DC Thomson, Redan, and Egmont among kids’ publishers to back Wastebuster’s Recycle to Read scheme

A group of the UK’s biggest names in children’s magazines, including DC Thomson and Redan Publishing has signed up to become founding members of the education, research, and recycling programme, Recycle to Read, a campaign aimed at creating a more circular economy for children’s toys.

This week will see the programme begin sign up for schools for pilot collections in the autumn term, and will be announcing additional partnerships from the book publishing, retail, and toy sectors over the coming weeks.

Recycle to Read is a new toy and tech recycling initiative launched by Wastebuster in association with EPPIC and Products of Change with the aim of providing a solution for recycling all plastic toys with ‘take back’ collections housed across retailers, schools and household recycling centres in the UK.

This week sees the programme welcome a host of founding members from across the children’s magazine publishing space, including DC Thomson, Story House Egmont, Immediate Media, Kennedy Publishing, Redan Publishing, and Signature Publishing.

Katy Newham, founder of Wastebuster, said: “This is a really exciting time for the programme, thanks to the children’s publishers we are able to get phase one off the ground and we have more and more members coming on board as we progress with our talks.

“The entire industry is beginning to understand the value of using toys as a force for good, when educating children and their families in how to live a more sustainable life. Schools who take part in the Recycle to Read programme will benefit from curriculum linked environmental education, based in real life learning and rewarded with books.

“Our collaborative approach and not for profit ethos, means that we can offer an environmental solution for all UK companies who produce toys, not just the ones with the deepest pockets and our investment in education and research, as well as infrastructure and clear packaging iconography, means that our solution has the potential to be far reaching and long-lasting.”

Helena Mansell-Stopher from Products of Change, said: “With only 18 per cent of plastics being recycled globally, and no recycling infrastructure currently in place in the UK to recycle toys, the recycle to read collective impact initiative will provide a solution to this.

“As a cross industry sector initiative, it will be business that will fund the set-up of the toy recycling infrastructure, with all profits going back in to the initiative as Wastebuster are a not-for-profit environmental educator. Products of Change is extremely proud to be working with the Wastebuster team to bring this solution to the industry.”

For more information on the programme please visit www.recycletoread.org or contact Emily Bell on 07715902681 email emily@wastebuster.co.uk.

Egmont Magazines rounds-off Thomas and Friends 75th anniversary year with special collector’s edition

Egmont Magazines is celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Thomas & Friends brand with the release of a limited edition gift pack of its popular, officially licensed magazine.

In issue number 791 of Thomas & Friends, the titular hero takes a special trip to the capital, while the issue itself will come accompanied by a seven-piece play-set that includes Thomas, Percy and a carriage. Readers can explore London alongside Thomas with the London Eye, bus, phone box and Fat Controller figurines also included in the play-set.

Meanwhile. there are over 40 stickers, a reward chart, posters, puzzles and more, all designed to help develop early years skills.

Egmont has released three special editions of Thomas & Friends magazine this year. Thomas fans delighted in receiving an official mini train and story book in issue #781, and this year’s summer special was a treat for young Thomas fans and collectors alike, with a special anniversary train set accompanying the magazine.

An impressive 32 years after launch, Thomas & Friends magazine remains a top 20 title in the children’s market and is the oldest single character magazine in the UK.

Kiran Vara, publisher of Thomas & Friends magazine, said: “We’ve loved celebrating with Thomas and Mattel through all three anniversary issues of this evergreen magazine but Thomas’ trip to London is really something special.

“We know that Thomas fans will love exploring the city with Thomas and enjoy all the exciting activities inside the magazine.”

Egmont Magazines launches new Power Rangers title based on new Beast Morphers series

Egmont Magazines is expanding its licensed primary boys’ portfolio with the launch of Power Rangers magazine, based on the new Beast Morphers series.

The new magazine launched on October 21st making its debut with exclusive Power Rangers comic strips, created by Egmont, as well as inside info on the rangers and their skills. Each issue will come with puzzles, posters, and competitions, as well as come accompanied by a Power Rangers gift developed in collaboration with Hasbro.

Egmont’s Kiran Vara, said: “We know that kids and parents alike love Power Rangers, and we’re thrilled to be able to bring the larger-than-life feel of the brand to print.

“The magazine’s content really is bursting with the Power Rangers’ trademark feel-good adventure and humour, and we know that our readers will love feeling like one of the team with the help of the Power Rangers branded gift on every issue.”

