Entertainment One does not greenlight new pre-college shows extremely frequently. In reality, you can quite considerably count its present portfolio of brands in the sector on 1 hand and nevertheless have a couple of digits to spare.
But, with the likes of Peppa Pig, PJ Masks and Ben & Holly’s Magic Kingdom, what eOne lacks in numbers it a lot more than tends to make up for in international broadcasting, licensing and franchising achievement to the tune of millions.
Of course, with a modest team of elite brands like it has, when a new house enters the eOne fold – it really is type of a big deal. Which is why, when the studio declared the arrival of Ricky Zoom in mid 2018, a ripple of excitement was felt across the licensing space for what the most recent property can bring to the space.
When we read the treatment, it was quickly clear that this is a show with real heart and a fantastic neighborhood of characters who just come about to be bikes,” says Katie Rollings, SVP of UK licensing at Entertainment A single.
And the cat’s out of the bag: Ricky Zoom is all about motorbikes. And its series run of 52 11-minute CGI programmes will comply with the adventures of Ricky – the tiny red rescue bike with a zest for speed – and his bike buddies in Loop, Scootio and DJ. Together, they race about the sports track, try out new stunts and zoom into adventure, is the official line.
The far more candid line from eOne’s Rollings is that the studio believes Ricky Zoom has a related relatability of Peppa Pig, since of the experiences of the characters, although it has the aspiration of PJ Masks.”
The action of Ricky Zoom takes spot in the town of Wheelford, a spot tailor created for bikes where Ricky is surrounded by a close-knit community and the show itself is scheduled to launch in selected markets from spring/summer time 2019.
It comes from the producers of PJ Masks, so we have high hopes for it subsequent year,” continues Rollings.
Launching Ricky Zoom is part of our ongoing strategy to develop properties around original content nurturing and sustaining them for the lengthy term. It is the commitment to highly original content that helps keep our position in the pre-school sector.
Entertainment One has already observed a excellent deal of good results with a CGI series in PJ Masks. The fact it has returned to the medium clearly displays a confidence in what CGI delivers to the pre-college space, whilst ensuring it maintains its spot within the eOne portfolio.
Ricky Zom is completely complementary to our other pre-college brands and has all the same hallmarks of quality that they have,” says Rollings. We are wholly committed to creating content primarily based on exceptional storytelling which can engage the fan base at a number of levels.
That principal is at the heart of the achievement of Peppa Pig and PJ Masks and we are confident it will be true of Ricky Zoom as properly. The extraordinary accomplishment of PJ Masks and the global resurgence of Peppa Pig has transformed our organization and proved that we can construct and sustain multiple brands that provide at retail and resonate with audiences on a worldwide level.”
While, yes all 3 brands Rollings speaks of now are pre-school properties, the studio insists that readings dictate that PJ Masks resonates most with boys aged 4 to 5 with a strong secondary appeal to girls, whilst Peppa Pig is predominantly hitting the two to 4 age variety on a gender neutral level.
We for that reason believe that the sweet spot for Ricky Zoom is going to be three year olds with a slight gender bias towards boys,” says Rollings. And it is useful information to know. This will, soon after all, be wielded as a useful tool when tailoring a customer goods programme for the series.
The licensing programme will mainly target boys aged two to five and will be spearheaded by toys as it rolls out its consumer merchandise from autumn/winter this year. TOMY is already on board as the worldwide master toy companion and the initial range will incorporate autos and playsets, like Ricky’s Residence.
This will be followed by publishing, as nicely as a modest range of games and puzzles and a capsule apparel providing.
The home has massive potential in the toy category,” states Rollings. TOMY is bringing an innovative approach to the toy line which is exceptional and as a result, the toy line directly embodies and reflects the DNA of the show.
Our experience with Peppa Pig and PJ Masks has provided us the necessary tools to comprehend what it takes to construct fantastic content material into a lengthy term international brand at every single level and this is a quite very good foundation from which to launch Ricky Zoom.”
Rollings is amongst the first to recognise that the pre-school marketplace is tough. It has been for a although. Competition is fierce and it is becoming an increasingly difficult sector in which to launch a new house. Even so, Rollings is encouraged by the industry’s early response to Ricky Zoom and is optimistic about its probabilities for accomplishment.
One significant adjust in the way we market place pre-college properties has been in the rise in emphasis on encounter and engagement, even for the youngest fans, and this provides us fresh possibilities inside the sector,” explains Rollings.
Amid our chat, Rollings drops the inevitable licensing catchphrase, ‘touchpoints’. It really is grow to be a staple element of the merchandising diet, especially as more and far more buyers and audiences are expecting experiential engagement with the brands they take pleasure in.
Giving fans the opportunity to interact with their favourite characters is something we feel very strongly about at eOne,” she says/ We have a dedicated in-residence team focused on delivering live experiences across all our brands, like Ricky Zoom and appropriate now we are operating on concepts to bring Ricky and the other bike characters to life by way of a suite of reside events and activations.”
Rollings rounds up by stating that essential role Ricky Zoom will go on play in the eOne brand portfolio from this point. But despite the focus the brand will now doubt be getting, she promises that eyes will not be taken off the likes of Peppa Pig and PJ Masks.
Peppa is, soon after all, celebrating an essential anniversary this year, whilst the roll-out for PJ Masks will continue.
Our experience in the pre-college sector has taught us that to allow your brand the very best likelihood of achievement, you need patience and focus and that is what we’ll be applying to all our brands as we handle our expanding portfolio,” she concludes.