This year marks the 60th anniversary since the launch of the first Paddington book and card publishers, Danilo and Museums & Galleries are among those to be joining the buzz about the bear! A Bear Called Paddington – written by Michael Bond and illustrated by Peggy Fortnum – was first published in 1958.
The milestone anniversary will be marked with a whole programme of events and launches, including greeting card ranges, a specially designed logo, a worldwide commemorative partnership, limited edition and collectable products, retail activity and special activities.
On the greeting card front, Danilo has extended its popular Paddington greeting card range (which strongly echoes the hugely successful film franchise) by launching new designs for ages, general birthday, Christmas as well as a money wallet. While Danilo’s current Paddington range will be displayed at Spring Fair (Hall 3 Stand M16), Claire Bates, marketing manager for Danilo confirmed that there are plans to further grow the range later this year across seasonal and everyday. “We will also be planning in some consumer activity around the DVD/Blu Ray launch of Paddington 2 in March 2018, which will promote the greeting card range,” she said.
Meanwhile, Museums and Galleries is really going for it with its Paddington portfolio, based on the artwork by Peggy Fortnum, the original illustrator of Michael Bond’s Paddington Bear books. Museums & Galleries’ impressive brand new catalogue features the Paddington collection which includes everyday and Christmas cards, wrap, stationery and bookmarks.
Eddie Clarke, licensing manager for Museums and Galleries told PG Buzz: “About a decade ago, we were lucky enough to be able to publish a couple of classic Paddington illustrations, which have been best-sellers in our Illustrators range ever since. So when the opportunity arose to further explore the beautiful work of Peggy Fortnum, Paddington’s original illustrator, we seized the chance.”
The new range will be on display on Museums and Galleries’ expanded Spring Fair stand (Hall 3, N16-P17) as part of its licensed character brands in The Illustrators range.
Away from cards, promotional activity for the anniversary kicked off earlier this month, with Great Western Railway naming one of the first of its new Intercity Express trains after Paddington Bear author Michael Bond.
In February, the first of the exhibitions celebrating the anniversary will launch in Museum ‘Eki’ Kyoto, Japan. The exhibition will host over 300 pieces of original Paddington artwork and will travel across six venues finishing in 2020.
Meanwhile, the classic title Paddington Turns Detective and Other Funny Stories will join the line-up of books for World Book Day on March 1. In addition, HarperCollins will release the final Paddington Bear story in June, a year after the passing of Michael Bond.
Classic lines to launch this year include a new limited edition range of plush from Steiff in celebration of the anniversary. