BBC Studios expands Bluey global licensing programme

Bluey, the Emmy Award-winning sensation that has been winning over preschoolers and families worldwide, is expanding its licensing programme with new partners. The new agreements include:

  • Ten new partners and renewal US & Canada licensing deals
  • New Latin America licensing agents appointed for Brazil, South and Central America
  • Five new UK licensing deals announced
  • Licensing agents appointed for Israel as 13 new EMEA licensing deals unveiled, including Ravensburger (France, Italy and Nordics) and a pan-European deal with HTI Toys (inc. UK)

These licensing agreements follow closely on the heels of the announcement of BBC Studios’ new global partnership with Hasbro for co-branded Monopoly Jr. and Trouble games along with Play-Doh. VTech has also announced details of its Bluey products which are set to go on sale this year in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK, with New Zealand and France to follow.

Widely lauded by parents and press alike for its heartfelt and funny portrayal of family life and celebration of play, the series follows Bluey, a 6-year-old Blue Heeler dog, who loves to play and turns everyday family life into extraordinary adventures that unfold in unpredictable and hilarious ways, bringing her family – including younger sister Bingo and parents Bandit and Chilli – as well as friends and community into her world of fun and discovery.

Season three of Bluey debuted on ABC TV in Australia in November 2021 and is set to be released globally on Disney platforms later this year.

U.S. and Canada

BBC Studios has shared new details on deals with Ball Bounce & Sport inc. dba Hedstrom, Berkshire Fashions, Centric Beauty, Daytime Enterprises, Disguise, Fathead, Heys International, Horizon Group, Mad Engine and Party City Holdings inc. for a range of new products spanning multiple key categories. From apparel and arts and crafts to party supplies, and more, the Bluey introductions will begin rolling out to major retailers across the US and Canada this spring.

Suzy Raia, SVP Consumer Products and Business Development, BBC Studios Americas, says: “Love for Bluey continues to soar all across the globe, and we’re excited to be teaming up with each of these category-leading companies to provide many new ways for preschoolers and their families to experience the fun and imaginative adventures that make the series such a standout.

“Consumer demand for Bluey products is very strong and we look forward to working with these partners to develop offerings that will enhance fans’ connection to the brand every day.”

New Bluey partners to introduce product this year include:

  • Ball, Bounce & Sport inc. dba Hedstrom – playballs, hoppers, sport ball, over the door hoop and bowling sets (US)
  • Berkshire Fashions – headwear, cold weather and rain accessories etc. (US)
  • Centric Beauty – bath and cosmetics (US)
  • Daytime Enterprises ­– costume character appearances to be led by Nelvana (Canada)
  • Disguise – new costumes and accessories following multi-year renewal agreement (US)
  • Fathead – wall graphics, standees, peel & stick wallpaper and decals etc. (US)
  • Heys International – bags & luggage, backpacks and lunch bags etc. (Canada)
  • Horizon Group – arts & crafts (US)
  • Mad Engine – apparel and accessories (US); apparel, sleepwear, underwear, hosiery and winter accessories, via Nelvana (Canada)
  • Party City Holdings inc. – party goods, balloons, Halloween costumes and accessories (US & Canada – via Nelvana in Canada)

In the US, Bluey has been a runaway hit since its 2019 debut. The standout series was Disney Junior’s #1 ratings driver with kids 2-5 in 2021. It also ranked as the #1 most-watched TV series in 2Q21 and a top 3 show every quarter in 2021. In addition, Bluey owned two of the top 10 cable telecasts of 2021 with kids 2-5.

In Canada, Bluey continues to rank #1 on Disney Junior with children 2-11 and kids 2-5 on La Chaine’s Disney Junior (Canadian French language channel). Bluey was also the #2 programme with children 2-5 on Disney Junior and kids 2-5 on Disney Channel’s Junior block.

Latin America

To further extend the footprint of the global hit through the region, BBC Studios appointed as its licensing agents Panaderia for Mexico, Lotus Global for Brazil and Tycoon for South and Central America (excluding Mexico and Brazil).

In Mexico, the Bluey licensing programme keeps expanding into other categories following Bandai’s very successful toy launch last year. Starting this June and extending into the autumn, new licensed assortments ranging from party goods to apparel and publishing will launch in Mexico, with the following partners: Granmark, Ruz, Stor, Union Kids, Novelty Corp and Penguin Random House.

The Bluey toys produced by global master toy licensee Moose Toys are distributed locally by Candide in Brazil and are expected to launch in Q3 2022. Apparel, accessories, publishing and party items will follow to market in time for Christmas. Later this year, even more fun and engaging Bluey products will be distributed locally by Imexporta in Chile and Peru; Caffaro in Argentina and Boing Toys in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Central America and the Caribbean islands.

