BBC Studios names Andrew Carley director of global licensing to build Bluey momentum

BBC Studios has promoted licensing industry expert Andrew Carley to the newly created role of director of global licensing, as the firm looks to build on the momentum of the hit pre-school brand Bluey.

In his new role, Carley will lead a five-year strategic growth plan for BBC Studios’ global licensing business, partnering with regional licensing teams, while reporting into BBC Studios’ chief marketing officer, Nicki Sheard.

“I am delighted that Andrew is taking on this new role to help us fuel the growth of Bluey which is quickly gaining worldwide fame,” said Sheard. “His experience of taking pre-school brands global will be invaluable in unlocking the potential of Bluey, and his strategic approach to licensing will benefit BBC Studios’ wider portfolio of hero brands.”

The former Entertainment One executive boasts a wealth of experience in building global licensing programmes around popular pre-school IP, having led the charge for eOne’s Peppa Pig before the company was acquired by the entertainment powerhouse, Hasbro, in 2019.

Andrew Carley, said: “The BBC has long been synonymous with high quality children’s programming. To be given the opportunity to use my experience to help build a long-term global licensing prgoramme around such fantastic programming, including Bluey, is hugely exciting.

“Bluey has many of the rare attributes associated with evergreen global preschool success stories. With that potential comes the opportunity to build on its success and cement BBC Studios’ position as a global player in licensing and consumer products.”

Bluey has already proven itself a hit in international markets, including its launch market Australia. The series has won a slate of awards including the International Kids Emmy and a host of Kidscreen awards. In the US, Bluey has been listed as the number two top new growth property last year for the total toy industry.

Bluey has struck up a number of partnerships across consumer products and publishing already, with Penguin Random House leading its master publishing roll-out, and Moose Toys tapped as the property’s master toy licensee.

Products is due to launch in the UK this year.

Online shopping and gaming surge helps Hasbro hit $1bn ecommerce revenue in 2020

Online shopping and the world’s lean into family gaming throughout the pandemic have helped global entertainment company, Hasbro maintain a steady ship on 2020’s waters as the firm hit $1bn in ecommerce revenue for the first time last year.

Increased revenue across Hasbro Gaming and Hasbro entire gaming catalogue, including Wizards of the Coast and Dungeons of Dragons, have helped the toy maker maintain an even keel over the course of what’s been billed ‘a most challenging year.’

The pandemic has forced a year of changes most notably across the physical retail space and the TV and film sector. It comes as no surprise then, that in its full year 2020 financials, Hasbro has reported a decrease in film and TV revenues through its eOne segment, as well as lower Family Brands revenue due to retail disruption.

However, the global business did see a marked uptick in its ecommerce business that, for the first time in its history, hit the $1bn mark as shoppers have turned to online purchasing in response to lockdown restrictions.

Meanwhile, Revenues in Hasbro Gaming grew 21 per cent while revenues across its total gaming category picked up 20 per cent, and while net revenues for the full year 2020 dipped eight per cent year on year, the surge in ecommerce witnessed an increase of 43 per cent to hit the $1bn mark.

Hasbro bosses have credited the team’s resilience, tenacity, creativity, flexibility, and empathy’ for seeing it through what CEO Brian Goldner called ‘a most challenging year.’

“Our teams successfully drove demand for several product categories across our portfolio including our entire gaming portfolio from Wizards of the Coast brands to face-to-face gaming,” said Brian Goldner, Hasbro’s chairman and chief executive officer.

“They found ways to reach the global consumer despite retail closures throughout the year, delivering over $1bn in ecommerce revenues for the first time. We leveraged our global supply chain capabilities and our evolving geographic manufacturing supplier base to get products made and distributed.

“We integrated our acquisition of eOne and while live-action TV and film production was limited, we made substantial progress developing Hasbro IP for storytelling that we believe will lead to enhanced revenues and earnings power from Hasbro brands from multiple income streams.

“We developed toy and game lines for valuable pre-school brands Peppa Pig and PJ Masks to launch later this year. We concentrated on managing expenses and cash, growing adjusted operating profit margins and finishing the year with $1.45bn in cash on our balance sheet.”

Fourth quarter 2020 revenues four per cent which included growth across its franchise brands such as Magic: The Gathering, Monopoly, and Nerf, as well as products for the Star Wars and The Mandalorian franchises, and Hasbro Gaming. Dungeons and Dragons also saw a standout year.

Deborah Thomas, Hasbro’s chief financial officer, added: “Throughout 2020, the global Hasbro team did an excellent job executing in a challenging environment. In the fourth quarter, we grew revenues and adjusted operating profit, overcoming tough comparisons within the Partner Brand category and last year’s theatrical releases.

