Guide to children's print media

Lewis Tyler

By Lewis Tyler

April 23rd 2012 at 6:38PM
Guide to children's print media

The last round of ABCs showed children's print media escaping the circulation falls seen in other entertainment industries, with high flyers including Moshi Monsters Magazine, Egmont?s Disney titles and Redan's Fun to Learn Peppa Pig. Samantha Loveday runs down the names you should know in the kids? publishing sector?


01743 364433

Redan was established in 1991 and specialises in pre-school and primary girls. It says it is the leading independent publisher for the pre-school mag sector.

Fun to Learn Peppa Pig is currently number one in the pre-school charts with an ABC of 76,834, followed by Fun to Learn Friends (74,284). In addition, Sparkle World is the best selling magazine in the primary girls sector with an ABC of 66,752. The firm also has FTL Favourites, FTL Ben & Holly, FTL Bag-O-Fun, Peppa Pig Bag-O-Fun and FTL Discovery, plus Sparkle World Bag-O-Fun and Girls & Co.

Redan has already launched two new titles this year – Sparkle World Bag-O-Fun and Girls & Co.

The firm has the standard ad options such as full-page ads and inserts, while it also offers advertisers the chance to design posters, perforated activities and to sponsor whole workbooks. In addition, Redan has introduced QR codes in print which link through to online content such as sizzlers, trailers or games.

“Magazines have the longest lifespan of all media outlets,” says Julie Jones, Redan’s publishing director. “The advantage that magazines have is that they can be read over and over again and can be referred back to.
“Children, especially pre-schoolers, are the one area of society where online entertainment is still secondary to printed material. Young children may not be able to use a keyboard or follow online instructions, but they can all turn pages and use crayons. Parents are also wary of online content for younger children and encourage the consumption of books ad magazines as a safe and easily monitored learning environment.”


020 8433 1200

Immediate Media was created in November 2011 after Exponent Private Equity acquired the magazine business from BBC Worldwide and combined it with specialist publisher Origin Publishing and digital platform, Magicalia. In ABC terms, the firm has a 58.4 per cent share of the pre-school sector.

In terms of retail sales, Immediate Media has the biggest three titles in the children’s market – Cbeebies Weekly, Doctor Who Adventures and Girl Talk. Other titles include ITNG, Octonauts, Something Special, Waybuloo, ZingZillas, Top of the Pops and All About Animals among others.

A number of new launches are planned for 2012 including a Mike the Knight magazine.

Display, advertorials, loose/bound inserts, covermounts, sponsored supplements, posters, wall/sticker charts, competitions and story books. In pre-school, since January 2011 Immediate has worked with Hasbro, Lego, Tomy, Mattel, Bandai, Character Options, Golden Bear and Spin Master. 

In the pre-teen category, the firm has a strong relationship with Crayola, with recent activity including a cross promotion to drive both Girl Talk and the Crayola Catwalk Creations product range. Immediate ran a competition to ‘Be a Crayola Creations Fashion Designer’, asking readers to sketch their own outfit.

Toni Round, MD of Youth & Children’s titles, believes that the kids’ magazine market is still vibrant due to the amount of exciting new brands and innovation.
“Magazines offer the reader a very different experience to that of video games and TV and are enjoyed at a very different pace to many other forms of entertainment,” she says. “Parents too are hugely supportive of magazines as they appreciate that this is a medium that encourages children to learn and to interact. Among older children, particularly boys, magazines are supported by parents who see them a good way to encourage their children to read.”


020 7761 3500 

Egmont is the UK’s largest specialist children’s publisher for babies to teens, with children reading through over 30 million books, magazines, e-books and apps each year.

In terms of licensed titles, Egmont boasts Ben 10, Disney & Me, Disney Princess, Tinker Bell, Toy Story, Cars, Dora the Explorer, Barbie, Thomas & Friends, Fireman Sam and Bin Weevils in its portfolio. Its own brand range includes We Love Pop, Toxic, Go Girl, Animal Cuties and its All About line, which publishes titles such as All About ZhuZhu Pets and All About Playmobil.

The firm’s most recent launch is Thomas Express, which includes activities, two giant posters and gifts.

Display space, advertorials, ‘surveytorials’, campaigns, sponsored fashion shoots, tip ons, bookmarks, sampling and covermounts, posters, stickers and contract publishing among others. It has worked with several toy firms recently.

“Unlike other mediums, magazines are actively purchased and involve personal interaction, making any ads within the magazine a direct conversation with the targeted reader and, therefore, considerably more effective,” says David Riley, MD of Egmont Publishing Group. “Children consume media in all its forms, they do not compartmentalise like adults. Therefore, as long as magazines package and offer engaging and entertaining content, and, of course, the very important gift, they will remain relevant in a child’s world.

