Big Bocca (stand 320) is an affiliated company of the Upper Deck group, specializing in the development, distribution and licensing of kids’ IPs. The firm was set up in 2006 as part of Upper Deck’s goal to become a truly integrated entertainment company.
The first show developed by Big Bocca in cooperation with animation studio Rainbow S.p.A and media company m4e was Huntik: Secrets and Seekers and the company is now planning a visit to Brand Licensing Europe to ramp up its UK licensees for the brand.
Marie-Laure Marchand, MD explains: “Big Bocca handles the UK merchandising rights directly an therefore exhibiting at BLE was almost mandatory to us to meet UK licensees and retailers. As a newcomer, we need maximum exposure for the brand.”
Huntik: Secrets & Seekers is an animated action adventure TV series (52 x 30”), targeted at six to 12 year-old boys. It centres on Lok Lambert, a teenager who dreams of adventure and comes across his missing father’s past by chance and discovers the magical world of Seekers.
The Huntik series sees Lok travelling the globe to unlock ancient secrets and collect the sought-after Titans in order to save the world from the domination of the evil Organisation.
Despite Big Bocca’s relatively short time in the industry, Huntik has so far enjoyed a successful launch around the world following its TV debut this year. The series is now airing in a number of key territories including the UK on CiTV, the US on CW4Kids, Italy on Rai2, Germany on RTL2, Benelux on Jetix, Spain on Antena3 Neox and ZAZ in Spanish-speaking Latin American companies.
A second series is now in production and the series has 40 licensees internationally, covering all major categories. Upper Deck played a part in the production of the property as the master toy licensee, building a Trading Card Game (TCG) alongside the animation. Upper Deck will also launch a toy line in autumn 2009 in Europe.
A Nintendo DS game from Rainbow Media will arrive in Q1 2010. To date, 800,000 mini 3D figurines have been sold in Italy and Tridimensional will develop and launch a new collection in September.
Tridimensional also preleased the first monthly comic magazine in Italy in February, selling more than 50,000 units every month. Panini is due to launch the English version in the autumn.
Italy also saw a Huntik novel published by Fabbri Editori last year, which proved such a success, tit is now part of the top ten best selling books at the publisher. A new novel is due for release in December this year.
So BLE will be used as a platform to expand the UK programme. Marchand explains: “Big Bocca’s stand design will be dedicated to the Huntik property. Visitors will be able to discover the Huntik world and see the products that have already been developed throughout the world.”
The firm will focus particularly on the new toy lines from Upper Deck, launching in the autumn. Other UK licensees on board so far include Panini for a monthly magazine and mini 3D figures, which will be backed with a high profile TV campaign.
Panini will also launch sticker albums in 2010 and E1 has acquired the DVD rights for season one and will be releasing the first title by the end of 09/beginning of 2010.
The firm is also in discussions with various companies for apparel, publishing, partwork, confectionery, interactive and stationery in the UK.
Marchand concludes: “We are looking for partners in a range of categories including bedding, nightwear, posters, promotion, board games, sport accessories and melamine.”