Rocket Licensing, the UK and Ireland licensing agent for Beano, has highlighted the success of a summer-long partnership with the National Trust and its themed family event at Mottisfont in Hampshire.
The Beano Time Travellers Exhibition, which launched on July 20 at this former priory and country estate and saw guest appearances from CBBC star Angelica Bell and the Beano illustrator Nigel Parkinson, has welcomed over 45,000 visitors so far.
Running until September 8, the exhibition is a show for all ages, whose centrepiece is a five room experience featuring 60 pieces of original artwork from the Beano archives and original Beano pop-art by Horace Panter.
Colourful covers and special editions are also on display, showing the timeline of Beano from its beginnings more than 80 years ago to the present day.
A further special feature of the exhibition is a bespoke comic strip of Mottisfont itself, in which Beano kids go back in time to the former Priory. But this is no ordinary comic strip: it’s a giant frieze on the walls of the property’s visitor reception building.
The show also reveals insights into the comic-making process, from initial artist’s sketches to final prints. For the collectors, there’s vintage merchandise and, for fans old and young, photo opportunities, dressing up (courtesy of Beano licensee Rubies) and comics to read.
In the garden, families can set out on the Beano Time Travellers trail, during which they can Join the Bash Street Kids, Dennis and Gnasher, and Minnie the Minx on an interactive adventure. There’s also a display of Beano product in the gift shop, which includes a gifting range from Star Editions and books from Bonnier Publishing.
The Beano Time Travellers Exhibition with the National Trust celebrates a national treasure, as the much-loved comic approaches the publication of its 4,000th issue this September. Trusted by four generations of parents and loved by kids, the Beano comic, which averages a monthly readership of 400,000, has introduced children to a universe of iconic characters including Dennis and Gnasher, Minnie the Minx and Bananaman.
Beano Studios launched in 2016 to drive the brand into new markets while producing entertainment across a range of content including TV, digital and film. The international Emmy nominated series Dennis & Gnasher: Unleashed! became CBBC’s highest-rated animation at launch with a second series currently in production, and a live musical adaptation will tour the country next year.
Beano is uniquely placed in the UK market, boasting a licensing list that already includes gifting, dress-up, houseware, novelty toys, jewellery, fine art and more.
Beano has also partnered with a number of major names, including fashion designer Stella McCartney, retail giant Amazon and global lifestyle brand Ted Baker. Rocket is targeting a number of additional areas for this iconic brand including daywear, games and puzzles, stationery, toy, food gifting and confectionery.
Rob Wijeratna, joint managing director of Rocket Licensing, said: “This wonderful display of artwork through the years and fun family trail has, unsurprisingly, been extremely well-received and this underlines the strength of the Beano brand – a strength that has now been translated into a thriving – and growing – licensing programme. This is an exciting time for one of the longest-running and most successful children’s brands, and its fans – of all ages.”
Angeles Blanco, director of global licensing at Beano Studios, added: “It has been fantastic to partner with the National Trust for the Beano Time Travellers Exhibition which is both a wonderful tribute to a British cultural icon and a vibrant celebration of a modern, vibrant entertainment property with reach across multiple media and wide-ranging licensing and retail success.”