“Our ongoing research and work with schools helps us keep up to speed with how children are thinking and what they want from their magazines.”


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Generations of children have grown up reading The Beano, The Dandy and Commando, with DC Thomson having been established since 1905.

The firm’s line-up contains a mix of comics, magazines and teenage titles and, while mostly based on its own IP, it also has licensed magazines. The previously mentioned The Beano, The Dandy and Commando share shelf space with BeanoMax, Animals & You, Animal Planet, The Official Jacqueline Wilson Magazine, Shout and WWE Kids.

The firm recently launched apps for The Dandy, The Beano and Animal Planet, while Commando – including digital subscription options – also has an app. Android versions of all of these are due in 2012, while the firm is also working on a new series of animation Dennis and Gnasher. New commercial and marketing partnerships are planned, too – including The Beano with Divine Chocolate, Wembley Stadium and The FA and Vision Express, while it will also be continuing its relationship with The National Trust.

John-Paul Murphy, brand marketing, consumer entertainment, DC Thomson, says: “It’s important to underline the flexibility owning our own IP gives our work with commercial partners. Also, working with the likes of The Beano and The Dandy is extremely newsworthy.” The firm enjoys long-standing commercial relationships with Lego and Nintendo.

Creative options include front cover integrations, bespoke comic strips, advertorials, gatefold covers, die-cut character cut outs, competitions, home page takeovers online and centre spread pop ups.

“Parental trust, longevity, integrity, placing the child reader at the centre of everything we do – but also because children’s comics and magazines can be an essential partner in children’s literacy,” explains Murphy. “Parents, grandparents and teachers are always searching for ways to encourage children into reading and it isn’t always easy.

“We have a lot of research evidence, as well as scores of anecdotal feedback that comics, particularly, are the ‘missing link’ between picture books and chapter-based reading, especially for young boys.”


020 8295 5355

Skyjack was formed in 2009 to provide print-based contract publishing services to the entertainment media industry, with its client list including Mind Candy, Cartoon Network, Lego, Nintendo and Topps among others.

The firm publishes the official Moshi Monsters Magazine in partnership with Mind Candy – which is currently the number one kids title in the UK, with an ABC of 162,838. Localised versions of the title launched in Australia and New Zealand in the latter half of 2011, followed by the US and Canada earlier this year. The company also publishes the video game title Megaton.

The firm has a number of projects in the pipeline for 2012, with the success of its Moshi Monsters title opening up a number of creative doors.

On Moshi Monsters Magazine, the firm currently only works directly with official licensees – including Vivid, Mega Bloks and Bazooka Candy – to offer advertising pages, editorial content and covermount options. With Megaton, it has collaborated with toy, video games, movie and collectables firms on both advertising and advertorial packages across print and online.

“The sheer number of print titles in the kids’ magazine market allows toy companies to reach an extremely broad audience, giving them much more bang for their buck,” says Matt Yeo, Skyjack’s MD. “Advertisers who target key titles have the opportunity to gain awareness from a large number of children and parents alike. Another advantage to advertisers is that they’re able to spotlight their products directly to kids in magazines that already have established and regular readerships.
“Where kids’ magazines are concerned, it’s still a market where having physical (and tactile) products is essential for stimulating young minds, and there are many ways of enhancing that print offering, for instance with exclusive digital content.”


01892 500100

Panini UK has a diverse range of sticker and trading card collections from football to entertainment and licensed properties. The firm also specialises in children’s and teenage magazines, as well as collector’s editions.

Titles include Doctor Who Magazine, Scooby-Doo, Astonishing Spider-Man, Disney Presents, Avengers Assemble, Looney Tunes Presents, Postman Pat and Spider-Man Magazine among others.

The firm launched Disney Club Penguin Magazine in February and will also be rolling out titles for ThunderCats and Power Rangers in the next couple of months.

Panini has a number of options from full-page ads to double-page advertorial spreads, inserts, tip-ons, posters, competitions and gatefold covers. It has recently worked with toy companies including Bandai, Hasbro, Mattel, Mega Bloks and Jakks among others.

Also look out for…


01428 601020

Voted the number one Independent Publishing Company of the Year 2010, Signature was also shortlisted in the awards for 2011. Key titles include Pony Pals, Easy Peazy, My Little Pony, Dinomite, It’s Pirates Magazine, Girls Love Sylvanian Families, Turbo Xtreme and Pony among others.


020 7803 1922

The comic specialist boasts properties including The Simpsons, Star Wars, Transformers, Spongebob Squarepants and Batman in its portfolio. In magazine terms, it publishes Star Trek Magazine, Star Wars Insider and Supernatural Magazine.


020 7565 3000

The content marketing agency has a specialist kids team, and mainly specialises in bespoke contract publishing. Recent launches include Dora’s Little Cooks Collection with Nickelodeon.