“Our focus on working capital and expense management delivered $976.3 million in operating cash flow for the year, and as part of our commitment to paying down our debt, we repaid $123 million of the debt we raised to finance the eOne acquisition.

“We continue to see strong retail, consumer and audience support for our brands and content as we look to the coming year. Global points of sale increased last year, despite lockdowns and retail disruption, and 2021 is starting with a strong year-over-year momentum.”

Hasbro extends WildBrain CPLG partnership for eOne brands across Nordics and CEE

Hasbro Consumer Products has extended its partnership with WildBrain CPLG in a deal that will see the licensing agency represent eOne brands Peppa Pig, PJ Masks, and Ricky Zoom in the Nordics and Central and Eastern Europe.

The popular pre-school brands will join WildBrain CPLG’s existing representation in these territories for Hasbro Consumer Products’ brands My Little Pony, Play-Doh, Monopoly, and Nerf.

The licensing firm’s remit in the Nordics and CEE include merchandising, publishing, promotions, and short-term location based entertainment.

“We’re very excited about expanding our partnership with WildBrain CPLG Nordic and CEE to represent the full combined Hasbro and eOne portfolio locally,” said Delphine de Kool, licensing director for EMEA Agents at Hasbro.

“With a complete portfolio representation and WildBrain CPLG’s local licensee and retail relationships, we see these regions as strong growth markets to continue to deepen our consumer connections and drive meaningful 360-degree retail programs.”

Slawomir Ekiert, managing director CEE and Nordics for WildBrain CPLG, added: “We’ve established a very successful relationship with Hasbro across many of the company’s most popular and iconic family brands in key markets, and the addition of these beloved properties to our rights adds further breadth and depth to our partnership.

“Together with Hasbro, we look forward to building new opportunities to grow these brands in the Nordics and CEE and to creating greater synergy across our European activity.”

WildBrain CPLG already handles Hasbro and eOne brands in Benelux and has scored a raft of new local deals across both portfolios in the territory. For My Little Pony, Canenco is on board for plush, children’s jewelry and make-up to support the brand’s upcoming movie this October.

For Nerf, Durabo is creating headphones and speakers, and Kubbinga is creating bicycles with matching gear.

For Peppa Pig, Sambro is launching large-size plush, and Durabo is developing a range spanning arts and crafts, outdoor toys, headphones and speakers. Further new local partners secured by WildBrain CPLG’s Benelux team include: W&O Products, The Cookie Company, Airquee, Karsten, RMS Europe, TM Essentials, Vondels, Leomil, Stationery Team Europe and Aymax.

In addition to its representation of Hasbro properties in CEE, the Nordics and Benelux markets, WildBrain CPLG also handles Hasbro’s Merchandise, Publishing, Promotions and short-term Location-based Entertainment business in Turkey.

Hasbro celebrates ten years of Peppa Pig in the US with new content, toys, and consumer products

Marking one whole decade since Peppa Pig first set trotters down on US soil, Hasbro has detailed a programme of 10th anniversary activity, including a year-long pipeline of new content, a new Hasbro toy line, and a roster of marketing activations, brand collaborations, and promotions.

Marking ten years since the pre-school series first aired on the Nick Jr. channel in the US, the anniversary celebrations will kick off on March 1st with Best Of episodes of Peppa Pig airing Monday to Thursday on Nickelodeon. The week will conclude Friday, March 5th with a new four-part special from series nine.

New product launches for the US market will include a collaboration with Reebok and the launch of a limited edition Reebok x Peppa collection featuring five unique footwear skus for toddlers and pre-schoolers. Meanwhile, Hunter will debut a new collection in autumn for the back-to-school season, following on from its success of its Peppa Pig boots, outerwear and accessories.

These latest deals follow close behind a recent partnership with Urban Outfitters in the US for the brand’s first teen collection of apparel and accessories which featured artwork from Peppa’s debut music album release.

Four new publishing titles inspired by the US special episodes will also be released in summer 2021. Book title formats will include pop-up, sticker and story books featuring iconic Amercan locations.

“We’re incredibly excited to be celebrating 10 years of Peppa Pig in the US,” said Hasbro’s Joan Grasso, vice president of consumer products for North America.

“Reaching this milestone cements Peppa’s evergreen status and unlocks some exciting opportunities with new trend led partners targeting multiple demographics that reflect the maturity of the brand.”

