It's one of the most popular shows with pre-school kids and their mothers. In a few months from now, consumers will be able to pick up a namesake toy, garment, shoe or tableware.
The show in question is Bob The Builder, which airs on Cartoon Network, whose producer UK-based Hit Entertainment Plc is set to launch an ambitious licensing programme in the country.
Hit will kick-off operation in partnership with Licensing Plus (India), its representative in the country. On the cards are an array of products from plush toys to educational games, home furnishings, back-to-school products and so on. Incidentally, Bob The Builder diecast toys, puzzles, board games, books and home videos are available in the market since last year. But the current initiative is set to take the licensing operation to new heights with penetration into allied categories.
Toymaker Funskool has the rights to manufacture some 15-20 characters from the show. This comes in addition to its existing range of branded puzzles, board games and diecast toy characters from the show.
According to Funskool's marketing manager David Selvraj, the company sold 70,000 units of the first batch of diecast toys launched in April 2004. The board games and puzzles, in comparison, have been on store shelves since last month.
The home video and book rights, on the other hand, are with Excel Home Video and Euro Books, who launched respective products in the market last year. Six VCDs were launched by Excel in February 2004, while the books have been around since October 2004.
G.P Singh of Licensing Plus (India) says that the company is currently negotiating with potential licensees for various other product categories and a comprehensive range will be launched in the next three months.
Apart from Bob The Builder, Hit has plans to roll out licensing programmes for other popular properties aired on Cartoon Network and POGO. "These will follow during the course of the year," says Sheetal Merchant, brand director, India, Hit Entertainment.
Hit's shows that are broadcast in India include Barney, Pingu, Rubbadubbers, Thomas & Friends apart from Bob The Builder. The company, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, is one of the largest owners of pre-school shows in the world with over 1,000 hours of programming and is worth $600 million.
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