Master Moley “will drive major toy lines” in licensing roll-out, but timing will be everything

The new British-made children’s property, Master Moley – that witnessed a successful premiere on WarnerMedia’s Boomerang channel just last month – has been the focus of ‘several proactive approaches from publishing and toy partners’, as the creative team behind it promises to be meticulous in its licensing strategy.

Master Moley made its debut in November as a TV special on the Boomerang channel that launched to more than 100 territories across EMEA. Following a ‘phenomenal start’, the show’s creator James Reatchlous is among the team now in production on a full Master Moley animated series.

The Misadventures of Master Moley will comprise 52 episodes and will continue the adventure of Master Moley and his friends. In addition to this, a feature-length film is also in development.

“Master Moley has got off to a phenomenal start,” Reatchlous tells ToyNews. “We’ve already received proactive approaches from both publishing and toy partners. We are in a good position and making sure each step that we take is exactly the right one for this unique property.

“All of the elements are there for a full, cross-category merchandise programme and as soon as the time is right, we’ll be in discussions with the key partners straight way.”

Master Moley follows the adventures of the titular hero, a mole residing under the foundations of Windsor Castle, who finds himself on far-flung escapades as children and audiences travel with him, exploring the world and different cultures.

Reatchlous has revealed that the new animated TV series will take place in different countries in order to “widen the appeal”. 

“The beauty of animation, of course, is that you can translate it into different languages,” he says. “We have a stellar British cast for the English-speaking territories, including Gemma Arterton, Warwick Davis, and Julie Walters, but we can cast amazing international actors for different languages and territories.

“It opens up enormous possibilities for Master Moley to become a truly global powerhouse.”

Hitting the global audience is a large box for Reatchlous and the team around him to tick off first, and the creator is being carefully savvy about the way in which he engages with it. Last month, the property made its first real licensing move when it launched itself onto the Roblox gaming platform.

“We couldn’t be happier with the Roblox computer game, it’s great fun and a fantastic way for children to find and engage with new content safely,” Reatchlous explained.

“We wanted to start building the brand outside of the TV space, and so we worked with the specialist agency Dubit to develop the Roblox game. This was a strategic move to go to where children already were to raise the brand recognition.”

Launching to Roblox before the TV special aired on Boomerang was Reatchlous’ strategy for building an organic audience for the brand before it made its on-screen debut.

“The game was a great success with over 60,000 plays in the first week, and for those that found the content via Roblox, it encouraged them to go and watch the animation on Boomerang,” he said.

“We have followed the launch with some great videos by Roblox influencers who have capitalised on the excellent start that we have made and grown our player base even further.”

The move has paid off for Reatchlous and the team who have cited “incredible response” and a “really strong start” for a property that began life as a passion project for this British creator. 

“I’m confident that this is just the starting point as we build our audience ahead of the launch of our commercial plans,” he added. “Ultimately, Master Moley is a brand which will be able to drive products from major toy lines to publishing, soft lines and home…

“But timing is key, and we have brought in a team of the industry’s leading professionals to ensure we get this right.”

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of ToyNews and its sister title, Licensing.biz. He has worked his way from Staff Writer to Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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