Mark Hilder, product development manager at Aurora World, explains why its Gruffalo ranges helped ‘ease open’ the doors to national buyers.

Aurora World on how The Gruffalo has boosted business

What makes The Gruffalo property an attractive one to work with?

There are a number of elements, from simply having a great story and background, lovely characters and artwork to supportive brand owners. 

It is very important to have an active licensor and one that brings together all licensees that can provide support and creative input. A good style guide with lovely assets helps to create a definitive look that the consumer can identify with, thus buying into the whole brand/concept.

How have your Gruffalo ranges performed so far, and what lies ahead?

The ranges have been very successful, particularly The Gruffalo and Mouse in all sizes. 

Plush toys are very traditional and a perfect match for the target age group of The Gruffalo. We are expecting continued success over the years to come, particularly as the stories have established themselves and are now a must have in households with children.

What new launches do you have for this year?

We are focusing our launches around a new format of plush entitled Buddies, which aims to support the 15th Anniversary as well as providing a new size and format. 

These newest addition to The Gruffalo family include – The Gruffalo, Mouse and Gruffalo’s Child and are cute hand held size soft bean filled plush toys. We hope they will become collectable items in years to come.

The property is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. Why do you think the brand has endured for so long?

The Gruffalo is a fantastic story with very identifiable characters and lovely artwork which creates a USP that helps to give longevity. The support of the brand owners is very important and another key aspect is transition to animation, which has been fantastic and taken the story to new audiences and to another level with the quality.

Do you see The Gruffalo plush enjoying the kind of long-term success that the brand has?

Yes. Plush is a perfect partner/product for the target audience, and particularly a great accompaniment when reading the story.

I know from personal experience that my son absolutely had to hug his Mouse and Gruffalo when reading the book. We see plush as an integral part of this brand helping to both bring it ‘alive’ and maintain future success.

How has The Gruffalo helped to grow your business?

The Gruffalo has been a very important part of Aurora’s business over the last five years. It’s arrival coincided perfectly with Aurora’s growth plans in both the UK and Europe. 

As an UK licensed property The Gruffalo has been a must have product category and certainly helped ‘ease open’ the doors to national buyers. 

With the quality and details of design Aurora has given to the products, combined with fabulous sales, it has helped to demonstrate the abilities of Aurora World as a manufacturer and supplier of plush products and to lead the way in publishing properties within the plush category. We are very proud to be associated with such a lovely brand and one that grown into the wonder it is today.

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