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How new preschool brand Monty & Co is leaping into licensing

Licensing Link Europe’s Ian Wickham explains why he believes the show offers a key point of difference for licensees and retailers.

The brainchild of Pipkins Productions – the team which created Pipkins back in the 1970s, introducing a generation to characters including Hartley Hare – Monty & Co made its debut on CBeebies in summer 2020, with an initial five-year commitment from iPlayer, too.

The show – which has also been picked up by US streaming service, Kidoodle, making it available to its 10 million active platform users – focuses on a wallaby called Monty and his friends, learning, working things out and getting along all under the roof of a recycle/up-cycle shop.

For Ian Wickham, director at Licensing Link Europe – which is handling the global L&M programme – the style of the show means that it offers something very different versus existing predominantly animated content.

“It’s a really wholesome, traditional format of television that delivers to children as well as at an adult level, too,” Ian explains. “The cast of puppets have very definite characteristics/mannerisms as they interact with each other in an appealing, humorous and engaging way, but at the same time are participating in ‘mini dramas’ that have a strong storylines, positive messages and great songs that offer something very different for the preschooler.

“The strength in show structure does mean both the consumer and purchaser engage with Monty & Co, making it ripe for a licensing programme.”

Toy, publishing and apparel are among the initial targets, with Ian saying they have seen strong feedback on digital channels from consumers looking for toys and other merchandise already.

He continues: “We are almost there with our first toy deal and we have a category of publishing already signed, so it’s currently going to plan. We’re also looking for a nightwear partner as at the end of every episode, Monty sits in bed at the end of the day to recap on his version of the days events.”

Ian fervently believes there is opportunity out there for new brands, especially ones with a point of difference like Monty & Co.

“Retail is breaking up into different areas on the back of high street challenges seen not just in 2020, but which were already happening before this,” he says. “It means that more and more online retailers are looking for points of difference and are looking to be able to deliver programmes around some of the smaller properties to enable them to achieve this. Retailers need to look elsewhere and look wider than just at the usual suspects, which means there is opportunity out there.”

2021 is about making sure that key categories are covered, setting Monty & Co up for a successful 2022. “Bespoke retailer programmes is something we are keen to deliver with Monty, as is having the capability to be masters of our own destiny with PoD activations delivered across our digital sites,” Ian concludes.

This feature originally appeared in the spring 2021 edition of Licensing Source Book. To read the full publication, click on this link.

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