Egmont launches new LEGO Explorer monthly magazine and enters subscription market

Egmont Magazines is launching a new LEGO Explorer magazine, a monthly publication designed ‘to build curious minds’ and inspire readers to design their own LEGO models and ‘unleash their creativity.’

The magazine has been developed by Egmont Publishing with the support of official LEGO designers and aims to combine the creativity central to the LEGO brand with Egmont’s experience in magazine content. The new title will be focused on learning, discovery and creativity.

The LEGO Explorer magazine will have a STEAM focus, encouraging young readers to go on a journey through the worlds of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths, as well as teaching them new LEGO skills with inside info from LEGO designers themselves.

Each issue will also offer readers innovative tips and tricks to make the most of their LEGO collection, as well as a collectable LEGO toy. The first issue of LEGO Explorer is dedicated to Marvellous Machines and explores the world of robots and artificial intelligence.

The magazine will be hitting newsstands from October 21st, however, Egmont will also be entering the subscriptions market with subs already available online.

Laura Adnitt, publishing director, said: “We’re sure that LEGO Explorer will be loved by both kids and parents, and the STEAM themes are sure to engage young readers in educational topics alongside their much-loved LEGO bricks.

“We’re delighted to be launching this magazine with a direct to consumer subscription offer. We know that young readers will love collecting all the themed issues, and will revel in building the exclusive LEGO covermounts every month.”

Hello Kitty signs new publishing programme with Egmont for magazines and books

Hello Kitty has landed a new publishing programme thanks to a new partnership with the publishing specialist, Egmont. Under the new deal with brand Sanrio, Egmont will roll out a Hello Kitty programme that will include magazines and books.

The publishing plan will see Sanrio expand its activities into the Nordics, Germany, Central and Eastern Europe, and Turkey, with publications scheduled to launch in the first quarter of 2021.

Silvia Figini, COO of Sanrio GmbH (EMEA, India, Oceania) and Mr Men (worldwide), said: “The strong expertise of Egmont in bringing content to life combines with Hello Kitty’s unique ability to engage and entertain children. It is a perfect combination for success.”

Bastian Mai, global brand managment director, Egmont Publishing, added: “We are extremely happy to partner with Sanrio again and to bring the stories of Hello Kitty to life in books and magazines. Egmont has got a strong foothold across EMEA and Hello Kitty is an evergreen brand that children and their parents love in all our markets.”


Egmont renews multi-territory deal with Animaccord for Mash and the Bear publishing in Europe

The popular children’s publisher Egmont has renewed a multi-territory agreement with Animaccord to secure a Masha and the Bear publishing collection in selected territories across Europe.

The renewal comes some ten years after the partnership between the two was first established in order to launch Masha and the Bear publishing in Animaccord’s home market of Russia. It went on to expand into Europe, a deal with the publishing house that has now been extended further.

Egmont will continue developing a wide range of Masha and the Bear items including books and magazines with the distribution to such countries as Czech Republic, Poland, Turkey, Slovakia, Slovenia, and others. The publishing program will include and not be limited to colouring and activity books, board books, storybooks, lift the flap books, and music books.

Bastian Mai, global brand management director, Egmont Publishing, said: “Long term relationships with our licensors are part of Egmont’s strategy and therefore we are extremely happy about the great co-operation that we have with Animaccord on Masha and the Bear across books and magazine in so many countries for so many years. We are looking forward to continuing this partnership in the years to come.”


Egmont sees record revenue of €1.7bn but warns of challenging year ahead amid coronavirus pandemic

The international media group, Egmont – home of Egmont Publishing and subsidiaries including Norway’s TV 2 and Nordisk Film, has reported a revenue growth of €79 million in its full year 2019 financials, driven by TV, streaming, video gaming, and e-commerce.

The media group hit a revenue record of €1.7bn for the full year, built on its solid foundation of publishing, journalism, and storytelling. Meanwhile the firm is driving increased growth through emerging platforms including video gaming and e-commerce, and marketing services.

Egmont has, however, posted expectations of 2020 to be a ‘challenging year’ due to the Coronavirus pandemic and its crisis across the Nordic countries.

President and CEO, Steffen Kragh stated that looking into 2020 “we are, like the rest of society, very affected by the present COVID-19 crisis and concerned by the well-being of our employees, and that society and we as a company get well through this crisis.”