The anniversary will also be celebrated with the release of a frozen yogurt flavor, tea-times with fans and expanded charity initiatives including National Jump in Muddy Puddles Day on April 1st, Peppa Pig Birthday Parties and Playdates with The Little Gym and a year-long campaign with The Muddy Puddles Project, including the brilliant event, Mess Fest.

PJ Masks embarks on Dubai Fitness Challenge to encourage local children to get active

PJ Masks is embarking on the month-long Dubai Fitness Challenge throughout November, helping to promote a healthier lifestyle to children, and encouraging them to be active for at least 30 minutes a day. The campaign, developed in partnership with Hasbro and eOne, will be delivered through exclusive workout videos released through the month.

The partnership was secured by 20too Licensing, Hasbro’s local sub-representative in MENA and Eventbox.

PJ Masks’ own Catboy, Owlette and Gekko are known for being active throughout the series. The heroes have to master their physical abilities in every episode, learning the values of teamwork, discipline and co-ordination in all their adventures – showing children that they too can be superheroes.

Four PJ Masks workout videos have been created for children of all ages, inspired by the well-known hero moves from the trio: Catboy, Owlette and Gekko. The first PJ Masks workout video will be released on the Dubai Fitness Challenge YouTube channel on 30 October 2020 and once a week thereafter until 28 November 2020.

The videos feature catchy and fun PJ Masks themed songs and the routines are energetic, challenging and intent on keeping the kids’ focus featured in iconic locations in Dubai. Children will be encouraged to replay the videos to keep learning and perfecting their own version of the routine with their favourite PJ Masks moves.

Whether it is inside or outside the home, children can learn the importance of staying active and healthy from a young age combined with the values of the PJ Masks heroes, where friendship and teamwork always saves the day.

Hasbro and eOne detail global broadcast partners for new My Little Pony: Pony Life series

Hasbro’s global entertainment studio, eOne has secured a strong line up of broadcast partners across most of the globe for the next latest chapter of the ever-popular My Little Pony brand.

My Little Pony: Pony Life is a new series premiering in select territories this autumn, with a larger roll-out running between the end of 2020 and spring 2021. The series explores the funny side of friendship, following the adventures of the ponies as they spend most of their time at Sugarcube Corner.

The ‘Mane 6’ (Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy) run into all sorts of ‘cupcake conundrums’, ‘frosting fails’ and ‘magical mishaps’ as Pinkie Pie serves up frosted cupcakes to the best customers in the world; her friends.

Several broadcasters around the world have picked up the show including Turner Australia, Turner South East Asia and Channel 9 GO! in Australia, TVNZ New Zealand, Mediacorp Singapore, Spacetoon in the Middle East, Tiny Pop, part of Sony Pictures Television in the UK, Discovery Kids in Latin America, Discovery Family in the US, Corus Entertainment’s Treehouse in Canada, Disney Channel in Germany, Gulli in France and Cartoonito in Italy.

The show will also be available on selected digital platforms at a later stage.

My Little Pony: Pony Life will now join its portfolio partner Peppa Pig in several territories including Canada (Treehouse), Latin America (Discovery) giving the partners the chance to present two iconic brands which are guaranteed to keep their audiences engaged and entertained.

“Pony Life is a fresh and exciting take on a classic brand, and we are so pleased to be able to bring it to many of our TV and digital  partners around the world,” said Monica Candiani, eOne’s EVP content sales at Family Brands. “Going forward, we are confident that we will be able to secure the strongest broadcast platforms for our bigger portfolio of hit  properties and realize incredible benefits by building on the remarkable relationships we have with global partners.”

Following Hasbro’s acquisition of eOne, the newly restructured content division will now oversee all content distribution of stellar family entertainment brands including Peppa Pig, My Little Pony, Transformers, Power Rangers, PJ Masks and Ricky Zoom.  

While continuing to focus on its popular pre-school shows like Peppa Pig and PJ Masks, eOne will now also leverage hottest kids IP’s including My Little Pony, Transformers and Power Rangers to create a one-stop-shop for quality content for global partners.

“Entertainment One is excited to develop, produce and drive the content around our portfolio of world class brands. Our rich content spans multiple ages, demographics and genres across the kids market with some of the most popular and recognisable family brands in the world today,” said Candiani.

Hasbro, Chupa Chups, and Crunchyroll among latest to present on the Festival of Licensing Stage

Hasbro, eOne, Chupa Chups, and Crunchyroll are just some of the latest global brands to be confirmed to present on the Festival of Licensing Stage during the virtual event’s opening week this October 6th to 8th, marking the latest additions to the European leg powered by Brand Licensing Europe.

