New Deals Roll In for 'Driver Dan'

Driver Dan’s Story Train continues to grow — on television, on line and in magazines.

Driver Dan’s Story Train continues to grow — on television, on line and in magazines. Now the delightful train-driving lion is enjoying amazing growth in both licensing and promotions, with deals announced for electronic media, as well as an exciting tie-in with the UK’s leading tour operator.

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 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. The series is fun, educational and wonderfully interactive. In fact the supporting website won the Best Companion Website at the Kidscreen Awards 2011 and the show has a regular slot in the top-selling CBeebies weekly magazine.

Series two of the popular preschool show remains a consistent top five performer in the key CBeebies Bedtime Hour slot and is a regular on Sprout in the US. And global TV sales are growing fast. Latin America, Finland, South Korea, Australia, South Africa, Ireland and the Middle East have joined the UK and the US.

Now Rocket Licensing, which has been appointed to take Driver Dan’s Story Train into a wide range of categories, has announced an exciting range of promotional and licensing initiatives for the UK market.

From late October Driver Dan’s Story Train will be available as an electronic game collection — a format wonderfully suited to its unique combination of fun and learning. Avanquest Software, a leading worldwide developer of innovative and high-quality consumer software, is using Driver Dan imagery, branding and content to create and publish a Nintendo DS and PC activity collection of 12-15 mini games.

Driver Dan is also at the centre of an exciting initiative aimed at hundreds of thousand of children and parents who go to Thomson Family Resorts, a group of hotels created for families by Thomson, the UK’s leading tour operator. All 19 hotels offer leading childcare and entertainment and, for the next two years, in a major and exclusive promotional tie-in, that entertainment will include Driver Dan. Toddler Time, Thomson Family Resorts’ enormously popular parent and toddler sessions, will be themed around the hit CBeebies TV show. Little ones and grown-ups can join in with games and activities based on the adventures of the storytelling lion and his friends, further enhanced by toys, books and train sets as well as promotional material and special gifts.

Supporting the tie-in Driver Dan will be highlighted not just at all 19 Thomson Family Resorts but also in promotional material — including close to four million Thomson brochures — and online at www.thomson.co.uk.

Rob Wijeratna, Joint Managing Director of Rocket Licensing says, “Children love Driver Dan’s Story Train and parents appreciate the important contribution it makes towards starting children on the road to literacy. The success of our current partners and the enthusiasm of those coming on board is testimony to the unique qualities that Driver Dan brings to the pre-school market.”

Thomas Lynch, Product Development & Delivery Manager- Families, TUI UK & Ireland, says, “Driver Dan’s Story Train and Thomson Family Resorts are a great fit: they both have a strong appeal to pre-schoolers and their parents. Driver Dan is a marvellous property that brings together imaginative play, stories, learning and fun — ideal for our Toddler Time sessions.”

Wayne Borg, COO of twofour54, adds “We are delighted at the success of Driver Dan’s Story Train on CBeebies, one of the most important and respected preschool channels in the world. And now, with partners such as Thomson, Avanquest and BBC Magazines, we are looking forward to taking the Driver Dan message of fun, reading and participation to the next level through major licensing and promotional initiatives over the coming year.”

Source: Rocket Licensing

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