RC2 signs Chuggington deal

The firm has signed a multi-year master toy licensing rights deal for Chuggington, the new character-based children’s television program created and developed by Ludorum plc.

Chuggington is incredibly popular among children and first debuted in the UK on the BBC2’s Cbeebies children’s channel in the autumn of 2008 and will now be seen daily on the main Cbeebies’ afternoon preschool block from this week.

While expanding broadcast in the UK, Chuggington is also scheduled to air in 100 additional international TV markets in 2009.

The RC2 subsidiary has contributed 50% of Chuggington’s development costs and holds 50% of Chuggington’s intellectual property rights.

RC2 Learning Curve brand plans to debut its exclusive international Chuggington toy line in 2010.

“Television ratings and focus groups have already shown that Chuggington resonates with and delights young children and their mothers,” said Peter Henseler, President of RC2 Corporation.

“We are developing innovative play and learning products that tap into the multi-faceted aspects of this brand. Being an early and key partner with this international property positions us to be a contributing force in Chuggington’s exploding worldwide popularity.”

Hamleys Dubai Opens Today

Retailer continues opening schedule today, unveiling its 32,000 square foot concept store in the Dubai Mall.

Brought to Dubai by Retail Arabia, which holds the exclusive franchise for Hamleys in the region, the store is located on the second floor of the mall.

Visitors enter into a mini replica of London’s Regent Street, complete with performers. Inside the shop is a decked out car-racing dome; a camel caravan; a Ferrari bike racing track; a gaming area and life sized doll’s houses.

Retail Arabia MD and CEO Nabil Daud, said:

“Everyone loves Hamleys; it’s the toy store kids dream about. Children come to the store and are able to play with those toys they’ve always wanted. To be responsible for bringing that dream to the Middle East is an honor for us at Retail Arabia. We have spent months preparing for this special day, getting ready to bring the Hamleys spirit to the children of Dubai.”

In celebration of today’s opening, the first 100 customers will receive a special goodie bag and the store will organize daily magic shows, face painting, balloons and cool toy demonstrations.

More than 600 new retail outlets will be open for trade at the Mall from 2pm today, many of which will be making their Middle East debut. Among the new retailers to the region are American high-end department store Bloomingdale’s, and supermarket chain Waitrose.

The mall’s general manager, Yousif Al Ali, said he expected about 30 million visitors in the centre’s first year of operation.

Today’s launch is part of a wider opening schedule, which last month saw the first stand-along store outside Regent Street in Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin (pictured). The Irish Hamleys occupies 37,000 sq ft over three floors in the centre’s Pembroke Avenue area.

Paul Currie, Hamleys trading director, said: “We are extremely excited to be coming to Dundrum Town Centre, a premium location for fabulous shopping and days out. A considerable portion of our overseas customers are Irish and we are looking forward to growing this customer base.”

Corgi sells Cards Inc unit

Esdevium has acquired the trading card business of Cards Inc from Corgi.

The deal will see the transfer of the Cards Inc brand name and its trading card game, sticker, and collectable trading card-based business to Esdevium.

Meanwhile, the remainder of the Cards Inc business will continue its distribution of pop culture collectibles under the name of Popco Distribution.

The Cards Inc. and Esdevium teams are currently working together to ensure a smooth transfer of the Cards Inc. accounts.

During the transition period, which is anticipated to last through to the end of April 2008, former Cards Inc. accounts will be able to place orders with either Esdevium or Popco Distribution, with Esdevium fulfilling the orders on all trading card and trading card game products.

“Over the years Cards Inc. has done a terrific job developing the trading card sector, especially with accounts like Toys R Us,” said Daniel Steel, Managing Director at Esdevium Games.


“We are thrilled to be taking on that legacy, and believe we can provide all the benefits and advantages enjoyed by Cards Inc. accounts, and more.”

“Esdevium is renowned for our service and our range,” added Steve Buckmaster, Director of Sales at Esdevium Games. “We’re committed to ensuring Cards Inc. accounts find the transition seamless and are pleased with their experience with Esdevium. With our usual prompt service, expert staff, competitive pricing, and unmatched range of products—including many lines that can extend the sales revenues of the trading card and collectibles brands these accounts are already carrying—we can work with these retailers to grow their business in trading cards or any category of games.”