said: “We wanted to design an experience which was fun and easy for the whole family, so we created a fluid and easily navigable voice app, which gives users what they want quickly: amazing Bing content.

“Behind the scenes, the team put a lot of thought into creating an incredible user experience. Working with Acamar Films, we’ve really pushed the capabilities of the Alexa platform; leveraging videos, animation and recorded audio to bring the world of Bing and his friends to life.”

The Bing Time Alexa Skill is a further extension of Acamar Films’ successful digital programme for their pre-school property, which also includes the mobile app Bing: Watch, Play, Learn. First launched in the UK in September 2019, the app has now exceeded 1 million downloads across the UK, Italy and Poland.

Bing Time will be exclusively launched via Amazon Kids+ from 21 July, with a general audience release scheduled for December 2021.