George Caltsoudas says that Barbadango all started with a pesky little black cat that popped up in his sketchbook one autumn morning.
He had just set up his own studio in London after five years working for the agency FIVE33 on successful campaigns for Disney, Pixar, Universal, Marvel, and Paramount. He was hoping to create a purely personal project but Barbadango received so much positive feedback from friends and colleagues that he realised he had something very marketable in his hands.
Barbadango is an action fantasy that follows the thrilling adventures of Barbadango - a scrappy, cheating, alley cat with no friends and plenty of enemies who is given the chance to turn his life around when the feisty Autumn Gnome, Katrina, transforms him into the pyro-thrashing Red Knight. It’s an action adventure comic book for all ages and BLE will be the brand’s debut at any licensing show.
Barbadango is a reluctant hero and the key attributes of the property are its emphasis on superpowers, teamwork and gnome and troll mythology. There are talking animals in battle armour, strong females and plenty of the supernatural. The primary audience is boys but Caltsoudas thinks it will also appeal to feisty girls and young teens.
At BLE 2013, Caltsoudas is aiming to get licensing agencies interested in representing Barbadango and to showcase the strong franchise potential to other companies and retailers.
He says: “The difference with Barbadango is that, like all iconic hero franchises, his story unfolds in a book series. It's an on-going story with many characters and developing plot lines that all take place in a vast world imagined by me, much in the same vein as authors like Stan Lee and J.K. Rowling. That offers retail partners the ability to provide young consumers with a richer array of products. It is not a 'bare bones' brand and I feel it's important to distinguish that.”
You can see Barbadango on stand J47 at BLE 2013.