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Beatrix Potter adds agents, expanded product lines

LONDON-Family entertainment producer and distributor Chorion, through its copyrights subsidiary, is further expanding the reach of the classic property The World of Beatrix Potter with new licensees, retail programs, and expanded product lines for Peter Rabbit across the U.S., U.K., Australia and Asia.

Peter RabbitPeter Rabbit
For the first time, it has also appointed licensing agents to work across Europe. Working with Frederick Warne & Co., owner and publisher of The World of Beatrix Potter brand, the property is set to grow in all key markets.

The World of Beatrix Potter, worth over $500 million per annum worldwide at retail, now has a significant roster of more than 350 high-profile licensees and programs at leading retailers around the world.

Pottery Barn Kids in the United States has become a destination store for Peter Rabbit bedding, nursery décor, housewares and Easter products, with plans to continue and expand the range in 2011. The multi-award winning organic personal care products from EcoNatura is now the top baby toiletries line in Whole Foods stores. Peter Rabbit Organics fruit pouches are also currently performing strongly in Starbucks outlets across the U.S.

Australia, which has a strong publishing and licensing program for The World of Beatrix Potter, will see a cross-category launch in Toys ‘R' Us stores, featuring Peter Rabbit infant apparel, bedding, toys, feeding and hard goods such as strollers and high chairs, beginning in August 2010.

The growth of The World of Beatrix Potter in Europe has also been reflected with the appointment of agents to introduce the classic characters to new audiences and grow licensing and merchandising programs. For the first time, Copyright Promotions Licensing Group (CPLG) is representing the property in France, Germany and Benelux, with Bulls Press acting as agent across Scandinavia.

The V&A Museum in London will present a major exhibition, Peter Rabbit: The Tale of the Tale from July 3, 2010 to Jan. 8, 2011. It will trace the story of The Tale of Peter Rabbit from its conception in an illustrated letter in 1893, to its publication by Frederick Warne & Co. in 1902 and beyond. Showcasing complete original illustrations, along with preliminary drawings, manuscripts and personal correspondence of Beatrix Potter, it will be the first time that these collections have been exhibited together anywhere in the world. Branded products will support the event at retail.

The World of Beatrix Potter has enjoyed increased success in Asia in recent years, which is set to grow as 2011 welcomes the Year of the Rabbit as well as the 40th anniversary of the publication of the Japanese-language Peter Rabbit books - commemorative events are set to begin this summer. Japan has proven to have a deep and long-abiding affinity for the brand, with a licensing program that includes the Beatrix Potter Reference Library (set in a replica of Beatrix Potter's Cumbrian home, Hill Top Farm), the dedicated flower shop Peter Rabbit Flowers, and even branded protected nature reserves. This year, Peter Rabbit was also selected as one of the central themes for the International Rose & Gardening Show just outside Tokyo received more than 250,000 visitors.

"Beatrix Potter's classic tales have been treasured additions to nursery shelves all over the world for over 100 years. They are still incredibly popular, with four books sold every minute somewhere in the world," said Tamra Knepfer, EVP, brand management and marketing. "Publishing and licensed products are evergreen performers as the brand continues to command retail space each year. We're delighted with the brand's success around the world and welcome our new licensees and agents as the property continues to grow."

The Tale of Peter Rabbit was first published in 1902 and has never been out of print. The enduring appeal of Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-duck, Benjamin Bunny, Tom Kitten and other characters continues from one generation to the next.

Brand new animation is now in development for Peter Rabbit to include a TV series and specials, with launch dates to be announced.

Chorion will be at stand 3264 at the International Licensing Expo. This is the first time that Chorion is representing The World of Beatrix Potter domestically in the U.S. market.

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