Genius Brands International Signs License Deal With Bendon Inc. for Award-Winning Preschool Brand, Llama Llama
BEVERLY HILLS, CA, September 26, 2018 – Following the recent announcement of Netflix’s renewal of season two of the Llama Llama animated series, the momentum continues for the brand with Genius Brands International, “Genius Brands” (Nasdaq:GNUS) finalizing a new licensing agreement with leading children’s consumer product company, Bendon Inc.
Bendon will create a line of branded coloring and activity books featuring the Llama Llama characters, which will be available at retailers in time for spring 2019. Bendon’s new line of products will complement Penguin Young Readers assortment of bestselling Llama Llama hardcover and board books. Bendon joins Genius Brands’ growing roster of licensing partners creating product for the upcoming retail launch of Llama Llama. Those include master toy partner PhatMojo, Kids Preferred (plush), Cuddle Barn (animatronic plush toys), Prime Party (online party supplies) and Myself Designs/Myself Belts (belts). Penguin Young Readers serves as the global publisher of the award-winning Llama Llama children’s book franchise.
“Bendon has earned its stellar reputation as the leading publisher of children’s activity and coloring books based on its innovative designs, commitment to respecting the brands of its partners and for its stalwart relationships with today’s top retailers,” said Lloyd Mintz, SVP, Global Consumer Products at Genius Brands. “Llama Llama is an extremely popular, beloved and trusted modern-day classic property among parents and youngsters alike. We’re confident that Bendon will deliver a line of activity and coloring books that respect that heritage while also presenting fresh and innovative designs.”
“All of us at Bendon Publishing are thrilled to be working with Genius Brands on developing an all-new line of activity and coloring books for the treasured Llama Llama series,” added Ben Ferguson, CEO, Bendon. “We look forward to offering a variety of age appropriate books that convey the special relationships depicted and reinforced in the Llama Llama animated series.”
Based on Anna Dewdney’s best-selling and award-winning joyful Llama Llama book series from Penguin Young Readers, season one of the animated preschool Llama Llama series starred 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.
Llama Llama was recently greenlit by Netflix for season two with Jennifer Garner returning to voice 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 serves (Arthur, Hey Arnold!) as the head writer and legendary Disney alum Ruben Aquino (Frozen, The Lion King, Aladdin, Mulan) as art director for the series.
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 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 Bendon, Inc.
Founded in 2001, Bendon Inc. has grown from a children’s publishing company focused on coloring and activity titles to a consumer products company spanning multiple categories in children’s play and education. Through innovative design and strategic partnerships with powerhouse licensors including Disney, Hasbro, Mattel, Crayola, Sony and Nickelodeon, Bendon has developed into an industry leader – supplying product to more than 81,000 retail outlets worldwide and rapidly expanding their offerings in the toy and craft arena. For more information, visit www.bendoninc.com.
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.
GENIUS BRANDS MEDIA CONTACT:
Michelle Orsi/Carol Holdsworth
Three.Sixty Marketing & Communications
FOR INVESTOR RELATIONS:
PLR Investor Relations
BENDON MEDIA CONTACT:
Released September 26, 2018