Ludorum plc, a leading specialist in the creation of global pre-school childrens’ IP, announced today that it has licensed Chuggington, its successful train based pre-school series, to Disney Channel for its Playhouse Disney programming block in the United States.
Disney Channel will launch the series, consisting of 52 episodes, on Playhouse Disney block in the U.S. in the Spring of 2010. The channel has access to more than ninety-seven million viewing households and has acquired all broadcast rights to the property.
Chuggington has been licensed to 145 territories worldwide and, since the start of this year, has already established a highly successful ratings record in several key international markets including the UK (BBC – CBeebies), Germany (Super-RTL), France (TF1), Australia (ABC) and Canada (Treehouse). A major all rights agreement was announced in March to license Chuggington to Fuji Television, the dominant commercial broadcaster in Japan with broadcast scheduled to launch in the summer of this year.
Learning Curve Brands, a subsidiary of RC2 Corporation (Nasdaq: RCRC), holds the global master toy licensee, and they, along with several other key licensees, will launch major licensed product lines worldwide in 2010.
Chuggington is a new CGI animated pre-school train based series aimed at 2-5 years olds. The series was created by a leading creative team led by Sarah Ball, Director and Writer of Bob the Builder, and Don Toht who led the creation of the toys systems for Thomas & Friends for 12 years as well as Bob the Builder. The property promotes positive life lessons and teaches emotional intelligence and social readiness. Ludorum has commenced production this year on a further 26 x 10 minutes episodes which have also been acquired for the UK by the BBC.
About Ludorum plc
Ludorum was formed and is run by the former CEO and COO of HIT Entertainment PLC, a company which was subject to a recommended takeover in May 2005 valuing the business at pounds Sterling 489 million and which managed a strong portfolio of children’s properties including Bob the Builder, Barney, Thomas the Tank Engine, Pingu and Guinness World Records and by the co-founder and former CEO of Learning Curve, International, the company that held toy licenses for Thomas the Tank Engine and other preschool properties. Ludorum is dedicated to developing, acquiring and marketing intellectual entertainment properties which are appropriate for both the new interactive distribution channels as well as classic linear TV. www.ludorum.com
Chuggington is a computer generated 3D series of 52 x 10 minute episodes as well as a fully immersive interactive website. The series follows the adventures of Wilson, Brewster and Koko, trainee diesel engines, each with their own unique personality and learning style. The series is set in a world much like our own with cities, villages and diverse cultures and geography. Entertainment and enjoyment is at the heart of Chuggington, but embedded within each story are important educational and developmental messages centered on learning and social-emotional development. Chuggington is directed by Sarah Ball, who won a BAFTA award for her work as a director and writer of Bob the Builder. The property was conceived to seamlessly integrate television, books and interactive view-and-play. Further information is available at www.chuggington.com
An innovative on-line program where parents will be able to personalize the site for their children, specifying many parameters including the level of community interaction desired has also been brought to market simultaneously with the TV property. The Chuggington site allows parents to prioritise the developmental and learning issues that they believe are important to their children and presents a truly entertaining and immersive interactive world of Chuggington which is graphically and textually consistent with the world defined by the television series, and which is also uniquely interactive with many of the property’s licensed products.