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Ultra ties up with Kiddinx to market 'Benjamin, the Friendly Elephant' in India

MUMBAI: Ultra Movie Channel which distributes VCDs and DVDs has tied up with Kiddinx Merchandising. The two parties will market the German toon character Benjamin, the Friendly Elephant in India. This will be done in the form of audio CDs, DVDs, VCDs, and toys.

The Toon character from Germany had a humble beginning. An idea of Elfie Donnelly, Benjamin started his journey way back in 1977, from an audio cassette series by Karl Blatz. Benjamin grew from strength to strength and was soon seen on cassettes, books and other products. In 1987, the first cartoon film, Benjamin - The Zoo Concert, was released and resulted in the toon video.

Benjamin, The Friendly Elephant has done well among children in Germany for more than 20 years now. Benjamin's popularity and fame has made him an icon for every German child to remember and a feature in their playroom. Almost 96 per cent of all children between the ages of 3 and 12 in German-speaking countries are familiar with Benjamin.

In 1990, Benjamin appeared in the first ever comic edition and children followed the adventures of Benjamin in Picture story, with sales exceeding 10 million in comics alone. A 13 part cartoon series and 4 specials were aired on the ZDF channel, Kinderkanal and FoxKids as Benjamin's legacy continued. In 1997, Benjamin's first feature film was released and by 1999, Benjamin became the ambassador for Unicef.

To mark the 25th anniversary of Benjamin, a new TV series of 52 episodes went into production, and a beginning of a new career in the international arena started, as now video sales exceeded seven million in Germany alone.

Today, with audio-cassettes and CD sales exceeding 52 million, Benjamin has achieved 98 Gold and 52 Platinum discs, and current licensing spans more than 500 products. The animated series Benjamin The Elephant currently airs in Germany on Fox Kids and the Super RTL network.

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