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Herschend taps Alpha Group as global master toy partner for Chuggington

Toymakers, Alpha Group has been named the global master toy partner for season six of the popular children’s animated series, Chuggington. The multi-year collaboration will see Alpha launch a toy range worldwide from 2020.

The appointment was made by the Chuggington brand owner, Herschend Entertainment Studios who acquired the property from Ludorum in December last year.

Alpha Group, the Chinese toy and animation company with ten global offices and distribution to over 100 countries, will develop a broad range of toys across vehicles, track sets, radio control, plush, games, electronics, smart toys, novelty, and seasonal products.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2020, Chuggington is enjoyed by pre-schoolers on A-list broadcast networks and key streaming platforms in over 178 countries across the globe, and the brand has generated over $1 billion at retail from licensed products.

The toy launch spearheads the licensing and retail program for Chuggingtonwhich will be fully coordinated with the content focus from season six, offering new and exciting creative opportunities to bring the Chuggington franchise to life.

“Following Herschend Entertainment Studios’ acquisition last year, we are investing heavily to develop the brand as a true evergreen franchise,” commented Julie Phillips, HES vice president.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with a best-in-class company like Alpha Group with their innovation, state-of-the-art design capabilities and manufacturing facilities, and a global footprint.

“As we celebrate Chuggington’s tenth anniversary in 2020 and prepare to move the property into its second decade, we are perfectly aligned with our partners to ensure that we continue to refresh and grow the brand to entertain children for years to come.”

Mark Slater-Hyndman, head of UK and Ireland for Alpha Group, added: “Chuggington’s heritage as a beloved animation and strong consumer products brand was reason enough, but Herschend’s passion and vision for the global franchise is what makes this opportunity so exciting,”

“At Alpha, we are honoured to be able to bring fans into the World of Chuggington like never before, through innovations that will surprise and delight.”

Fan engagement for Chuggington is high across digital with over 1.5 billion watch time minutes on YouTube and 22 per cent year-on-year growth. Over 45 million apps have been downloaded to date. HES has developed plans to extend the brand’s reach by leveraging both its global fan base and Herschend’s portfolio of media, themed entertainment, and experience-based businesses.

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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