The Gruffalo is taking further strides down under thanks to a new deal that will see Queensland’s The Ginger Factory, Illawarra Fly and Wildlife Sydney Zoo in New South Wales, and Rippon Lea Estate in Victoria come on board as the brand’s exclusive The Gruffalo Trail partners.
Under a new deal brokered by Magic Light Pictures’ Australian licensing agent, Merchantwise Licensing, the three sites will be the first in the world to activate The Gruffalo Spotter 2 app when it launches at the locations across the country next month.
The Gruffalo Spotter 2 app follows the runaway success of the original, ground-breaking Gruffalo Spotter app launched with Forestry England in 2017, when it was the first development of its kind. Using the very latest Augmented Reality technology, the free app brings to life the characters from the much-loved Gruffalo. This second app was produced by Magic Light Pictures, in partnership with Forestry England, developed and animated by Nexus Studios.
Families can learn about the characters from the picture book, written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, and interact with the 3D characters from the film on the self-led trails, which are lined with facts about forest animals, and fun activities. Through face and body recognition technology, the characters now look at the children directly, encouraging them to play along.
Mixing animated characters with the real-world environment, the app encourages children to get exploring, firing their imaginations and enabling them to have an all-new forest experience. The Gruffalo Spotter 2 app is available for free with no in-app purchases from the App Store and Google Play and requires downloading before visiting.
Meanwhile, a further deal executed by Merchantwise Licensing will see a Smiffys range of The Gruffalo dress-up costumes launch next month ahead of October’s Book Week in Australia. The ‘onesie’ costume available for sizes three to five years, will launch across a number of Australian retail destinations including Spotlight and Costumebox.
“We are thrilled to be announcing the partnership with The Ginger Factory as an exclusive Australian The Gruffalo Trail location in time for the global first launch of The Gruffalo Spotter 2 here in Australia. The trail continues to be as popular as when it first launched at Illawarra Fly, Wildlife Sydney Zoo and Rippon Lea Estate last year, so we anticipate it to be a must-do experience for those in and visiting The Ginger Factory on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast,” said Merchantwise Licensing’s general manager, Kerryn McCormack.
“For the first time, The Gruffalo dress-up costumes will be available here in Australia and we are pleased to be launching this range with Smiffys ahead of Book Week in October across a number of our key retail partners.”