The number of Easter events attended by Rainbow Productions' licensed costume characters jumped by 33 per cent this year compared with the holiday period in 2008.
A total of 48 events featuring guest appearances from celebrity licensed characters took place across the UK over the long Easter weekend. And it seems that a wide range of sectors are looking to book character appearances to help extend their family appeal and boost footfall.
Within the leisure sector, families were able to meet and greet costume characters at locations including Chessington World of Adventures, Pleasure Beach Blackpool, Crealy's Adventure Park in Devon and Cornwall, plus Haynes Motor Museum in Somerset.
Meanwhile, shoppers at venues including Westfield London, the Victoria Centre in Southend and Freshney Place in Grimsby took advantage of Rainbow's 90+ portfolio of characters, as did a number of High Street stores, with examples including Hamleys, a selection of Game outlets and Sainsbury's.
As well as the retail and leisure appearances, Bob the Builder attended the Ideal Home Exhibition in London, while Bart Simpson visited a family fun outdoor event in Birmingham.
Rainbow's calendar is also looking busy going forward; it already has a number of appearances booked for the first May bank holiday weekend. For example, Noddy and friends will be returning to Harewood House near to Harrogate, Lazytown's Sportacus - one of the latest properties to join the firm's portfolio - will be appearing at Hornsea Freeport retail outlet and Windsor Racecourse, while Postman Pat and Jess the Cat are going to Battlefield Line Railway in Leicestershire.