Xilam's Marie-Laure Marchand on the importance of BLE

Xilam’s raft of kids’ series are all enjoying growth following the appointment of new licensing agents. Marie-Laure Marchand, SVP of global consumer product and media distribution at Xilam Animation, details why Paprika lends itself to new toys and how crucial BLE is.
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How has this year been so far for Xilam?

Well it’s a very exciting time. We have appointed licensing agents across the globe on our flagship property Oggy & the Cockroaches and are preparing to launch three new seasons on TV.

In total, we now have six licensing agents, including Italy (Discovery Kids), India (Dream Theater), IMC (Latin America), Empire (South East Asia), Active Merchandising (Germany) and Russia (Brand4rent), with more to be announced soon. We are co-ordinating with them and our TV partners to deliver extensive marketing plans in each region.

You guys are heading to BLE this year. Why is BLE such an important show for you? 

BLE is extremely important to us because it really is a European and International licensing show, and since we are building a true international plan for our brands, it is crucial for us to be present and meet licensees, retailers and licensing agents there.

We are committed to extending our strong digital presence and using this platform to create 360-degree brands.

Marie-Laure Marchand, Xilam Animation

Oggy & the Cockroaches, Zig & Sharko and Paprika are all picking up traction. Which property has proved to be popular with fans? 

As Oggy & the Cockroaches is an established, long-running TV show, it continues to be extremely popular both for our broadcasters and our digital platforms. Zig & Sharko is now following a similar trend and we are seeing a growing appetite for slapstick comedies.

Meanwhile, Paprika is still in production, and we will need to launch the brand on TV before we see any real results, but the look and tone of the series is so distinctive that we have already received a lot of interest from publishers, toy and games partners.

What can fans look out for when Lansay’s toys drop next year for Oggy? 

We’re delighted to be delivering fans a range of high-quality products when Lansay releases them at retail in France in Q1 2018. This will include traditional and electronic plush, a line of 3D plastic figurines, board and card game and also a remote control toy.

You mentioned that you are seeking new toy, game and publishing partners for Zig & Sharko. What are you looking for in particular in a new partner? 

As with any partnership, we look to share the same passion for this fun show with exciting outdoor toys and promotional partnerships. The show is already winning ratings in France, Italy, Germany and India, so a partnership would allow us to continue to extend the scope of the brand.

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Can we expect to see new toys launch for Paprika in the future? 

We absolutely hope so. Paprika is such an ideal pre-school property for licensing across both boys’ and girls’ key categories so we are definitely working to make it happen. After all, the property is so rich, the characters so endearing and the designs so unique that it will undoubtedly make great toys and games.

What’s next for Xilam? Are there any new animated series on the cards? 

We will be making big announcements at MIPCOM this year, so stay tuned.

Anything else you’d like to add? 

Our brands are performing very strongly on digital platforms. For example, the number of Zig & Sharko YouTube subscribers has more than doubled in the first half of 2017 to 500K followers, while Xilam as a whole has over 1.6 million YouTube subscribers and 1.4 billion views across 21 channels.

With that in mind, we are committed to extending our strong digital presence and using this platform to create 360-degree brands.

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