MDL builds European licensing programme for Zafari following Rai Yoyo broadcast success

Maurizio Distefano Licensing has secured a raft of new European partnerships for the popular pre-school animation, Zafari, a series that has seen sweeping success across the region since it started airing on its children’s network, Rai Yoyo.

A property of Ink Group, Zafari is a new CGI animated series produced by Zafari Holdings and distributed worldwide by NBC Universal. The series comprises 52 11-minute episodes and is aimed at children aged four to nine.

Building on its early broadcast success across Italy, MDL has been building a licensing programme around Zafari that now spans partners including Salani for master publishing who will now develop a line of colouring and activity books, as well as puzzle and novelty titles, Ravensburger who is developing a range of puzzles and memory games, and Publievent who is to produce costume characters based on the stars of the series for special events and meet and greets.

These will be joined by Pon Pon Edizioni, who will launch the official Zafari magazine his year, Multiprint and its assortment of stamp sets and markers, Edizioni Play Press whose Magic Albums, puzzles books, and activity books will populate kiosks across Italy, and Dolfin, who will launch a range of Zafari chocolate and confectionery items.

Completing the line up, Clementoni is launch a range of educatioal toys, and Modecor will launch a line of Zafari cake decorations.

Zafari follows the adventures of Zoomba, a baby elephant born with zebra stripes who worries about being different until he and his best friend, a Borneo tarsier monkey named Quincy, discover Zafari, a world in a valley at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Zafari takes up themes such as inclusion, tolerance and friendship through funny and exciting stories, creative characters and high-quality production values that bring beautiful locations and animals to life in stunning computer graphics.

In addition, a partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has allowed the creation of 52 special mini videos, one of which will appear at the end of each episode. The videos will show real images of animals in their natural habitat, adding a touch of real-life magic to each delightful animated tale.