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Aurora World details major YooHoo & Friends launch in Japan

Aurora World has detailed the Japanese launch of its new YooHoo plush line, a reboot of its 80million-selling plush sensation. The launch coincides with the arrival of the new 3D Netflix Original series YooHoo to the Rescue.

New YooHoo plush toys were launched at two Hamleys stores in major Japanese cities: Hamleys Hakata in the city of Fukuoka, and Hamleys Yokohama. The Hakata store also included a YooHoo window display, showing off the new line. The display will continue for two months until May 14th.

An opening event was also staged, again at Hakata Hamleys taking place on March 23rd. Activities at the opening event included meet and greets with both YooHoo and Pammee costume characters, colouring play, a party room decorated with YooHoo imagery and a YooHoo-Themed Hamleys Café, with a menu illustrated with some of the adorable characters from the brand-new series.

Japan has been earmarked as an important market for the YooHoo brand. The property is expected to drive demand for the plush range, already popular but now rebooted to reflect the themes and characters of the new series.

Headquartered in Seoul, Korea, Aurora has established a varied business portfolio that includes a vast global reach in the plush market through brands like Miyoni, Sea Sparkles, Sparkle Tales and, above all, YooHoo & Friends

This popular line of YooHoo & Friends has inspired a new Netflix Original Series. This 3D CGI 52 x 11’ animated children’s show, a co-production with Italy’s Mondo TV, is titled YooHoo to the Rescue and launched on March 15th 2019 in 20 different languages in 190 countries.

YooHoo to the Rescue is one of the first Asian pre-school IPs to be chosen as a Netflix Original Series. YooHoo to the Rescue will also be shown on free-to-air channels in Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain, and Portugal.

As well as a renewed plush toy line based on the new series, a licensing and merchandising programme is planned across many other categories. There are several products ready for launch in territories worldwide, from a number of licensees including Panini (stickers, mini figurines, trading cards), Nuvita (baby products), Apple Beauty (toiletries), Dolfin (confectionery), Kennedy Publishing (magazines), and Dev Games & Yea Studio (digital app).

Jay Noh, director of content business, Aurora World, said: “Japan is a key market for the YooHoo brand and with awareness strongly boosted by the launch of the new series on Netflix, this partnership with Hamleys to promote the renewed plush line is perfectly timed.

“We are certain that the new YooHoo plush line will continue the success of the line that has been a best-seller since 2007.”

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent some six years with both ToyNews and Licensing.biz, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@bizmedia.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobHutchins3 if ranting is your thing...

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