Penguin Random House Children’s plans 120th birthday celebrations for Peter Rabbit

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter was first published in 1902 and since then the iconic rabbit in a blue jacket has gone on to win the hearts of millions of families around the world. The original Tale has sold over 46 million copies globally and has been published in 48 languages including Braille and Hieroglyphics.

Penguin Random House Children’s will be celebrating Peter’s 120th birthday with a suitably adventurous, fun-filled campaign, creating a wealth of opportunities for families to party with Peter throughout 2022.

The Owned Brands team at Penguin Random House Children’s will launch a purpose-driven PR and digital campaign, working with high profile partners and ambassadors in the outdoors space to reaffirm Peter’s continued relevance and appeal to young families. Peter Rabbit’s role as children’s ambassador for the Queen’s Green Canopy will see Peter supporting tree planting initiatives throughout the year whilst celebratory Picnics for Peter will take place during the summer supported by key partners and at locations throughout the UK.

“With an incredible legacy that has endured since 1902, we wanted to use this milestone for the brand to celebrate Peter Rabbit’s continued relevance and resonance with today’s families,” says Izzy Richardson, Global Director, Owned Brands, Penguin Random House Children’s. “Our ambitious, year-long series of birthday celebrations will enable us to connect parents, young children and fans with The World of Peter Rabbit, helping to continue Beatrix Potter’s legacy for a new generation. Through new immersive experiences, digital and social content, consumer products and publishing, everyone is invited to celebrate with Peter in 2022.”

Penguin Ventures, the licensing team at Penguin Random House Children’s, will be growing a number of existing product ranges throughout 2022 in the UK including new apparel collections with expanded retail placement from Dennicci as well as new gardening lines from Jardinopia. In addition DNC are confirmed to launch picnicware and online retailer My First Years is signed for personalised infant product. A number of special commemorative ranges will also launch across plush, apparel and gifting categories.

Penguin Ventures has also confirmed a programme of experiential activations in the UK offering families immersive events throughout the year. A brand new Peter Rabbit Story Time Trail will launch in March and tour libraries and gallery spaces across the country, with venues booked up until July 2023 offering little ones the chance to step into The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Meanwhile the first Peter Rabbit themed entertainment parties will launch in 2022, in a new deal with children’s party entertainers Captain Fantastic, combining party games, magic and plenty of Peter Rabbit’s trademark mischief.

In addition, Happy Birthday Peter Rabbit, a brand new stage production, will be launching at the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction in the Lake District next summer. The show encompasses music, puppetry and live action, offering audiences an exciting and memorable theatrical experience.

Outside of the UK, celebrations will include a major touring exhibition of Potter’s original Peter Rabbit artwork in Japan with exhibition partner Toei, marking the first time the collection will have left the UK. The exhibition will tour three major cities from March through to November and is expected to attract over 160,000 visitors, and will be supported by a national media campaign. Additionally, a new permanent Peter Rabbit English Garden will open at Fuji Motosuko Resort in a deal brokered by Sony Creative Products with Fujikyuko Co. Ltd. The attraction will include a café, shop and museum. A new Japanese publishing partner, Hayakawa, has also been confirmed, reflecting Penguin Random House Children’s strategy to bring the World of Peter Rabbit publishing to family audiences in this key territory for the brand.

In Australia, a collectable 120th anniversary stamp pack will be produced by Australia Post and consist of 12 commemorative stamps. The pack will be available in around 1,000 Australia Post stores across the country. In addition, plush partner Jasnor will be launching a range of a special edition Peter Rabbit plush to commemorate the anniversary.

“The birthday moment presents a fantastic opportunity for both our existing licensees as well as new partners in the UK and other key international territories,” says Susan Bolsover, Global Licensing and Consumer Products Director, Penguin Ventures. “We have been delighted with the way in which licensees, promotional partners and retailers are supporting this milestone moment, helping create memories for existing and new Peter Rabbit fans alike, be that through products, experiences or events. There is much more to look out for in 2022!”

Finally, Penguin Random House Children’s will be launching a range of commemorative publishing throughout 2022 including a picture book edition of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, featuring Beatrix Potter’s original text and iconic illustrations. This new large format will be perfect for families to share together, helping new readers discover Peter at his most adventurous. The Tale of Peter Rabbit will be released in picture book format in April 2022, and will be supported with a creative and high-profile Publicity and Marketing anniversary campaign.

About Tessa Clayton

A former Chief Sub of Red magazine, Tessa Clayton is the Digital Editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. As a freelance journalist she specialised in writing about parenting and family life, and has contributed to a wide variety of publications and websites including Tesco online, Mother & Baby, Livingetc, Junior, Boots Health & Beauty, Practical Parenting and babycentre.co.uk. Get in touch at tessa.clayton@biz-media.co.uk

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