Almost 50 live keynotes, presentations and on-demand sessions have been confirmed to date for Festival of Licensing, the month-long virtual celebration of the global licensing industry running from October 6th to 29th, incorporating three regional events for Europe, Asia and the Americas, and culminating with the global C-suite and executive-level virtual conference, Licensing Leadership Summit.

Newly announced for the Live Stage, sponsored by Crunchyroll:

  • Tuesday 6 October, 12.40pm BST: Senior executives from Hasbro + eOne, including Global Consumer Products General Manager and Senior Vice President Casey Collins, will present Fuelling Franchises Together.

  • Tuesday 6 October, 3pm BST: Creative agency Tela Italia, WildBrain CPLG Lifestyle and Perfetti Van Melle will join forces for Chupa Chups: The Secret to Keeping Art Stories Sweet to look into the creative energy behind Chupa Chups’ licensing success, and the importance of design as a tool for reinforcing brand relevance and uniqueness.

  • Wednesday 7 October, 3pm BST: Anime: The Inescapable Hit of Licensing – Powered by Crunchyroll will show how anime licenses are powerful, audience-driving brands that offer sustainability in a crowded market. Crunchyroll speakers include Joellen Ferrer, vice president, global communications and corporate marketing; Terry Li, head of 360 and general manager, games; John Leonhardt, head of consumer products; John Easum, head of EMEA; and Waell Oueslati, director of acquisitions and licensing, EMEA.

Newly announced content available to view on-demand from October 6:

Yasuo Miyakawa, who has the enviable title of chief Pac-Man officer and CEO of Bandai Namco Entertainment, presents: Nurturing a legend: 40 Years of PAC-MAN.

  • Hussein Khalid, director of the information technology department, Sanrio, and Greg Holtzman, marketing director, Brainbase, are collaborating for Why Sanrio Partnered with Brainbase to Streamline their Global Licensing Business.

Newly announced content available to view on demand from October 20:

  • Executives from Jazwares, Extreme Concepts, IHL Apparel Group, Best Accessory Group and The Brand Liaison take a broad look at the licensing landscape and unique business terms in light of COVID-19 in their What do Licensees Want? Session.

  • Stephen Glockenmeier, vice president, marketing, corporate brand licensing and consumer channels, American Red Cross, and Stu Seltzer, president, The Seltzer Licensing Group investigate charity brand licensing and the importance of brand purpose to consumers with a deep dive case study in to licensing the Red Cross.

  • Sesame Workshop is mobilising quickly to respond to the pandemic, racial injustice and current events to support the needs of young children and their families, adjusting continually as 2020 evolves. In the talk, Orchestrating Speed-to-Market: How to Make Everything Hum in Concert, Gabriela Arenas, vice president, licensing, North America, Sesame Workshop, will discuss how the non-profit is pivoting its speed-to-market approach to provide Sesame Street resources during these challenging times.

A series of sessions curated by industry trade association and Festival of Licensing partner Licensing International will also be available to view on-demand during all three regional weeks, including the:

  • ‘What you Need to Know to do Business in …’ series

    15- to 20-minute on-demand sessions covering information on market size, local licensing and retail trends, business practices and much more for France, Russia, Germany, China, Japan, India, Brazil and Mexico.

  • ‘Basics of Licensing’ series

    Licensing 101 on-demand sessions available to view in local languages: French, Russian, German, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese and English.

“We are so excited to have such incredible brands, campaigns, products and individuals on the Festival of Licensing content program. The depth and breadth of topics being covered in-region and being made available globally is just phenomenal. What’s more, we still have three hugely inspirational keynote speakers to announce,” said Anna Knight, vice president, Licensing, Informa Markets.

eOne’s Ricky Zoom speeds onto Channel 5’s Milkshake this April

Ricky Zoom, the newest animated pre-school IP from Entertainment One, is preparing to speed onto Channel 5’s multi-platform pre-school block, Milkshake, where is will air daily from April 20th this year.

To crank up excitement around the show’s terrestrial launch in the UK, Milkshake! is supporting with pre-promotional on-air exposure and social media support nearer the time of TX.

Entertainment One is backing its latest pre-school property with an investment in PR and digital marketing activity to drive tune-in. Building on the company’s previous success with music releases for Peppa Pig and PJ Masks, eOne is readying the digital release of three Ricky Zoom songs that will include an extended version of the theme tune and two all-new original songs.

The new songs will be available on streaming platforms from mid-April. A nationwide influencer outreach campaign spanning parenting influencers, with a combined platform of 1.2 million across the UK, will promote the positive brand values of fun and family to encourage co-viewing.

