Press Release from 4Kids
4Kids Entertainment International has signed an agreement with top publisher Redan that will see pre-school character Penelope appear in two popular bi-weekly magazines - ‘Fun to Learn Friends’ and ‘Fun to Learn Favourites’ – in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. ‘Fun to Learn Friends’ magazine is the best selling pre-school magazine in the UK.
Penelope is based on the popular range of books created by Anne Gutman and Georg Hallensleben. First published by licensor Gallimard Jeunesse in France, the books have sold over two million copies worldwide. Penelope is a cute three-year-old blue koala with a funny red nose, an insatiable curiosity and a great sense of humour. In her everyday adventures at school and at home with her family and friends she deals with new experiences and challenges. Each book is set around one particular theme, making it focused and simple for its young audience. Not only are the stories great fun but they also help pre-schoolers learn how to interact with others and develop language and art skills. 4Kids represents the property across the world, excluding Asia and France.
The Redan magazines feature popular pre-school characters and encourage young children to learn and have fun with a range of puzzles, competitions, stories and activities. The Penelope pages are scheduled to launch at the end of September and will be available through a wide range of outlets, including book shops, convenience stores, newsagents, petrol stations and grocery chains.
This represents the first licence that 4Kids has signed for Penelope but the property’s huge potential has already been illustrated in Japan and France, where Penelope has been successfully licensed across a range of categories including toys, plush, publishing, personal accessories, apparel and stationery and has featured on two KFC promotions.
The property has also made a successful translation to the small screen through Japanese company Nippon Animation, with 52 episodes and two Christmas specials now available. Winner of an excellence prize in animation from the Japan Media Art Fest, the series has been picked up by a number of broadcasters including France 5 in France, CBeebies in the UK, ABC in Australia and channels across EMEA.
“Working with Redan represents a strong start for our licensing programme for what is already a very popular brand, pre-schoolers love the Penelope books and TV show and parents are also very enthusiastic as it teaches children about the world around them. We are confident that this will be the first of many agreements across a number of categories,” said Sandra Vauthier-Cellier, Managing Director of 4Kids Entertainment International.