“The stories in ‘Llama Llama’ revolve around children’s first childhood challenges that kids of that age (preschool) immediately relate to and understand,” says Lloyd Mintz, senior vice president, global consumer products, Genius Brands International. “It speaks to them because it is showing someone of their age struggling with the very same issues that they do, and it shows them ways to overcome their anxieties or fears about a certain situation.”
GBI has signed two new major partners to the “Llama Llama” program–Phat Mojo has been named master toy partner and will introduce a complete range of playsets, figures, carry cases, plush and construction toys; while Kids Preferred has agreed to expand its plush, infant and development toys with soothers, wooden toys, nap mats and more.
More partners are set to come on boardin coming weeks and months, and negotiations have begun with a myriad of partners across a broad swath of products including talks for a master apparel partner and fulfillment of categories such as sleepwear, bedding, bath play time, novelty toys, holiday ornaments, oral care and exclusive e-commerce products.
“We expect to see a surge of licensed ‘Llama Llama’ products at retail starting spring 2019 and growing throughout the year,” says Mintz. “Consumers will be able to find ‘Llama Llama’ products at all their favorite traditional and online retailers.”
Mintz says GBI is further looking to engage international licensing agencies to represent the brand for consumer products.
Season one of “Llama Llama” debuted worldwide on Netflix in January in 20 different languages and stars Jennifer Garner as the voice of Mama. Garner will return for season two.
GBI says Netflix has been a great home for the series, which is based on the best-selling book series by author and illustrator Anne Dewdney, and is a natural fit.
“The series tells nurturing sweet stories of Llama Llama and remains unlike many animated shows with lots of bells and whistles–‘Llama Llama’s’ focus is on classic storytelling, and Netflix completely understood the decision to maintain the continuity between the beloved books and the animated series,” says Mintz. “Netflix was comfortable with using a classic animation style that reinforces the stories and themes of family, friendship and kindness by encouraging children to talk about their feelings in order to process, as well as coping with challenging situations in constructive ways.”
Season two of “Llama Llama” is currently in production, as are two new 30-minute specials, including one for Mother’s Day.
New products will begin hitting retail in Q4, with a major retail launch anticipated for spring/summer 2019.
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