Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Rainbow to Highlight Brand Portfolio at BLE 2018

Italian content powerhouse Rainbow is bringing two of the biggest kids brands in world licensing to stand E10 at BLE 2018 – 44 Cats and Winx Club!

Winx Club is the evergreen classic that follows the adventures of a group of young fairies as they combine school life with battling against the forces of evil. The show mixes action/adventure with comedy and appeals to girls from 4 to 10 right up to tween/teen. The brand first debuted in 2004 and now boasts 182 produced episodes, 4 TV movies and 3 theatrical releases. Series 8 – featuring 26 brand new episodes – will premiere at the beginning of 2019 to celebrate 15 years since the launch of the brand. The fifteenth anniversary will also see Rainbow launch a global marketing plan that will reach out to the millions of Winx fans across the world and involve lots of exciting and engaging activities and involve the brand’s licensing partners. It's currently unknown whether Nickelodeon will acquire the rights to Winx Club season eight, like previous seasons. Spin-off series, World of Winx currently airs on Nickelodeon Greece.

Winx Club

44 Cats is a Rainbow production in collaboration with Antoniano Bologna and Rai Ragazzi. It follows the daily adventures of Lampo, Milady, Pilou, and Meatball – four adorable kittens who are part of a music band named The Buffycats. The protagonists live in the Clubhouse, a garage beside old Granny Pina’s house. Their adventures explore the themes of friendship and altruism: the four cats love helping others and always find creative solutions to everyday hitches by dealing naturally with important themes like tolerance, diversity and acceptance. This eagerly anticipated show will debut on Rai Yoyo in November 2018, whilst other broadcasting deals have been signed with Nickelodeon (multi-territorial, excluding in the U.S. and Latin America), Discovery Kids (Latin America), and Super RTL (Germany). Major broadcasting deals in France, Russia, UK and many other countries are also in the pipeline.

44 Cats

In addition, visitors to BLE 2018 can learn about Rainbow’s role as licensing representative for Santoro’s renowned Gorjuss collection across Italy, France and Turkey, where the company is building on existing success in BTS and apparel by extending the brand into additional categories.

Rainbow is also enjoying success with one of the biggest brands in football – Juventus – in the Russian market. Rainbow is the exclusive agent for the property across Russia/CIS and is currently in talks across many different sectors. Deals are already finalised with Atributika and Club for apparel and accessories respectively, and more are in the pipeline across all major categories – including toys, tableware and back to school.

Nickelodeon Latinoamérica is also partnering with Rainbow Group to produce the networks brand-new show, Club 57. Club 57 is a brand-new time-travelling themed series that tells the story of a 14-year-old tech loving girl who accidentally travels back in time. Stuck in the past, she discovers her passion for music, and falls in love. The first season of Club 57 will feature 60 one-hour episodes. Under the deal, Rainbow Group will have the rights to Club 57 in Italy and represent the IP for consumer products globally, whilst Viacom International Studios will handle distribution of the property for the rest world of the world.

In additional news, Sony Creative Products (SCP) will be debuting hit preschool property Mofy at BLE, in stand G10. The sweet cotton-puff-built, stop-motion series already broadcast in more than 50 countries, and SCP is seeking licensing agents for UK (where it airs on Channel 5's Milkshake programming block) and other countries in Europe at the show. The story center ons Mofy, a fluffy, lovable rabbit who each episode learns about the world around her, discovers and understands feelings and emotions, and learns to be kinder and braver. The character is very appealing to very young children as well as mothers and young women. The series has also featured on NOGGIN, Nickelodeon's streaming service for preschoolers in the US.

Mofy has enjoyed massive licensing success in Japan, notably in personal care, but also in confectionery, yoghurt, apps, books and magazines, sticker books, digital publications, DVDs and, of course, plush. There are also numerous tie-ins and promotions with magazines, shopping malls, celebrities and retail corners as well as very popular Mofy-themed live appearances, special events and even exhibitions. This success has now been translated to the international marketplace. More than 650 SKU of Mofy licensed products are sold or under approval elsewhere in the world, among them stationery, plush, back to school, bedding, bags and purses, personal care items, DVDs, apparel, activity books, games, puzzles, toys and accessories. The character’s appeal to mums and young women has also given it potential in the high-end and fashion markets.

Takehiko Ohya, Global Business Group Licensing Manager, SCP, says: “With an established appeal in a number of kawaii markets, not to mention excellent ratings on one of the UK’s most popular children’s programming strands, the time is right to announce the expansion of Mofy’s presence in Europe – and where better to do so than at BLE? We look forward to meeting potential partners at BLE and telling them more about this uniquely appealing property.”

Mofy is a co-production between Japan (SCP), Italy (Misseri Studio & RAI) and Germany (ZDF). It was inspired by a picture book published in 2008 and developed by Japanese illustrator Aki Kondo with Misseri Studio.

Brand Licensing Europe (BLE) is the definitive event for the licensing industry in Europe, taking place Oct. 9-11 at Olympia London. Visit for full details about this years BLE event.

More Nick: Nickelodeon Consumer Products President Pam Kaufman to Keynote BLE 2018!

Sources: Licensing Italia, Animation Magazine.
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