This year has seen Taffy sign several new deals and debut a number of shows – all to critical acclaim. However, the firm’s president of worldwide consumer products and marketing, Cynthia Money, believes its biggest achievement to be the successful integration of the European and US-based consumer products teams into a stronger global organisation. And she has big plans going forward, too.
“My goal is to make Taffy Entertainment one of the largest and best consumer products organisations in the world,” she tells Licensing.biz. “We intend to be a truly global organisation, with brand managers empowered to make decisions anywhere in the world and be supported by colleagues in any number of territories worldwide.
“We’re very well positioned to make this happen in less than five years, for a variety of reasons. Primarily, we’re a European-based company with a vast knowledge of and strong presence in the US market, which still is a driving force. However, I believe most of the industry’s growth in the next five years will be outside the US and will hinge on the ability to adapt to the multiple entertainment platforms that are now being developed.”
Indeed, Taffy has enjoyed significant growth in the new media area this year. It helped to launch Kabillion, the new kids’ video on demand and broadband entertainment service in the US, while the Taffy Kids channel debuted in Europe both on linear TV and on mobile.
On top of this investment in new media, the consumer products licensing group has also enjoyed success with more traditional methods. Four new brands have been introduced: Bobby’s World, Growing Up Creepie, Hero: 108 and Mix Master, and Money is confident heading into the New Year.
“Growing Up Creepie has enormous breakout potential in 2008,” says Money. “It will debut on Nickelodeon in the UK, France, Japan, Australia and most of Europe in 2008. It’s a great show, anchored by a central character whose unique look and attitude has strong appeal to both kids and tweens.
“Code Lyoko will continue to grow in 2008. Between the new video games coming out, the CD soundtrack and new apparel entering the retail market, we’re anticipating its success will reverberate to additional territories and lead to further interest among potential new licensees worldwide.
“Geronimo Stilton is another brand we anticipate will have a significant impact in 2008. This is an established literary property in the US and worldwide, but it has not had a comprehensive licensing programme until now. Multiple millions of Geronimo books have been sold worldwide and this beloved brand will hit all the right notes for retailers who are looking for proven properties.”
Being part of the MoonScoop Group is obviously a huge advantage, too, as this ensures a strong pipeline of content. However, Money is looking for third party brands that the firm can be “passionate about and are backed by people who are similarly passionate about their brand”.
It seems that 2008 is shaping up to be another strong year for Taffy, and Money is confident: “Taffy Entertainment and the other companies that are part of the MoonScoop Group are positioning themselves to be adaptable to the various new media and this will be key to our future successes.”