US: Bandai adds Pocoyo - ToyNews

US: Bandai adds Pocoyo

Firm inks master toy deal in the USA and Canada with ITV Studios Global Entertainment and Zinkia.
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The deal expands the firm's pre-school offering with a range that will be available to consumers from Autumn 2010 throughout the US and Canada. This latest deal follows Bandai’s success in Europe, where it already operates as Pocoyo’s European master toy licensee.

Tor Sirset, vice president of marketing at Bandai commented: "As Bandai aggressively expands into the pre-school arena, we’re looking for brands like Pocoyo, which is one of today’s highest quality pre-school properties, much loved by children and parents alike.

"Pocoyo embodies all of the characteristics we value as we grow our business: loveable, playful and fresh."

Aysha Kidwai, director of merchandising and licensing worldwide at ITV Studios Global Entertainment said: “We are very glad to extend our International partnership with Bandai to the North American market, after establishing some key supporting broadcast partners in this market for Pocoyo we have every expectation that this will be a successful and long term collaboration.

“Bandai are a major player in the global toy market and their support of this delightfully vibrant infant property demonstrates their commitment to developing quality brands.”

The licensing agreement follows recently announced TV deals with Univision for Spanish-language broadcast in the USA for Pocoyo season one and two and WGBH Boston for seasons one and two for English speaking syndication to the American Public Television (APT) market.

Marina Lum-Kang senior vice president of brand extensions at ITV Studios Global Entertainment concluded:

“Bandai is a pedigree company with a proven track record of high quality products and distribution in the marketplace. Their thought, effort and enthusiasm in support of the Pocoyo brand will yield a great product offering to both retailers and consumers alike. We are very excited to be in partnership with them.”

In addition, Pocoyo World has just been launched. An online virtual universe, Pocoyo World is aimed primarily at children ages three to eight-years-old and is currently available in Spanish and English, with other language versions to be rolled out over the coming months.

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