Thursday, January 17, 2019

Rainbow Inks '44 Cats' Licensing Deal with Artsana Group

Italian production company Rainbow is continuing to build up the licensing programme for its preschool property, 44 Cats, securing a new licensing deal with holistic lifestyle company Artsana Group!


44 Cats

Under the agreement, the company will develop a range of licensed 44 Cats-themed infant educational toys for infants and a nursing line under its Chicco brand, the largest infant brand in Europe. The deal also includes apparel and accessories collections by Prenatal and Chicco.

Products are expected to hit retail shelves later this year and will be supported by a dedicated, high-level marketing campaign delivered jointly by Rainbow and Artsana Group, which is also based in Italy.

“We are delighted to announce our partnership with the top-level Italian group Artsana,” commented Cristiana Buzzelli, Senior Vice President (SVP) Sales and Acquisitions at Rainbow. “Rainbow and Artsana Group represent two Italian excellence sharing a true sense of tradition and at the same time care about giving the best through the latest innovations: it’s a perfect match.”

Developed in collaboration with Antoniano Bologna and Rai Kids (Rai Ragazzi), 44 Cats is a 52 x 13-minute CG-animated series that follows the daily adventures of Lampo, Milady, Pilou, and Meatball – four musician kittens who are part of a all-feline music band named The Buffycats. The four protagonists live in the Clubhouse, a garage inside caring Granny Pina’s house, and love helping others with their ever creative solutions to everyday hitches. Their adventures explore the themes of friendship and altruism, tolerance, diversity and acceptance. It is the first project Rainbow has worked on with Canadian animation service company Bardel, which it acquired in 2015, and also marks Rainbow’s (Winx Club, Regal Academy, Mia and me, Maggie & Bianca Fashion Friends) inaugural foray into preschool programming.

The series bowed last November on Italian free-to-air kids channel Rai YoYo, with record-breaking TV ratings, and has since been snapped up by Nickelodeon for a worldwide distribution, Super RTL in Germany, Discovery Kids for Latin America, Carousel in Russia, and France Télévisions in France. There has been a great response from across the international TV market, with announcements in the pipeline for major broadcasting channels in many other territories.

44 Cats is inspired by the very popular Italian kids song "44 Gatti", which, in 1968, won the 10th edition of the Zecchino d'Oro and has since entered the collective imagination of Italians.

Previously signed licensing partners for 44 Cats include Discovery Kids for exclusive L&M rights in LatAm (excluding master toy), and Hong Kong-based Toys Plus, which is gearing up to launch a range of toys including figurines, playsets and musical toys globally this fall. Simba Dickie Group has also been tapped as the line’s exclusive distributor in Europe and the Middle East.

Under the terms of Rainbow's agreement with Toys Plus, the company will develop a variety of products including interactive plush, figurines, play sets, musical toys and more based on the music, creative play patterns and collectability featured in the series. The line of merchandise debuted in Hong Kong in October 2018, and is slated to become available for purchase around the world in fall 2019.

Viewers can visit the official 44 Cats show websites at nickelodeon.gr and 44cats.tv to find out more about the show and its musical stars, as well as watch exclusive video clips, play pawesome games and download purr-tastic activities. Fans can also find parenting resources and educational materials inspired by the show online at 44cats.tv.

More Nick: Nickelodeon Acquires International Rights To New 'Barbapapa' Series!

Sources: Kidscreen, Licensing Source, Toy World Magazine.
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