Blonde Sheep Licensing's Natasha Dyson talks plans for Petra's Planet in the publishing space

Jade Burke

By Jade Burke

March 18th 2016 at 10:27AM
Blonde Sheep Licensing's Natasha Dyson talks plans for Petra's Planet in the publishing space

With 20,000 new registered users each month, Natasha Dyson MD of Blonde Sheep Licensing believes Petra’s Planet will continue to grow in popularity with fans. With a tablet compatible site on the way later this year, here Dyson explains why the property has the potential to big in the girls’ space.

Can you tell me the brief history behind the brand?

Petra’s Planet is now a fast-growing, award-winning entertainment brand that originated from the series of Petra books, which were originally published in Finland and have now been translated into multiple languages. 

Since 2014, Petra’s Planet virtual world has grown by over 400 per cent with 1.5 million of children interacting with Petra’s Planet worldwide. Petra’s Planet has already expanded from publishing into numerous categories ranging from apps to an online virtual world, to educational software that is designed for classrooms and used by girls and boys. The property has the goal of empowering children to be active global citizens through exploration and play.

Author Eevamaria Halttunen initially came up with the idea of creating the books to help her own children understand the diversity of the world, and began by telling stories to her own children about countries that she herself had visited. Those countries were then researched to ensure that the information in the Petra books was accurate.

This same attention carried over to the virtual world. The aim of the virtual world is to provide children with a meaningful gaming experience, rather than just games, that as a parent Eevamaria felt comfortable for her own children to spend time playing as they would be building on their knowledge of the world: cultures, animals and environment.

What are your plans for the brand throughout 2016?

April is an exciting month for Petra’s Planet as we’re exhibiting at Bologna Book Fair at the beginning of the month, and then re-launching an improved version of the Incredipets app.

At the end of the year a tablet compatible site will launch which allow easier access to the virtual world and lead to increased new registrations.

How many licenses does it have so far?

We currently have three licensees. An editorial partnership with Kennedy Publishing with regular Petra’s Planet content in Cute Magazine in the UK and So Süss Magazine in Germany, which launched in November 2015. 

Print on Demand Personalised Apparel with T-Shirt Booth and charity partner Elimu that launches in March, and Event Merchandising Livewho will be managing the online Petra’s Planet shop.

Are there any new categories you’ll be tapping into in the licensing space this year?

A key focus for us at the moment is to secure publishers to continue Petra and her pet’s adventures around the world. Publishers will have access to the original books, which are available for republishing and the right to create new content in the form of ready to read books, activities and puzzle books, sticker and collectable books, travel journal and magazines. Petra’s Planet is showing at Bologna Book Fair.

Other categories of interest are toys and games, apparel and accessories, stationery, outdoor, home and paper products.

What are your expectations for the brand?

With 20,000 new registered users each month Petra’s Planet will continue to grow in popularity. We’re forecasting an additional 780,000 new registrations by the end of the year, which is predominately driven by English speaking countries. At the end of the year a tablet compatible site will launch which will further increase new registrations.

The virtual world is constantly being updated so there are always new and fun activities for all users, subscribers and non-subscribers, and Dramforum have an aggressive user acquisition strategy to attract new users. 

How big do you think the brand will be in the girls' space?

It’s impossible to predict but we want Petra’s Planet to be big. The goal for Petra’s Planet is to be wherever children learn, play and explore, whether that’s online, books, toys or games.

With 20,000 new registered users each month Petra’s Planet will continue to grow in popularity. We’re forecasting an additional 780,000 new registrations by the end of the year which is predominately driven by English speaking countries.