BBC Studios signs new UK deals for Bluey

BBC Studios has signed UK licensing deals for Bluey with Character Options for Weebles, as well as Danilo (calendars, cards and gift stationary) and Amscan (party wares).

The deal with Character Options should see Bluey versions of classic toy Weebles on UK shelves in July 2022.

Mark Hunt, Marketing Director, Character Options, says: “We are delighted to be a part of the Bluey family. Weebles has heritage with iconic branding that is highly recognisable amongst parents, and we believe Bluey figures that wobble but don’t fall down, is a play pattern that perfectly aligns with the target age group.”

Danilo product lines are set to include calendars, cards, gift wrap and sets and will launch in spring/summer 2022.

Amscan have extended their partnership with BBC Studios to include Bluey, and will have foil/latex balloons, party goods and dress up/costumes available for fans from January 2023.

Mandy Thwaites, Director, Magazines & Consumer Products, UK Division at BBC Studios, says: “Bluey has been a huge success for us in 2021, rounded off with a great performance at Christmas in the UK. We’re delighted to bring new partners on board to continue this growth and can’t wait to work with Character Options, Danilo and Amscan on exciting new products for Bluey fans.”

These new product lines complement a growing range across UK and EMEA which has been bolstered recently by licensing expansion in Italy and Greece. New products will also be launched in Spring 2022 from master toy partner Moose, including talking plush toys and the Bluey caravan. Crayola are also set to launch product lines in the UK in early 2022.

Bluey is produced by multi-Emmy award-winning Ludo Studio for ABC Kids Australia, co-commissioned by ABC Children’s and BBC Studios, and distributed internationally by BBC Studios outside of Australia.

New licensing opportunities for hit animation Bluey as it launches in Italy and Greece

Endless LLP to support management buy-out of Amscan International

The UK private equity investor, Endless LLP has reached an agreement with Party City Holdco to acquire a substantial portion of its international operations, Amscan International.

The management buy-out has been led by Amscan International’s existing management team made up of CEO Gary Panons and CFO and COO Joe Hennigan. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year.

The acquisition includes Party City’s international wholesale, retail and e-commerce businesses in the UK, Europe, Australia and parts of Asia. In addition, the Everts latex balloon manufacturing plant is included in the transaction.

A joint venture will be created between Amscan International and Party City for the product development, manufacturing and sourcing of costumes in Asia and Africa.

Amscan International plans to extend its market leading position, utilising its diversified business model across manufacturing, wholesale and retail across the commercial markets of the UK, Europe, Australia and Asia.

The company will continue to partner closely with both Party City and Amscan US, while the transaction will allow Party City to focus its time and resources on its North American retail and wholesale operations.

Exclusive distribution rights for Amscan International of Amscan and Anagram branded products into markets outside of the Americas will continue as they do today.

Matthew Jubb, partner at Endless LLP in Leeds, said: “We are delighted to have reached an agreement to acquire Amscan International, which we believe is a hugely exciting opportunity for us.

“We look forward to backing the management team with their exciting vision for the future development of the business and sharing more details following completion.”

Boat Rocker Studios signs raft of leading UK licensees for pre-school hit Love Monster

Boat Rocker Studios has detailed a raft of new licensees for its popular new pre-school series, Love Monster spanning nightwear, bedding, daywear, and dress-up and accessories.

Love Monster launched on CBeebies in January this year and already it has proved a hit among young audiences. Support for the series has now been highlighted through the signing of some of the licensing industry’s leading names across apparel, home textiles, and dress-up products.

Cooneen has signed for nightwear and underwear, Dreamtex for bedding and home textiles, Blues for daywear and swimwear, and Amscan International for dress up clothing and accessories. This A list roster of renowned partners are launching Love Monster ranges from autumn/winter 2020 and spring/summer 2021.

Kate Schlomann, executive vice president of brand management and content marketing, Boat Rocker Studios, said: “Children have taken Love Monster and his menagerie of cute furry friends to their hearts, and soon they will be able to get even closer to their Fluffytown heroes, with these delightful new ranges.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with these best-in-class companies to build Love Monster into a strong brand franchise.”

Love Monster, a quirky, 2D animated 54 x 7’ pre-school series which shares little life learnings from a unique monster with a huge heart, is based on the bestselling pre-school books by Rachel Bright, published by HarperCollins Children’s Books. The show is the result of a collaboration between BBC Children’s In-House Productions, Boat Rocker Studios and the Chinese production company UYoung.

Within the series, Love Monster searches for the right thing to do in a world in which he is one of a kind. Full of heart and helping pre-schoolers understand different emotions, Love Monster showcases the importance of kindness, empathy, connection and instinct. It currently airs weekdays in the UK on CBeebies and has reached over 4 million iPlayer requests since launch in January.

Boat Rocker Studios is managing the global content distribution and consumer products program for the franchise, excluding China and South East Asia which is managed by UYoung.