'Driver Dan' Headed for UK & US Licensing Deals

Two leading names in the licensing industry, Rocket Licensing in the UK and Licensing Street in the US, have been appointed to take the popular pre-school entertainment brand “Driver Dan’s Story Train” into a wide range of categories across the two territories.

Press release from Kilogram Media:

LONDON --

Two leading names in the licensing industry, Rocket Licensing in the UK and Licensing Street in the US, have been appointed to take the popular pre-school entertainment brand Driver Dan’s Story Train into a wide range of categories across the two territories.

With its loveable characters, exciting and involving plot, delightful animation and, of course, stories, the potential for Driver Dan’s Story Train is clear — in fact it has already established a number of strong partnerships. Golden Bear is the master toy licensee for the brand with a strong range of product available. The Macmillan Campbell Books imprint has produced a range of books for the English language market and Universal is the DVD partner in the UK market where 2 DVDs have been successfully launched at retail.

In the UK the program first appeared on CBeebies in 2010 and continues to enjoy very strong ratings. Series 2 is airing in the Bedtime Hour and is consistently a Top 5 performer for the channel (BARB ratings). Rocket is planning to work with all of Driver Dan’s existing licensing and retail partners to maximize the brand’s potential throughout 2012 and 2013. It will also be boosting brand awareness with strong promotional programs. Special events, live appearances, enhanced online presence and magazine articles will inform and amuse both children and grown-ups by focusing on the show’s combination of fun and learning.

In the US, Driver Dan’s Story Train airs on Sprout, the first 24-hour preschool destination available on TV, on demand and online for kids aged 2-5 and their parents and caregivers which is available in over 55M homes. The show premiered in the US in November 2010 with the voice of Pat Monahan, lead singer for the multi-platinum band Train, as lead character Driver Dan. Licensing Street is planning a major push for the brand at June’s Licensing International Expo in Las Vegas, where the company will be introducing Driver Dan and his friends to potential new US licensees.

Driver Dan’s Story Train is a 3Line Media production in association with twofour54 Abu Dhabi, and the brainchild of children’s author and illustrator, Rebecca Elgar. Rebecca wanted to create a TV series for children that focused on the importance of reading. The character she developed, Driver Dan, is a lovable train-driving lion who enjoys reading stories while having fun with his friends. Storytelling is very much at the heart of Driver Dan's Story Train. Children are encouraged to pick up a book, explore the pictures, listen to it, share it, and read it over and over again.

Rob Wijeratna, Joint Managing Director, Rocket Licensing, says: “Driver Dan’s Story Train has successfully brought together state-of-the-art design and animation techniques with the age-old love of stories to produce a series that brilliantly combines memorable characters, fun and learning. With its second UK series still enjoying high ratings on CBeebies, we are delighted to be involved with a title that has a strong following and an even stronger long-term potential.”

JJ Ahearn, Managing Director, Licensing Street, says: “Driver Dan’s Story Train offers a unique combination of storytelling, learning and delightful characters that is already attracting a large and growing US audience. With its strong appeal not only to children, but also to parents and caregivers, we are confident that this charming and engaging property will have similar success in a number of major licensing categories.”

Wayne Borg, COO and Deputy CEO of twofour54, adds: “Having established Driver Dan’s Story Train as a children’s favorite both on television and at retail, we were looking for best-in-class partners in two of the most important markets in the world, partners able to manage all aspects of licensing and promotion both for children and — very importantly — parents and caregivers who enjoy watching Dan with their kids. Rocket and Licensing Street can both boast long-term success with an impressively diverse roster of clients.”

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