4Kids Entertainment International has signed an agreement with the publisher Redan for preschool character Penelope to appear in two bi-weekly magazines, Fun to Learn Friends and Fun to Learn Favourites, in the U.K., Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.Fun to Learn Friends magazine is the best-selling preschool magazine in the U.K. The Penelope pages will launch at the end of September.
"Penelope" is based on the books by Anne Gutman and Georg Hallensleben about a 3-year-old blue koala. First published by licensor Gallimard Jeunesse in France, the books have sold more than 2 million copies worldwide.
This is the first license that 4Kids has signed for Penelope, but the property's potential has already been illustrated in Japan and France, where it has been licensed across a range of categories, including toys, plush, publishing, personal accessories, apparel and stationery, and has featured on two KFC promotions.
The property has also made a translation to the small screen through Japanese company Nippon Animation, with 52 episodes and two Christmas specials now available. Winner of an excellence prize in animation from the Japan Media Art Fest, the series has been picked up by a number of broadcasters, including France 5 in France, CBeebies in the U.K., ABC in Australia and channels across EMEA.