TOY FAIR 09: BBC reveals 3rd & Bird partners

BBC Worldwide has signed two new licensees to develop and distribute pre-school property 3rd & Bird.
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BBC Worldwide has signed two new licensees to develop and distribute pre-school property 3rd & Bird into the UK wood and wheeled toy market.

Following the announcement of Fisher-Price as master toy licensee in December, BBC Worldwide has inked deals with DanJam for wooden toys and MV Sports for wheeled toys with product set to launch in 2010.

BBC Worldwide holds the global distribution rights including programme distribution, DVD and merchandising for 3rd & Bird! which is produced by Little Airplane Productions, creators of the phenomenally successful The Wonder Pets.

The series has been created in bold and colourful photo-puppetry animation – a style of animation created by Little Airplane – and is aimed at three to five year old children.

Julie Kekwick, Senior Licensing Manager for Toys at BBC Worldwide said: "3rd & Bird! is proving extremely popular on CBeebies at the moment which is a great platform to gauge interest in the property. With a raft of new licensees signed up to develop the brand further into toys and other apparel, we’re confident 3 & Bird! is going to shake a few feathers in the pre-school licensing arena."

DanJam’s 3 & Bird! range will include wooden stacking toys, pull along vehicles, play sets and musical instruments.

MV Sports will develop a range of 3rd & Bird! inspired wheeled toys, including trikes, scooters, and ride-ons.

Warren Traeger, director of DanJam Toys, added: "Following the success of the wooden In the Night Garden range in 2008, we are thrilled to be partnering with BBC Worldwide again on 3rd & Bird! It’s such a fun and vibrant brand that it lends itself perfectly to the development of wooden toys. With a planned retail launch of spring 2010, we look forward to presenting the initial range to customers later in 2009."

Phil Ratcliffe, sales and marketing director, MV Sports commented: "MV are delighted once again, to be working with BBC Worldwide on this exciting new property. For MV, 3rd & Bird ticks all the right boxes in terms of television platform, licensing potential and intrinsic appeal. Our product range will reflect the charm, humour and musical attributes of this great new pre-school show."

Fisher-Price’s product line will debut in spring/summer 2010 in the UK with the roll-out in other markets, including the US, expected to follow. Under the multi-year master toy licence, Fisher-Price has global rights (excluding Asia) to develop pre-school, infant and toddler toys including electronic and non-electronic plastic figurines, toys, vehicles, play sets and feature and standard plush.

Interest in 3rd & Bird - which centres on a community of birds that live, learn and play in the branches of a beautiful tree – continues to grow with a raft of new licensees already confirmed and the BBC Worldwide team on hand at Toy Fair to discuss the property in greater detail.

BBC Children’s DVD will release the first DVD of the series on March 30th 2009, containing eight episodes under the title 3rd & Bird: Bird’s the Word! Priced at £12.99, and available from all good retailers in time for Easter gifting, the DVD is the first line of merchandise from this new animated property.

BBC Children’s Books and BBC Audiobooks will launch its publishing ranges to time with the first line of toys in spring 2010. The ranges will include audiobook, storybooks, novelty and sound books.

Aykroyds and TDP Licensing has been signed for Nightwear and Underwear to launch the range in spring 2010. Also in clothing, Roy Lowe and Sons has agreed a deal for socks and William Lamb will develop wellies, slippers and trainers.

Character World will produce branded bedding including curtains, beanbags, beanchairs, cushions, towels, ponchos, sleeping bags, fleece blankets and rugs which will launch in autumn 2010. H&A has been signed up for toiletries; the range will include toiletries, textiles, bath toys and accessories. Spearmark will produce Homewares and Lighting with a range including tableware, lunch bags, waterbottles and a range of lighting. Products will launch spring 2010 and a2010.

Ravensburger has been appointed to develop a range of puzzles and card games with plans to launch by early 2010.

Finally, Danilo is also on board and will produce a range of greeting cards and calendars for spring/summer 2010.

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