Preparations are being made for the significant relaunch of the children’s brand, Chuggington as it readies to return to screens and the toy aisle via its master toy partnership with Alpha Group.
IP owner, Herschend Entertainment Studios is expanding its leadership team with Natalie Setton, who joins the team as vice president of commercial, content distribution and licensing. Setton will lead all sales, licensing, marketing and retail support for the brand.
She will also head up the brand’s live events and location-based entertainment programme, while working alongside Julie Phillips, who serves as vice president of development and production, and as an executive producer on Chuggington’s new launch season.
This executive team is being led on an interim basis by Peter Schube, former President of The Jim Henson Company and COO of Illumination Entertainment.
Chuggington was acquired from its UK parent company, Ludorum PLC, in December last year. The children’s animation celebrates its 10th anniversary next year with a full-scale global relaunch and the premiere of season six in spring 2020.
A new toy programme will be led by its master toy partner Alpha Group, whose product line will debut in autumn next year. The new toy line will bring innovation to train play as fans are given the opportunity to re-enact the series’ adventures like never before with universal track sets and trains from the Chuggington world.
The brand reintroduction will also be supported with refreshed and all new creative assets, a special mini-hub website, broadcaster support, direct-to-consumer campaigns, promotional events, and global brand partnerships.
“With the addition of our media business, Herschend Entertainment Studios has joined an elite group of companies with the capability to build 360 degree, evergreen franchises,” said Phillips. “This ability positions us well to offer fresh and exciting kid’s entertainment as we develop or acquire new intellectual properties, allowing us to connect with kids and families beyond traditional media.”
Setton said: “I’m excited to collaborate with the amazing team at Herschend Entertainment Studios to develop the commercial business for the company, working closely with Peter and Julie on Chuggington and other properties that we develop.
“We’re all excited for the relaunch of Chuggington. We know that there is still strong demand in the market for the brand, and we’re looking forward to establishing new partners across multiple key categories.”
Chuggington seasons one through five rolled out across 178 territories in 36 languages and generated close to $1 billion at retail globally. Fan engagement for Chuggington continues to be strong across digital with over 1.5 billion watch time minutes on YouTube and 22 per cent year-on-year growth.