Australia and NZ

In the series’ homeland, Australia, the well-established Bluey brand is booming, and continues to add to an impressive portfolio of partners across ANZ. 2022 kicked off with an incredible ‘Only On Airbnb’ partner experience which saw the iconic Heeler home recreated ‘for real life’ in Brisbane (generating 60 million+ social impressions), and was followed up with announcements that Bluey is the first ever Australian brand to partner with Colgate, won Preschool License of the Year at the Australian Toy Awards for the third year running, and that the Aussie-made stage show would be touring the U.S. following a wildly successful Australian run – with more major announcements to come soon in the FMCG space.

In Australia, Bluey remains the number one kids show on broadcast television and is the most-watched series ever on ABC iview. With season three already airing in Australia, the show has performed 2.3 times above timeslot average audience (total audience) and the new episodes achieved 14 of the top 20 broadcasts on free-to-air TV in 2021. Just this week, it was announced that 11 more Series 3 episodes will air in Australia from mid-June.

“Australia is the home of Bluey and fans here are absolutely buzzing about the new June episodes,” says Kate O’Connor, Head of Licensing and Brands, BBC Studios ANZ. “The second half of 2022 will bring more exciting Bluey news that we can’t wait to surprise our fans with!”

UK

Bluey is hugely popular with audiences in the UK. It was the most-watched programme on CBeebies for Q1 2022 with toys from both Moose Toys and Ravensburger making Bluey one of the hottest brands since its launch in shops last year and gaining the title of number-one new preschool toy brand in 2021 according to NPD data. Earlier this year Crayola released products in the UK, with sales already exceeding expectations. Building on this success, BBC Studios are announcing new deals with 8th Wonder (wooden toys), Spin Master (wooden puzzles – extending their US range into the UK), Moonpig (cards and gifting), Drew Pearson (accessories) and an expanded deal with Ravensburger (details below in EMEA section).

“8th Wonder is delighted to be working with BBC Studios on such a prestigious property,” says Louise Tyrer, Managing Director, 8th Wonder. “The Bluey wooden toy range will be fun, educational and produced using FSC certified wood. All product and packaging will be designed with sustainability in mind. With over 25 years’ experience creating distinctive, innovative wooden toys, we look forward to delivering an award-winning range through this fantastic brand.”

In addition, BBC Studios has just signed a new pan-European deal (inc. UK) with HTI Toys for large role play, cases, bubbles and outdoor toys.

Alison Downie, Global Licensing and Brand Director for HTI Group, says: “We are thrilled to be partnering with BBC Studios once again on another hugely popular preschool show. Bluey will be made very welcome here at HTI Toys and we are excited to develop a range of toys that complement Bluey’s love of play.”

Partners launching products in the UK this year include:

  • Character Options – Weebles and arts & crafts
  • Danilo – calendars, cards and gift stationery
  • H&A – health & beauty
  • MV Sports – wheeled toys
  • Stor – lunchboxes, bottles and tableware
  • William Lamb – footwear and bags

EMEA

Bluey continues to grow its licensing programme in EMEA and existing licensee Ravensburger has signed a new agreement with BBC Studios to cover France, Italy and Nordics and to expand its range of products in the UK including the introduction of proprietary games including Memory and Labyrinth.

 “We are delighted to extend our UK and Ireland contract for Bluey to France, Italy and the Nordic markets and to extend our very long standing and excellent partnership with BBC Studios,” says Tim Hall, Managing Director, Ravensburger. “We launched Bluey in the UK last autumn/winter and our puzzles were immediately best sellers in all the accounts where they are listed and that success continues to build. Bluey is a special property that young children and their parents adore. We look forward to further growth in the UK and Ireland and establishing the property in the new territories.”

BBC Studios has also newly appointed Mediogen as licensing agents for Israel; joining CLM (South Africa), France tv distribution (France), Maurizio Distefano Licensing (Italy), Partner Plus (Greece) and Plus Licens (Nordics, Baltics and CEE).

New Bluey licensees in EMEA include:

  • Diramix – stickers, sticker albums and cards (Italy)
  • Dolfin – seasonal confectionery (Italy)
  • Dulcop – bubbles (Italy)
  • Educa Borras – wooden puzzles and arts & crafts (France)
  • Grabo – balloons (Italy)
  • Graffiti – back to school and stationery (Greece)
  • Halantex – home textiles (Italy)
  • HTI Toys – large role play, cases, bubble toys and outdoor toys (pan-Europe inc. UK)
  • Liniex – scooters and scooter accessories (Nordics)
  • Multiprint – stamps, stationery sets and colouring sets (Italy)
  • Ravensburger – puzzles and games inc. Memory and Labyrinth (France, Italy and Nordics)
  • Showagent – meet & greet (Nordics)
  • Skybrands – apparel and home (Nordics)

About Tessa Clayton

A former Chief Sub of Red magazine, Tessa Clayton is the Digital Editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. As a freelance journalist she specialised in writing about parenting and family life, and has contributed to a wide variety of publications and websites including Tesco online, Mother & Baby, Livingetc, Junior, Boots Health & Beauty, Practical Parenting and babycentre.co.uk. Get in touch at tessa.clayton@biz-media.co.uk

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