BBC Worldwide signs new licensees for '3rd and Bird'

MUMBAI: UK pubcaster the BBC‘s commercial arm BBC Worldwide has confirmed the signing of two new licensees to develop and distribute the pre-school property 3rd and Bird! into the UK wood and wheeled toy market.

Following the announcement of Fisher-Price as master toy licensee last month, BBC Worldwide has inked deals with DanJam for wooden toys and MV Sports for wheeled toys. The products will be launched in 2010.

BBC Worldwide holds the global distribution rights including programme distribution, DVD and merchandising for the show, produced by Little Airplane Productions. The series has been created in photo-puppetry animation ? a style of animation created by Little Airplane ? and is targeted at three to five year old children.

BBC Worldwide senior licensing manager for toys Julie Kekwick says, "3rd and 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 3rd & Bird! is going to shake a few feathers in the pre-school licensing arena."

DanJam‘s 3rd and 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.

DanJam Toys director Warren Traeger says, "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."

MV Sports sales and marketing director Phil Ratcliffe says, "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. 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.

BBC Children‘s DVD will release the first DVD of the series on 30 March, containing eight episodes under the title 3rd & Bird: Bird‘s the Word.

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

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