Gormiti started life in 2005 when Giochi Preziosi bought the initial line of collectable mini-figurine monsters with an associated trading card game to market. Since then, the Italian toy group has worked hard to establish the brand as a worldwide licensing option and the TV series, which started in 2008, has been central to its strategy.
Laurent Fourcine, licensing manager, Giochi Preziosi Group explains: "What makes Gormiti a hit is the great quality of all aspects that makes a boys' brand successful: a great toy line concept and placement - Giochi Preziosi lead with the excellent work of its subsidiaries in Europe and its distributors in the rest of the world - and renowned licensees that are investing in the brand, strong coordinated marketing plans and the best possible placement on TV across the world.
“The original Gormiti collectable toys were the initial success of the brand and the TV series has elevated the concept of adventure, the battle of good versus evil, and the mysterious world that kids can immerse themselves in. The Giochi Preziosi Group has strongly invested in the Gormiti property since the launch of the toy line.”
The TV show, co-produced with Marathon Media, is currently in its third season, with 65 x 26-minute episodes in total. Zodiak Rights manages the TV sales worldwide, ensuring “that the series is televised via the best possible broadcasters.”
“Gormiti has a huge worldwide audience and having recently been launched in new markets, such as Latin America, Eastern Europe and Russia, the brand is growing from strength to strength,” Fourcine explains.
Season one launched in several new territories this year, including Poland on Zip-Zap, Brazil on TV Globinho and in Turkey on Minika. Gormiti will also debut in Australia on Channel 10 and in the Middle East on Spacetoon. These broadcast deals provide the key to unlock each territory’s licensing potential.
New additions in to the TV show and the toy line keep the brand at the forefront of kids’ minds in Europe.
Despite the recession, Fourcine says that Gormiti has displayed ‘durability’ in Western Europe: “This is due to the innovation in the toy range and in the TV series, which are renewed year on year to provide more new fresh content.
“The second and third (The Neorganic Evolution) seasons carry on the Gormiti adventures across the world on major broadcasting channels. The third series is already broadcasting in Italy and will be hitting screens on more major European TV channels, this autumn.”
GP uses local licensing agents to exploit existing relationships with retailers and TV channels. “We have many existing and trusted relationships with local & pan-regional licensees who we continue to pursue partnerships with, for Gormiti and with our other brands too.”
This policy is extended to licensees, too: “We like to work with those who have strong relationships with their local distributors and retail network.”
Fourcine says that Gormiti has “several hundred licensees” globally: “The number of licensees continues to grow rapidly, especially in Latin America and Eastern Europe. We have licensees for all crucial categories in Europe, and aim to achieve the same for all other territories that we are currently developing.
“We look for licensees that are willing to invest in marketing at retail and that are the most renowned in their category. Also we are keen to work with partners that propose products which will enlarge and improve the quality of the Gormiti lines year on year.”
A prime example of this is the food category, which has been a key driver for Gormiti, with Fourcine boasting “exceptional growth in Southern and Eastern Europe” for the products.
Although the royalties to be had from food licences are typically low, GP’s expansion programme benefits from the exposure these products bring: “Distinguished global brands, especially in the food sector, bring in additional TV advertising support and strong marketing campaigns for their new product range.
“With our expertise in the children’s and toy industry, we can recognise trends in the market, which allow us to define new concepts and ensure we have the best and latest products that all children want.
“The toy line is the essence of the brand but the publishing category is becoming almost as successful, due to children embracing the characters and the narratives.”
And what about the future?
“Now we will be focusing on Mexico and the Middle East. The licensing programme has just begun to progress in these areas and we see huge potential. Our next step will be Asia-Pacific where the interest of Gormiti is growing rapidly. We are currently in the process of defining the best TV broadcasters and licensing agents for these areas.”