New content development, live experiences and merchandising will all be rolled out to help celebrate the 60 anniversary of the very first Paddington book.
The Copyrights Group – the licensing arm of the media firm Vivendi – has detailed its plans to mark the milestone year of the 1958 HarperCollins Children’s Books title, A Bear Called Paddington with a roster of consumer experiences.
Worldwide commemorative partnerships, limited edition and collectable products, new and refreshed classic lines, new publishing, special retail activities, anniversary windows, special events, exhibitions and even an ice show will make up the anniversary activity this year.
The celebratiosn kicked off this January when Great Western Railway named its new intercity express train after Paddington Bear author Michael Bond. In February the first of the exhibitions celebrating the anniversary launched in japan, hosting over 300 pieces of original Paddington artwork.
Meanwhile, the Eric Carle Museum in Massachusetts is also celebrating the anniversary with a special exhibition running from April to October this year.
New live events will launch internationally for 2018. In spring, Europa Park launced the first Paddington Ice Show in Germany, while in October Studiocanal will launch Paddington’s first Cine-Concert in London featuring the first film accompanied by a live orchestra.
Paddington has also been chosen by UNICEF to become their champion for children’s rights around the world and will support a series of campaigns in 2018. The character has also popped up in Germany’s Europa Park this year with a special Paddington Bear area, dedicated shop and VR ride.
Further more, the publishing home of Paddington Bear, HarperCollins Children’s Books has created a range of anniversary publishing and a programme of book related events for fans.
The publishing launches with Paddington at St paul’s, the final work of Michael Bond while a new edition f the first picture book Paddington will be issued, followed in the autumn with a new hardback edition of the original A Bear Called Paddington.
Sophie Kopaczynski, senior vice president of franchise management at Viviendi, said: “We are well under way to becoming one of the major brands in entertainment engaging fans of all ages thanks to our long term content development and our great partnerships.
“Viviendi’s various media platforms provide an opportunity for every member of the family to get to know Paddington in their own way.
“Over the years Paddington has been seen and loved in many different guises. With an upcoming TV show and exciting new events to come, 2018 is set to be another strong year for Paddington. Hold on to your hats as this year will take you through the past and look forward to the future.”