Gifts Today magazine

Licensing boost for The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Rocket announces new UK licences, and more to come, as 50th anniversary approaches

Rocket Licensing, the local licensing agent in the UK for Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar, has announced five new licensing agreements – with more to come – for one of the world’s best-known children’s brands. Children’s educational toys, butterfly kits, confectionery, personalised gifts, and greetings cards are among the latest signings for the much-loved property as the 50th anniversary of The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s first appearance in print approaches.

Educational toys are a strong category for the brand and The Very Hungry Caterpillar Playnest from James Galt & Co, a major name in educational toys for children, is certain to be very popular with young fans of Eric Carle’s classic character. Featuring bright and bold imagery from the book, this fabric-covered inflatable ring has lots of colours, textures and flaps for little fingers to discover and explore. Galt’s play nest will be launching early next year into grocery, department stores and specialist outlets.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s nature themes have also prompted a lovely partnership with Insect Lore who, now also approaching its 50th anniversary in 2019, has a history in creating engaging entomological products for young learners. Insect Lore will launch The Very Hungry Caterpillar butterfly growing kits and accessories such as creature peepers, bug goggles and bug jars for the UK market.

Elsewhere, Bon Bon Buddies, a leading European provider of character and branded confectionery, is planning a range of seasonal confectionery. A perfect fit for this springtime brand, The Very Hungry Caterpillar Easter eggs will be launching into grocery, speciality stores and Independents for Easter 2019.

Experienced personalised gifting company Signature PG are also on board for the anniversary to develop a special range of personalised The Very Hungry Caterpillar products spanning homewares, apparel and gift sets. Products will be launching across key online accounts later this year.

Further capitalising on the brand’s potential for gifting, Hallmark Cards, one of the world’s leading greeting cards and gift wrap companies, is creating occasion cards featuring Eric Carle’s instantly recognisable character. With birthday cards available exclusively from Marks and Spencer this summer, the eye-catching design and finishes are expected to have broad appeal.

And that’s not all. Expect many more announcements in what promises to be a very busy run-up to The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s 50th anniversary. Already attracting licensees in areas as varied as toddler wear, gardening & plants, baby bedding, outdoor toys and food gifting, brand awareness will be further boosted by more licensing and publishing deals this year and next. Rocket will also shortly be announcing some exciting marketing, promotional and celebratory activities for the anniversary year.

The licensing campaign for The World of Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar is managed in the UK by independent licensing company Rocket Licensing through the worldwide agent, The Joester Loria Group. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is the centrepiece of the successful global licensing campaign around The World of Eric Carle brand, which brings together the much-loved, multi-million-selling works of author and artist Eric Carle.

Charlie Donaldson, Joint Managing Director of Rocket Licensing, says: 'These new licensing agreements underline the success of The Very Hungry Caterpillar across multiple categories and how enthusiasm for this evergreen brand continues to pass from generation to generation. These wonderful products from respected players are marvellous additions to the continuing success story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar as its 50th anniversary gets ever closer.'


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