Since the very first Asterix comic was launched in 1959, a whopping 350 million books in the series have been sold worldwide.
The brand’s success speaks for itself. The iconic Asterix and Obelix characters have spawned three live movies, eight animated films and a leisure park in France, Parc Asterix, which draws almost two million visitors every year.
Notably, a new attraction called Oziris launched at the theme park in April – one of the highest roller coasters in Europe.
And there’s plenty more to come. With the 35th comic annual out worldwide in 2013, followed by a new computer generated movie in 2014, you can expect buzz to increase in the months and years ahead.
Asterix brand owner Les Editions Albert René says it’s already working with over 100 licensees, and is on the lookout for a master toy partner in time for the launch of the 2014 movie.
Unlike similar cartoon brands, Asterix spans generations. And its global appeal means it lends itself to a host of categories.
“Because our first book was released in 1959, we are speaking to all family members – parents, grandparents and kids,” Asterix international licensing manager Yannick Guitot told Licensing.biz.
“I know that parents love to share Asterix with their kids because they have also grown with Asterix. We are really a familial and ongoing brand. Kids discover our universe when they read, so when they are around six years old.
Guitot added: “We are a really expanded brand with many projects – publishing, licensing, animation, live movie, leisure parks…
“In terms of toys we are working with Jemini, Ravensburger, Cartamundi, Mondo and Plastoy.
“Apparel is also a key category for us. We have done a global deal with Benetton, Oysho. We are working also with local partners in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Eastern Europe and Germany.
“Asterix is very strong the food category, too. We have been working for a very long time with Macdo, United Biscuit and Unliver.”
The comic books are the most well known Asterix products, and are translated into more than 110 languages.
But in some countries the movies are more popular. This is the case in Russia, where there is currently no Asterix publishing operations.
In 2013, Les Editions Albert René is expecting to start a new publishing and licensing program in India, China and The Middle East with local languages.
The Asterix brand is also developing in Europe, through licensing agents in Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal, and Greece. It’s now expanding to more territories with new licensing agents such as CPL for Mexico, Peru, Guatemala, Chile and Venezuela, IMC for Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia, Start Licensing for the UK, ITC for Brazil and Asiana Licensing for South Korea.
Further discussions are in progress with territories including India, Israel, Turkey and Russia. Meanwhile, new toys – including fast food promotional products – are in the works.
Proof enough that the Asterix brand has come a very long way since it was established in 1959 by designer Albert Uderzo and scriptwriter Rene Gosciny.
Who are the global licensing agents for Asterix?
In France, Les Editions Albert René manages the Asterix brand directly. It works with several agents across the globe including the following:
Germany, Austria and Switzerland: Euro Lizenzen
Benelux: License Connection
UK: Star Licensing
Italy: DIC 2
Spain and Portugal: Mendia Licensing
Mexico and Central America: CPL
Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay: IMC Licensing
Brasil: BR Licensing
South Corea: Asiana Licensing
Scandinavia and Eastern Europe: Plus Licens
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