Beano Studios has detailed a raft of new licensing partnerships signed to celebrate 70 years since the first appearance of Dennis in the iconic Beano comic and what the firm has billed as a ‘momentous year for the brand.’
Leading the charge, Beano has partnered with its first global game developer and distributor, GameBake, which will develop a suite of Dennis & Gnasher: Unleashed gaming titles for worldwide social, web, and mobile platforms.
Meanwhile, fans will be able to get their own piece of Dennis history as Tower Mint releases a commemorative 50 pence coin before Royal Mail puts its own stamp on the celebration this July with the roll-out of a collaborative collection.
The latest announcements follow recent partnerships secured with the likes of the Scottish mill Prickly Thistle, which has developed bespoke Dennis tartan for a birthday collection of scareves, braces, and jumpers, and Rubies, who has renewed its deal with Beano for the next three years.
In food and drink, Harrogate Water will be launching a special, branded pack created for kids and featuring Dennis and Gnasher as well as educational information for kids on recycling. Meanwhile, Gulliver’s Theme Parks Limited will be running Beano and Dennis themed activities across all four of Gulliver’s attractions. Visitors will be able to enjoy storytelling, trails, character costume appearances in branded areas and experience specific Beano activities and rides.
Fans will also be able to visit Kew Gardens this Easter to enjoy a bespoke Beano trail across the Royal Botanical gardens full of Dennis fun and mischief.
In publishing,Bonnier Books is continuing its non-fiction and gifting publishing programme with two new titles launching this year: Beano Colouring Book in July 2021 and Beano Five-a-Day Joke Book in September 2021, these follow on the heels of the recently published Beanopedia: Ultimate guide to Beanotown and its inhabitants and The Dennis Collection a celebration of comic strips to mark the 70th anniversary.
Egmont Books recently announced its new publishing deal, joining Beano Studios’ licensee programme with an illustrated fiction series from the writers and illustrators of Beano with The Battle for Bash Street School published in July 2021 followed by a Christmas themed, There’s Snow Place Like Beanotown in September 2021.
The Ultimate Dennis and Gnasher Collection of the best recent comic strips, will also publish in autumn 2021.
Vanessa Andreis, franchise planning and partnerships director, Beano Studios, said: “Over the last 12 months we have added 21 new partners to our licensee programme and 2021 is going to our greatest year yet, as everyone joins to celebrate 70 years of Dennis. Fans will be able to find Dennis everywhere this year from retail to gaming, lunchboxes to theme parks and we are excited to continue growing and expanding the franchise with its unique mix of loveable mischief.”
Licensed home décor specialist Arthouse Ltd is developing a range of kids’ décor products, playfully designed for Dennis’ 70th anniversary year. Beano has also joined forces with award winning board game designer, Rachel Lowe, to produce a collection of Beano licensed puzzles, board games, and card games for Dennis and his Beanotown friends.
Rob Wijeratna, joint managing director, Rocket Licensing – Beano Studios’ licensing agent, said: “2021 and the birthday of the nation’s favourite mischief-maker is set to be a major celebration, with new partner offerings ranging from homewares to commemorative coins and theme-park activities to bespoke tartan.
“We are seeing this classic British brand go from strength to strength and are excited to see it grow further in this next decade of Dennis.”
Existing perennial Beano licensees Aykroyds for nightwear, Park Agencies for daywear and H&A for health and beauty will have products in retail to add to the birthday celebrations.
There will be a full year of brand activity with a national marketing campaign and a special-edition comic which will celebrate the role Dennis has played in generations of kids’ lives. The campaign will launch on Dennis’s birthday, Wednesday 17th March and run across the rest of 2021.