Created by Platinum Films’ CEO Nigel Stone, Matt Hatter Chronicles is an action adventure comedy series aimed at five to ten year old boys.
Stone’s vision was apparently to produce a truly 360-degree brand using state of the art animation techniques and engaging storytelling inspired by movie classics. He wanted to create a brave young hero whose valiant spirit, taste for adventure and hi-spec gadgetry would identify with a modern generation of kids.
And, judging by the positive reaction at Brand Licensing Europe, it’s just possible he’s succeeded.
Principle photography on the $12 million HD animated series began in 2011. Season one and two represent 26 22-minute episodes, while a third season is already in development. In terms of broadcast, Matt Hatter Chronicles airs on ITV/CITV and Nickelodeon in the UK, Nickelodeon in Australia and New Zealand, RTE in Eire and Teletoon in Canada.
Always an encouraging sign, the global broadcast footprint is rapidly expanding with SABC, South Africa and JCC (Al Jazerra Children’s Channel) in Arabic territories recently acquiring the series. A successful MIP Junior and Mipcom in Cannes earlier this month means more announcements are also due shortly.
In terms of licensing, ITV Studios Global Entertainment (ITVS GE) is representing the rights for merchandising, publishing, promotional and home entertainment in the UK, Eire, Australia and New Zealand.
To date, Penguin is on board for publishing, Topps has signed up for trading cards and sticker collections, Titan will be producing a range of comic magazines in print and digital formats, while a DVD launch is also planned for 2013. There is also tremendous interest in the brand from a toy point of view.
“Matt Hatter Chronicles is fast becoming one of the hottest boy properties,” Stone tells Licensing.biz. “The combination of schoolboy hero Matt versus his nemesis the evil Lord Tenoroc, smart digital content and naturally toyetic realms, vehicles and props – such as Matt’s Multivision Specs and Cell Blaster – are ideal for creating a unique and exciting range of products.”
Platinum has also invested in a fully interactive website, phase one of which launched last month and received 50,000 hits in its debut weekend. The site, which features over 200 pages of content, has been launched as a virtual destination for fans to ‘explore, find and discover’. It includes games, activities, downloads, collectables, gossip and secret info on the characters. Fans can also unlock hidden content from around the site. Phase two of the website will tie into the roll out of the 2013 M&L programme.
So, what makes Matt Hatter different? In such a crowded market, what will make it stand out?
Stone explains: “In a saturated market, Platinum has ensured it has created a property that has immediate stand out appeal and longevity. Platinum are passionate about creating ground-breaking global children’s brand that are truly 360-degree in their approach, innovative and above all, made for and loved by kids. The retail response has been tremendous and there is definitely a buzz about the brand.”
The rest of 2012 will be focused on securing first class licensing and retail partners and consolidating the relationships in the build up to the UK M&L launch in 2013. And longer term? “The long-term strategy is to build the Matt Hatter Chronicles brand as a global franchise and for Matt Hatter to become a household name for budding schoolboy heroes all around the world,” Stone concludes.