“Adding to our existing strong roster of international broadcasters we’re thrilled to be bringing Ricky Zoom to the number one weekday pre-school destination in the UK,” said eOne’s Monica Candiani, EVP, content sales, family and brands.

“The show is full of enjoyable all-bike adventures that will ignite young imaginations and we look forward to introducing the colourful world of Wheelford to future fans in the UK ahead of the consumer products rollout later this year.”

The launch of Ricky Zoom on Channel 5 follows a strong debut for the show last autumn on Nick Jr. in the UK where it has been viewed by nearly 1.5 million to date. The show will join Nick Jr.’s promotional slate in Easter with a seasonal episode special set to air for audiences during the school holidays.

The growing broadcast exposure will drive awareness for Ricky Zoom as eOne builds up to the consumer products rollout in autumn which will see additional toys released by master toy partner, TOMY.

Ricky Zoom lands second series for November 2020 as first products ready for launch

Following a successful debut at the end of 2019, Entertainment One’s international animated hit, Ricky Zoom has landed a second series, slated to air as soon as November this year.

Ricky Zoom raced to success and achieved ‘outstanding ratings’ in multiple markets and across several platforms. It is currently a top five pre-school show with boys on Nickelodeon in the US, number one on Nick Jr. commercial kids’ channel in the UK, and the number one show on Clan in Spain.

Ricky Zoom’s appeal also resonates in China where the series has garnered more than 425 million views on streaming platform, YouKu.

The property’s first app, Welcome to Wheelford has been downloaded more than 4 million times globally since its release in August 2019.

“We are so proud of Ricky Zoom and its success to date. It is premium original content produced by the very best talent and our strong roster of international broadcasters has super-charged the series to a high level of awareness around the world,” said eOne’s Olivier Dumont, President, Family & Brands.

“We are very excited for the potential to explore even more ground in the second season. There are so many more stories to tell that will deepen the connection between the characters and our audience and we look forward to bringing them all-new adventures.”

Entertainment One is now readying the launch of the first wave of consumer products in key territories which will be led by the launch of Ricky Zoom toys from global master toy partner TOMY, including six key products across a variety of price points.

The collection will roll out in multiple territories this spring. The toy launch will be followed by a limited range of secondary category product launches to meet consumer demand in 2020, including publishing, puzzles and games, arts and crafts, apparel and accessories with additional secondary launches planned throughout 2021.

Entertainment One partners with VisitEngland for Peppa Pig promotional campaign

Entertainment One has secured a new partnership with the national tourism agency, VisitEngland, that will see Peppa Pig become part of a promotional campaign encouraging families to holiday in England.

Launching this week, the campaign drives visitors to a specially created Peppa Pig online hub on VisitEngland’s website. The microsite features 25 experiences for pre-schoolers and their families, all inspired by Peppa’s adventures in the show.

Young fans can view clips from the show by clicking on a Peppa Pig style map on the site. A children’s activity sheet and tick list will be available to download to inspire them to follow in Peppa’s footsteps as they take short breaks in England.

Working with Global, owners of Heart FM radio, VisitEngland is also promoting the campaign through a national radio competition voiced by Peppa Pig and her family. The campaign will be boosted from mid-February with paid for digital advertising.

“Peppa Pig celebrates the simple pleasures of family life and that theme is central to our campaign with VisitEngland. We’re absolutely delighted to be partnering with them on an initiative that will harness the brand’s popularity to boost tourism in England,” said Rebecca Harvey, eOne’s EVP of global marketing, family and brands.

“With a content pipeline of 381 episodes all focused on family life, there’s plenty of inspiration and we look forward to seeing families enjoying days at the beach, visiting castles, flying kites and, of course, jumping in muddy puddles just like Peppa and her family.”

Clare Mullin, director at VisitEngland, added: “We want to inspire young families to follow in the footsteps of their favourite character and go on fun filled year-round adventures across England.

“From getting outdoors to jumping in muddy puddles in thousand-year-old forests and camping under the stars at their first music festival; there are amazing family-friendly experiences right across the country. Capturing the imagination of Peppa Pig loving pre-school families can create long lasting memories that help boost regional tourism and build an emotional connection that will encourage them to explore their own backyard both now and in the future.”

The £650,000 campaign is expected to generate more than 225,000 additional overnight stays in England from families in 2020, adding a £16.5 million boost to the economy.

The family market represents around a third of the potential domestic tourism market in England. In 2018, British families took 15.3 million domestic breaks in England, spending £3.4 billion. VisitEngland is hoping that targeting the family segment can spread tourism’s economic benefits across more of the year, including off-peak periods.