Having forged a successful relationship with Artlist International through The Dog and The Cat, 4Kids Entertainment International has added The Pig to its portfolio of popular animal photography.
Like the previous puppy and kitten ranges, The Pig series will show its subjects photographed using a fish-eye lens to create close-range images on white backgrounds.
A number of different breeds of pigs have already been photographed and creation of a style guide is underway.
4Kids is in active discussions with a number of major licensees in key areas including plush, publishing, partworks, giftware, homewares, bedding, melamine and stationery.
"These are all areas where The Dog and The Cat have proved popular, and we believe The Pig can do the same," said Sandra Vauthier-Cellier, co MD at 4Kids.
The Dog, meanwhile, now boasts over 50 licensees across EMEA including Gosh as master toy in the UK. McDonald's has run three Happy Meal promotions with The Dog in the UK and The Continuity Company has also run a number of successful retail loyalty programmes across Europe and the Middle East.
Ubisoft has recently launched a video game on Nintendo's Wii Sony's PlayStation 2 formats.
The Cat portfolio is also rapidly expanding - De Agostini has taken a licence for 3D figurines in Italy and Eaglemoss had signed up for a partworks collection for a number of territories including the UK, Italy, France, Belgium and Switzerland.
"Pigs are intelligent, affectionate, curious and playful - a perfect fit for the market that took The Dog to its heart," added Stephen Gould, co MD at 4Kids. "We have high expectations for the brand, and for the UK and Eire, we're aiming for sales of textile and paper-based products to outstrip those of The Dog."