Three quarters of Egmont’s business is now in film, TV, streaming, computer games, digital media and e-commerce. Increasing the use of technology to optimise the media products and consumer experiences is an important element in the media group’s development.

Egmont’s total business activity, including its share of non-consolidated companies, generated revenue of €2bn.

Egmont Publishing’s magazine titles outperforming the general print market, fuelled by strong growth at the marketing services agencies, numerous bestsellers, and digital growth at Egmont’s book publishers.

At the same time, TV2 Norway increased its stake in TV distributor RiksTV to 50 per cent while its result reflect a strong year with higher viewing shares and marked growth in subscribers to the streaming service TV 2 Sumo. Meanwhile, Nordisk Film saw success with the release of a string of films and video games.

Egmont is a commercial foundation which in 2020 celebrates its centenary. The foundation has a dual purpose: to develop modern media and to support vulnerable children, young people and families. In 2019, Egmont made charitable donations of €13m to vulnerable children and young people in Denmark and Norway and to film talents through the Nordisk Film Foundation. T

he Egmont Report 2019 focused on helping children make a good start at school, and Egmont entered into a new five-year partnership with charity Børns Vilkår during the year to work on school absenteeism. Egmont also supported 12 new projects focusing on dyslexia. Since 1920, Egmont has made total donations of €410m.

Egmont has launched a petition to bring storytime into the national curriculum

Egmont has called for daily storytime to be made a statutory part of the school curriculum for key stages one and two, following a study that has revealed that children’s comprehension of reading suffers without it.

The petition has been put forward by Munira Wilson, MP for Twickenham in an Early Day Motion on February 24th. The petition was founded on the basis of study findings that by removing regular storytime among school children, reduces their progress by half the expected rate.

The move from Egmont was announced at its annual Insights day held in London this week, where the UK publishing house went on to expand on results from its recent study held at St Joseph’s Catholic Academy, a primary school in Goldenhill, Stoke on Trent.

It discovered that regular reading and listening to stories for pleasure improves reading comprehension in children by double the expected rate.

The UK government has previously stated that ‘nothing is more important in education than ensuring every child can read well’, and that the ‘best way to achieve this is to instil a passion for reading for pleasure.’ However, to date, storytime has not been made part of the statutory curriculum.

Egmont has found that 40 per cent of six to 11 year olds currently read for pleasure almost every day, while only 25 per cent of the same age group are read to at home.

Over the study’s five month period, it found that reading comprehension increased by an average of 10.2 months, double the normal expectation in the same time frame at schools outside of the study. It found that particular progress was made by year three, where children’s comprehension increased by an average of 16 months.

Children were motivated and inspired to read independently, for pleasure, more often and to try out different authors and widen their repertoire. As a result, Egmont saw a greater level of excitement around books, magazines, and reading, while storytime was found to give both students and teachers time to relax and a better sense of wellbeing.

Reading comprehension progress was re-examined five months after the project ended. Comprehension had slowed significantly, with progress dropping to 2.6 months on average over a five month period.     

Alison David, Consumer Insight Director, Egmont Publishing and author of Help Your Child Love Reading, said: “Regular storytime is powerful. Include it in the school day and reading comprehension increases rapidly. Take it away and progress in reading comprehension decreases.”

Egmont Publishing is now calling for the government to free up the curriculum, to make space and time for daily storytime and ring-fence it by making it statutory in the primary school curriculum. Egmont is asking supporters to sign their petition, write to their MP and join the online conversation and tweet using #statutorystorytime.

David continued: “We would not dream of allowing children to go through the school day with no lunch break – it should be the same for storytime. It might seem counter-intuitive, but the data from this study is clear: by uncoupling reading from lessons, by having storytime instead of teaching literacy, reading attainment naturally improves.”

Cally Poplak, managing director, Egmont publishing, added: “The funding challenges facing the education system are well documented, as are the challenges with children’s reading. Storytime is such an easy, low cost solution to these challenges, with immensely powerful results. It’s hard to see why it would not be made statutory.”

Michael Morpurgo, the bestselling children’s author has also thrown his own weight behind the project.

He said: “It is vital that children, young people and all of us have access to stories which give us the knowledge, empathy and understanding we need to negotiate life. But just as importantly, we need to give children and their teachers and parents time to read.”