Rainbow has signed a master toy licensing deal in the U.K. and Eire with Flair GP, a licensed toy distributor, and developer, for Iginio Straffi’s reimagined animated TV series of the children’s classic, “Pinocchio and Friends.”
The series launched on the BBC’s free-to-air flagship children’s channel, CBeebies, at the end of May. Flair GP will concentrate on a rollout strategy that incorporates mini-figures, dolls, playsets, and plush toys, bringing the series directly into the hands of its young fans beginning in 2023.
Rainbow’s reimagining of the children’s novel launched in late 2021 on Italy’s Rai Yoyo, and quickly became the leading show on the channel. The comical family series is an original adaptation based on Carlo Collodi’s classic and created in high-quality CGI animation. “Pinocchio and Friends” is a series full of adventure, comedy, and strong values portrayed through characters and events that remain true to the original fairy tale; it also includes new characters such as Freeda, the pirate doll who becomes a great friend to Pinocchio and brings further richness to the revitalized adaptation.
Cristiana Buzzelli, Senior VP, Content and Licensing, Rainbow said, “I am delighted that we have partnered with Flair GP to bring the wonderful wooden puppet, Pinocchio, to life with children across the U.K.. We have already received great feedback since launch and are looking forward to exploring all licensing possibilities.”
Julia Cake, Country Manager, Flair GP said, “The story of Pinocchio is one that is much loved by young and old alike, and we very much look forward to partnering with Rainbow and Lisle Licensing to bring the characters of this new colorful adaptation to children in the U.K., through the innovative toys and figures in the collection.”
Flair GP will work with Rainbow and with the support of its U.K. licensing agent, Lisle Licensing, by investing in the U.K.-specific toy lines and supporting the launch with marketing outreach to raise brand awareness. Communications and consumer events are being managed by Rainbow’s long-term PR partner, Grapevine PR.
“Pinocchio and Friends” launched in 2021 in Italy on Rai Yoyo and secured master toy partner, Giochi Preziosi, which is due to launch products on the shelf this fall. In addition to its U.K. launch on CBeebies, the series will also premiere on Discovery Kids Latin America this year. Licensing partners confirmed for Italy and the U.K. include Kennedy Publishing, Fashion UK, Ravensburger, Mondadori, Dolfin, Ciao, Dino Bikes, and more.