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April 6, 2018
Penguin Ventures, in conjunction with licensing agency Silvergate Media, has tapped a number of licensees to commemorate the 150th birthday of the late author Beatrix Potter and her classic titles and characters.
Following the release of a Beatrix Potter commemorative coin in January, the Royal Mint has released a range of special edition coins featuring four of the author’s characters. This is also the first time the Royal Mint has featured literary characters on U.K. coins.
Next, Mothercare has developed a range of Peter Rabbit clothing, toys, bedding and gifts. Additional new developments and designs for clothing are slated to hit the retailer next year.
Licensee Gund has also been tapped to create a limited edition Peter Rabbit toy as a bespoke offering for the anniversary. The plush features the anniversary logo embroidered on Peter’s jacket pocket and includes a numbered certificate of authenticity.
Meanwhile, Wedgwood has created a limited edition plate to celebrate the author’s birthday; while on July 28, Potter’s birthday, The Royal Mail will issue 10 new stamps featuring the author’s characters. The designs will be unveiled the same day through a series of media announcements and social media.
The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction is also celebrating its 25th anniversary through a musical titled “Where is Peter Rabbit?” The live show opened last month at The Old Laundry Theatre in the U.K.
Frederick Warne & Co., Potter’s publisher and an imprint of Penguin Random House Children’s, will also publish The Tale of Kitty in Boots, a rediscovered manuscript with only one illustration by Potter that she never published. Sir Quentin Blake was invited to illustrate the remaining story and the new book will hit retailers Sept. 1.
Meanwhile, the publisher also tapped five of the U.K. and Ireland’s fashion designers to reimagine the covers for five of Potter’s tales, which launched earlier this month.
Milly & Flynn will develop a limited edition re-release of the Peter Rabbit race game, which was originally released in 1917, based on an original design by Potter. The new game will be available this September at selected retailers.
Finally, Penguin Ventures and Silvergate Media will release an 150th anniversary deluxe edition gift box on July 28. The gift set will feature a number of collectible products including a personalized picture letter, which is a replica of the original letter from Potter to Noel Moore; a limited new edition of the original privately printed Tale of Peter Rabbit from 1902; a Royal Mint 150th anniversary Peter Rabbit Silver Proof 50p coin; a commemorative facsimile copy of The Times newspaper dated July 28, 1866, the day that Potter was born; and a facsimile copy of the cover of The Times dated July 30, 1866, featuring Potter’s birth announcement.
“We’ve had an amazing year so far. Our licensing partners, both old and new, have really embraced the anniversary and developed some truly fantastic celebratory products and events,” says Thomas Merrington, head, product development, and brand manager, Peter Rabbit, Penguin Ventures. “The response from consumers has been wonderful and allowed us to expand into new retailers and premier attractions across the U.K. and internationally. We also have some incredibly exciting events planned to round off the anniversary year, which are sure to delight fans of all ages.”
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