Exhibiting at Festival of Licensing after garnering leads and deals at Brand Licensing Europe, Toonbox currently has four animated series in the works including popular preschool property “Kit^N^Kate” and the upcoming teen and adult show “Take My Muff-in.”
Toonbox Studios is exhibiting at Festival of Licensing, a month-long large-scale digital gathering that unites the global licensing industry to connect, learn, strike deals and do business on an international stage. The event takes place Oct. 6-29. Register for free now!
License Global spoke with Pavel Muntyan, co-founder, Toonbox, to gain insight into the properties and plans this animation studio has for the future.
License Global: “Kit^N^Kate” now has over 500m views on YouTube and several successful broadcast deals, what makes this series different?
Muntyan: Every content producer claims his product is the most unique ever. There are such a great number of various series in the world nowadays that overlapping is inevitable. Well, let’s say, “Kit^N^Kate” is different. We spent two years to shape it and form its brand awareness. The characters are easy to remember, to identify and to draw. Even young kids manage to reproduce the characters easily.
Episode plots are another hallmark. We tried to stick to the most important ‘kiddie problems’ while creating two first seasons (104 episodes). [Our target demographic of 3 - 5-years old is when] a young person starts to face conflicts, responsibility and different social patterns. We managed to represent these problems via adventures and stories. Basically, it is a catalogue for a young parent who can just watch a certain episode together with their child to make things work.
What are the key partners you're working with to take that brand further? What are you looking to do with “Kit^N^Kate” in the future?
We have a number of key partners [including] TV channels RAI (Italy), VGTRK (Russia), our YouTube partner – X-Media Digital – as well as our agents Play Big and Maurizio DiStefano.
We are currently working on a spin-off project with two seasons of songs (for all 104 episodes) which are being produced in several languages at a time. Just five to six years ago every animated project was mainly aimed at consumer goods licenses which brought up to 70 percent of the total profit. Now we are looking at digital licensing with all the market changes, including shifts in budgets, production terms and the total approach to content production. Our further focus regarding “Kit^N^Kate” includes more spin-off projects as well as the expansion of the project itself with a target on VOD-platforms.
What are you looking to achieve from Festival of Licensing and how are you looking to reach the next step with licensing?
As for licensing, we’re first and foremost looking for partners who can assist in promoting brands called “123GO!” and “5-Minutes Craft.” Only three years ago they were not represented on YouTube but on Facebook only. Once they entered the world’s major VOD platform, these brands took key positions and became some of the most successful brands in the digital world. We are now looking for a master-toy partner for “123GO!” and a general partner in the U. S. for “5-Minutes Craft.”
We are also looking for a general SVOD-partner for “Take My Muff-in.” The series is fully localized and aimed at the U.S. so our target audience is American youth aged 17-25. The team of the project includes a number of professionals who took part in more than 14 projects launched in the U.S. which managed to conquer the whole world.
For “Bobby and the Bottle Brigade” we are looking for a general broadcaster. The project is executed as classic animation, but the script structure is reminiscent of computer games with video inserts including YouTube videos popular among kids. This project features a new form, a fresh approach and an innovative format.