AUSTRALIA: New activity boosts Koala Brothers

Broadcast deals, licensees and new online store all bolster Spellbound brand.
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UK children's rights owner and producer Spellbound Entertainment has revealed a raft of new deals for its pre-school property The Koala Brothers in Australia.

Highlights include new broadcast deals and on-air presence, a consumer promotion, increased PR and media activity, the opening of the property's first online shop and the hiring of new licensees.

First up, Koala Books has been appointed as the new literary partner for the brand in Australia. Koala Books will publish a range of storybooks featuring the characters from the hit TV series, with the first four titles being Mitzi's Big Adventure, Ned's Buried Treasure, Archie's Loose Tooth and George the Magician. More titles are planned for 2009.

Jasnor has become the toy partner, rolling out new plush, while it will also distribute a line of plastic toys including a plane playset, bags, backpacks and umbrellas. Blue Opal, meanwhile, has acquired the rights to produce puzzles and games based on the series.

Finally on the licensing front, Northern Leisure has produced a Koala Brothers plan ride-on which is currently being rolled out to Westfield shopping centres across Australia via distributor Ride-On.

In addition to the new licensees, Spellbound is launching its first dedicated Koala Brothers online shop in the territory with ABC Retail. It will launch in time for Christmas.

To help boost the profile of the brand even further, Spellbound has teamed with Yarra Media, the publisher of Just Kidding Junior magazine, for a campaign designed to find Australia's 'Little Helpers'. Kindergartens and pre-schools from all over Australia were encouraged to show various ways in which they are helping others in their community.

Over 1,400 nursery schools across the territory entered the competition, with the winner being announced next month.

Marketing and PR agency 360 Degress Focus will manage the profile of The Koala Brothers across Australia to create increased exposure, while this will also be helped by ABC renewing its initial licence for the show. The public service broadcaster will now transmit the series until 2012.


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