Press Release from 4Kids Entertainment International Limited
4Kids Entertainment International Limited has added preschool property “Penelope” to its brand portfolio for representation across the world, excluding Asia and France. “Penelope” will be showcased next month at the 2010 International Licensing Expo in Las Vegas at the company’s Booth # 5649.
Charming “Penelope” is based on the best-selling books by Anne Gutman and Georg Hallensleben. First published by licensor Gallimard Jeunesse in France, the books have since been translated into more than 14 languages, with over two million copies sold worldwide. To date, Gallimard Jeunesse have published 48 titles including pop-up books, soft cover and gift books. With “Penelope” appealing equally to boys and girls, parents delight in introducing the stories to their newborns who then go on to enjoy them right through their preschool years.
Penelope is an adorably cute three-year-old blue koala with a funny red nose, insatiable curiosity and a great sense of humour. Through her everyday adventures, both at school and at home with her family and friends, she encounters all sorts of 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 important language and art skills.
The property has made a successful translation to the small screen through Japanese company Nippon Animation, with 52 episodes and two Christmas specials now available. The series began airing on Japanese television in 2007, and has since been picked up by several broadcasters including France 5 (France), CBeebies (UK), ABC (Australia), as well as channels in Italy, across the Nordics, Africa, Israel and Slovenia.
In Japan, the property is a huge licensing success with over 700 licensed products across a range of key categories including toys, plush, publishing, personal accessories, apparel, stationery and back to school. A “Penelope” musical ran in Japan from March 17-29 of this year, which on its final day attracted more than 82,000 theatregoers. A licensing programme has also commenced in France with key licensees for plush, DVDs, BTS and stationery already signed up.
“’Penelope’ is a wonderful edutainment property which has been a real success in Japan over the last few years,” said Gwendoline Fayette, Head of Licensing at Gallimard Jeunesse. “The licensing programme has now launched in France and we are thrilled to be working together with 4Kids to develop the brand internationally and make Penelope known across the world.”
“’Penelope’ has enormous potential, preschoolers love the books and TV show and parents are also very enthusiastic as it teaches children about the world around them,” said Sandra Vauthier-Cellier, Managing Director of 4Kids Entertainment International.. “This gives us a fantastic platform from which to develop the property’s licensing programme and we will be looking to sign licensees across a range of sectors.”