Eric Carle’s evergreen literary property, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, has welcomed four new licensees to its portfolio in recent months, with new deals with the Great British TeePee Company, Findel Education, DNC, and Gullivers Theme Park Resorts
New products are also being launched by a raft of the brand’s existing partners to bolster the consumer products programme, managed by Rocket Licensing in the UK for World of Eric Carle through the worldwide agent The Joester Loria Group.
Play teepees, mats and cushions based on the caterpillar are being created by Great British Teepee Company and are due to launch on the company’s ecommerce site and in its flagship store this autumn.
Findel Education is designing a range of educational resources for nurseries and early childhood centres. Products featuring the wiggly character are set to include story stones, a storytelling scene and an outdoor board in an international deal covering the UK, Europe, Africa, and Asia.
DNC UK has signed up for a range of homeware including lunch bags and containers, tableware, hydration and drinkware, cutlery, and baby food coolers. With broad distribution across grocery, independent specialist stores, online and mass market, an initial product range is in development to launch in Q1 2022.
And new experiential partner Gullivers Theme Parks has recently launched theme park branded activities including character costume appearances and even The Very Hungry Caterpillar accommodation for families to stay overnight in their very own cocoons. The attractions are set to delight little visitors to two of the theme parks’ sites – Gulliver’s Land (Dinosaur and Farm Park) in Milton Keynes, and Gulliver’s Valley in South Yorkshire – and there are plans to develop these activities further for next year.
Louisa Skevington, licensing executive of Rocket Licensing, commented: “It’s an honour to have these four new partners on board for The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The new deals take the property into new areas, offering exciting new products and experiences for fans in the UK and beyond.
“The Very Hungry Caterpillar has enjoyed great success with experiential campaigns over recent years, including our award-winning partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society in 2019 and successful partnership with ZSL London Zoo earlier this summer, so we’re excited to extend that into the theme park arena too. Meanwhile the range from Findel will satisfy a growing demand among Early Years settings for The Very Hungry Caterpillar related learning and play activities.”
As well as the new partnerships, Rocket Licensing’s existing portfolio of licensees for The Very Hungry Caterpillar have been busy creating fresh products. Master Toy partner Rainbow Designs is launching a refresh of its wooden toy collection this autumn, while Dennicci offered its biggest ever babywear range for S/S21, with up to 20 SKUs launching across grocery retail. Further babywear ranges are planned for A/W21 and S/S22.
In addition, MORI, which launched its inaugural eight-piece The Very Hungry Caterpillar babywear range in February, will be building upon the collection’s success with a relaunch of three best sellers – the Zip-Up Sleepsuit, Long Sleeve T-Shirt, and Printed Pyjamas – as well as the launch of two new sweatshirts this autumn.
Smiffys is working on a new The Very Hungry Caterpillar range of paper partyware using the brand’s new Love Your Planet style guide. Meanwhile Robert Frederick launched its new Little Gardener’s Range in May, including Paint Your Own Pots, Paint Your Own Butterfly House, and Garden Tool Set.
Louisa continued: “It’s incredible to see so many new lines launching from our brilliant partners. Consumers have been turning to heritage and nostalgic brands during these uncertain times, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a firm favourite across generations over 50 years since it was first published. All our partners create on-brand, bespoke, beautiful products which appeal to a range of ages, and these new lines are no exception.”
UK licensing agent Rocket Licensing represents a diverse and focused roster of brands that spans entertainment, preschool, heritage, lifestyle, and specialist interest properties