Genius Brands International Signs New Licensing Partners for Popular Award-Winning Preschool Series Llama Llama
New Product Lines To Hit Retail Fall 2018 as Genius Brands Readies Season Two of Hit Animated Series and Specials on Netflix
Beverly Hills, CA (October 2, 2018) – Continuing to build out its expansive licensing program for popular children’s property Llama Llama, Genius Brands International, “Genius Brands” (Nasdaq:GNUS), the global brand management company that creates and licenses multimedia entertainment content for children, announced today that it has signed two new licensing partners for the endearing brand, partnering with Kurt Adler on a line of Llama Llama branded Christmas ornaments and holiday decor; and Creative Converting on innovative Llama Llama party goods. The announcement was made today by Genius Brands International’s SVP, Global Consumer Products, Lloyd Mintz.
“Llama Llama is one of those unique, distinctive properties that engages people of all ages, celebrating the special relationships between mother and offspring, family and friends,” explains Mintz. “We are excited to welcome new licensing partners who share our commitment to providing authentic, endearing brand experiences for the fans of Llama Llama while continuing to respect and honor the concept, characters and relationships as originally conceived by creator and author Anna Dewdney.”
The new licensees join existing partners including PhatMojo (toys, figures, playsets, and plush); Bendon Publishing (branded coloring and activity books); Cuddle Barn (animatronic plush toys); and Myself Designs/Myself Belts (belts). The company is also collaborating with Kids Preferred on the development of a line of Llama Llama infant and developmental toys and plush. New products for the brand are expected to roll out at retail later this year and throughout 2019.
Based on Anna Dewdney’s best-selling and award-winning joyful Llama Llama book series, season one of the animated preschool Llama Llama series stars Jennifer Garner as Mama Llama, and debuted worldwide in 20 different languages on Netflix in January 2018. The series focuses on first childhood experiences and adventures, as well as the special connections between the lead character, Llama, his Mama and his grandparents. Llama Llama tells heart-warming tales of life in a safe, friendly town seen through the eyes of Llama as he interacts with the amazing world around him.
Currently in production on season two, and two 30-minute Llama Llama specials, Jennifer Garner returns as Mama Llama along with an all-star team of award-winning producers, including Jane Startz (Ella Enchanted, Tuck Everlasting, The Indian in The Cupboard, The Magic School Bus series), Andy Heyward (Inspector Gadget, The Real Ghostbusters, Strawberry Shortcake, Madeline, Carmen Sandiego) and Reed Duncan. Emmy Award-winning writer Joe Purdy (Arthur, Hey Arnold!) serves as the head writer and legendary Disney alum Ruben Aquino (Frozen, The Lion King, Aladdin, Mulan) as art director for the series.
About Genius Brands International
Headquartered in Beverly Hills, Genius Brands International, Inc. (NASDAQ:GNUS) is a leading global kids media company developing, producing, marketing and licensing branded children’s entertainment properties and consumer products for media and retail distribution. The Company’s “content with a purpose” brand portfolio, which is led by award-winning creators and producers, includes preschool properties Rainbow Rangers for Nick Jr. and Llama Llama for Netflix; award-winning toddler brand, Baby Genius; adventure comedy STEM series, Thomas Edison's Secret Lab; and financial literacy and entrepreneurship series, Warren Buffett's Secret Millionaires Club. The Company’s content catalog also includes the animated series, Stan Lee's Cosmic Crusaders, created with Stan Lee's Pow! Entertainment. Seeing the need to provide kids and parents with a safe viewing environment that offers premium enriching and engaging programming, Genius Brands launched the Genius Brands Network – comprised of Kid Genius Cartoon Channel and Baby Genius TV, as well as an exclusive Kid Genius Cartoons Plus subscription channel on Amazon Prime. The Network channels are available in approximately 80 million U.S. households via a variety of distribution platforms, such as OTT, set top box, internet and mobile. Through licensing agreements with category leading partners, characters from the Company’s properties also appear on a wide range of consumer products for retail. For additional information please visit www.gnusbrands.com.
About Llama Llama
With 20 million units in print worldwide, Dewdney’s Llama Llama books from Penguin Young Readers have all been New York Times bestsellers with several titles claiming the #1 spot, and her work has been translated into eight languages. Dewdney’s soothing tales are synonymous with calming early-childhood anxiety and she was praised by the Chicago Tribune as a “geographer extraordinaire of the emotional terrain of preschoolers and their mothers.” Books in her Llama Llama series include Llama Llama Red Pajama, Llama Llama Holiday Drama, Llama Llama Misses Mama, and Llama Llama Time to Share.
About Kurt Adler
The leading importer of holiday decorations for over 70 Years, the Kurt Adler story began at the close of World War II when Kurt Adler tried his hand at exporting general goods. As the business grew and European economies began to flourish, he changed direction to importing. In the 1950's, ornaments were first offered, and America was ablaze with festive decorations that offered a European flair. Today, working with many of the industry’s top artists and factories the company’s full collection of over 7,000 SKUs encompassing well over 20,000 items includes such name brands as Santa’s World™, Steinbach™, Fabriche’™, Noble Gems™, Hollywood Nutcrackers™, and many more. Innovations include not only tree ornaments, but hand-crafted nutcrackers, lighting, garland, stockings, nativity sets, artificial trees, musical boxes, and an array of licensed products. The company’s dominant position is achieved with a unique blend of innovation, value and service. With headquarters in New York City and a state-of-the-art distribution center, the business continues today to be run by Kurt Adler’s children—Howard, Clifford, and Karen, offering unique holiday products, creating beautiful memories for generations to come.
About Creative Converting
In 2007, with over 80 years of combined experience in the paper and party goods industries, Creative Expressions and Converting, Inc. partnered to form Creative Converting, under its parent company Hoffmaster Group, Inc. and in 2011 acquired Innoware, a leading provider of tableware in the club and grocery channels. Creative Converting has successfully transitioned and established itself as a highly respected “full line supplier" while continuing to expand its capabilities to substantially grow its core business. Creative Converting is a leading source for party retailers, providing one of the largest offerings in the industry with recognized brand names such as Paper Art, Party Creations, Touch of Color, Celebrations, Sensations and Elise. In addition, Creative Converting serves a wide range of distribution channels and has become a key manufacturer for mass market and mass specialty businesses requiring custom or private label printing and manufacturing. With a seasoned staff of industry experts and a talented team of designers, Creative Converting is committed to service, quality, design and innovation. Creative Converting’s main office and manufacturing facility are located in Clintonville, Wisconsin, while the creative and marketing teams operate out of Indianapolis, Indiana.
Forward Looking Statements:
Certain statements in this press release constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Words such as "may," "might," "will," "should," "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "continue," "predict," "forecast," "project," "plan," "intend" or similar expressions, or statements regarding intent, belief, or current expectations, are forward-looking statements. While the Company believes these forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on any such forward-looking statements, which are based on information available to us on the date of this release. These forward looking statements are based upon current estimates and assumptions and are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including without limitation those set forth in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), not limited to Risk Factors relating to its patent business contained therein. Thus, actual results could be materially different. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update or alter statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
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Released October 2, 2018