Kids’ IP Moley, a fun-loving young mole who lives in a burrow under Windsor Castle, is the star of a CGI animated series [52 x 11 minutes] launched by British production house Two Daughters Entertainment (TDE) in 2020.
Airing in 140 territories worldwide, the show features a stellar line-up of voice talent, including Warwick Davis in the titular role, Julie Walters, Gemma Arterton and Richard E Grant.
Worldwide rights for Moley are managed by Bulldog Licensing, and the company’s group managing director and ceo Rob Corney sat down with LicensingSource.net to tell us more about the brand.
Hi Rob. Can you tell us about Two Daughters Entertainment, the animation house behind Moley, and the recent appointment of [former Hasbro svp] Finn Arnesen as coo?
Two Daughters Entertainment was founded by James Reatchlous, born out of the love he had for telling bedtime stories to his children. He wrote these stories down in journals, which his daughters later brought to him to lift his spirits during a lengthy hospital stay. This inspired the creation of Moley, the company’s first production.
Moley has been hugely successful and is now distributed in over 140 countries and 30 languages, and it’s been a pleasure to see TDE grow. As you’ve mentioned, they’ve just brought Finn Arnesen on board as coo, who will bring years of experience in the kids and family entertainment world to the table. He previously spent 10 years at Hasbro Studios, where he oversaw the global expansion of properties like My Little Pony and Transformers, as well as 16 years at Cartoon Network, so it just goes to show the international level of ambition at TDE right now. Following the success of Moley, they’re now working on three new properties which will start rolling out soon.
Moley is a beautifully animated show with a fun storyline set in a unique environment, offering compelling characters and a world of adventure. The voice talent in the show is stellar, the scripting is superb and we’re seeing incredible levels of support from our media partners around the world.
The brand has been conceptualised as a multi-media property with high levels of marketing investment both in physical and digital worlds, providing a huge platform from which the merchandise sales will build.
What has been the reaction to the series in the UK market?
We’ve had a phenomenal reaction to Moley from multiple partners. Initially our discussions are focused on master toy and publishing, with a number of the industry’s leading partners looking to pitch.
In which categories do you think Moley could score big?
Moley lends itself ideally to a full cross-category merchandise programme. There are amazing, interactive venues, vehicles and strong characters for our toy partners, great storylines and imagery for our publishing partners and an incredible style guide for apparel, home and stationery partners.
Upcycling is a major theme throughout the show, with the inventor Mishmosh creating all sorts of useful (and some less than useful) items from discarded products, and we intend to focus on this as a major theme in the development of STEM toys and opportunities whereby kids can explore the world around them.
Can you share details of any collaborations currently in the works?
We’re in advanced discussions with a number of partners in both toy and publishing, with expressions of interest across a very wide range of categories. From a UK perspective, the show has been attracting good audiences on Boomerang, which has been supporting the broadcast with an expansive marketing plan. It will launch on our free to air partner POP TV later this year and we are targeting a 2024 launch of our initial product lines.
We are seeing similar successes in international territories with good viewership across the whole of EMEA on Boomerang and free-to-air partners such as KiKA, which launched the show in December, pre-empting the rollout of our related licensing programme.