Prisoners of Geography taps Map Marketing for licensed merchandise

Independent publisher Elliott & Thompson’s Sunday Times best-selling Prisoners of Geography books by author Tim Marshall continue to engage fans of maps and facts from 6-80 years. With unprecedented and continued global sales success, the franchise is extending into a range of licensed merchandise for launch during 2022.

Map Marketing Ltd is on board to develop a range of printed maps, posters and framed prints in various sizes and gifts featuring the beautiful map illustrations from the Prisoners of Geography illustrated edition.

“Map Marketing lives and breathes everything to do with maps, so Prisoners of Geography was a no-brainer licence acquisition for us,” explains Brian O’Donnell, MD of the Devon-based business. “We absolutely love the detailed but easy to understand map illustrations, which in themselves are beautiful works of art. We’ve seen a huge growth in consumer interest in geography and maps as both educational and beautiful art for home decor in recent years. Prisoners of Geography is a hugely versatile brand and is also perfect for our growing direct-to-schools business Geopacks.”

Maggy Harris from BlueSkye Licensing, which brokered the deal, says: “Extending the franchise is a natural step forward for Tim’s books and we are delighted to welcome Brian and his Map Marketing team into the Prisoners of Geography brand family. We’re seeing a great response from companies responding to increased consumer interest and demand for quality, factual, fun, family brands. The detailed illustrations are perfect for family-focused edutainment merchandise. Watch this space for further 2022 product launches across jigsaws, games, puzzles, gifts and stationery.”

Lorne Forsyth, Chairman of publisher Elliott and Thompson, adds: “Prisoners of Geography has been an astonishing, long-lasting hit in hardback and paperback, providing a gripping exploration of the power of geography to shape humanity’s past, present and future. It is acknowledged as one of the bestselling international geo-politics books of all time.”

BlueSkye Licensing to develop family edutainment programme for best-selling book Prisoners of Geography

BlueSkye Licensing has partnered with the independent publishing house Elliott & Thompson to develop a family edutainment franchise programme around the Sunday Times’ best-selling Prisonsers of Geography book series.

Written by Tim Marshall and first published in 2015, Prisoners of Geography has sold upwards of 1.5 million copies to date with global retail sales now exceeding $20 million. The book combines geography, history, and politics in an informative and accessible way. A sequel, The Power of Geography has already been scheduled for 2021.

“Extending the franchise is a natural step forward for Tim’s books,” said Elliott and Thompson chairman, Lorne Forsyth, who has appointed Maggy Harris at BlueSkye to develop the family-centric digital and game based licensing programme.

The licensing programme will primarily focus on Tim’s extraordinary grasp of his subject matter, the factual content, and the beautiful illustrated edition artwork.

Harris said: “This franchise is a great  example of licensing opportunities coming from an ever increasing and broad range of  sources. ‘Prisoners of Geography’ fits perfectly into the huge demand for quality, factual, fun  family and digital entertainment which the 2020 lockdown world has accelerated …Tim’s  books provide fresh, timeless content for our changing times.” 

BlueSkye will target the family edutainment sector with a licensing programme that will be ‘perfect for fans of maps and facts’ and will encompass board games, strategy games, quizzes and puzzle games, as well as digital apps, experiential, gifts, stationery, posters and cards.

Creatively, licensees will be able to access multiple design assets  sourced from the stunning illustrated edition. 

Elliott and Thompson’s Lorne, added: “It is a timely and welcome business development opportunity. We are a growing publishing house at the heart of the creative independent  publishing sector. We look forward to working with Maggy, our licensed partners and Tim to  build a uniquely different, but successful, multimedia franchise.”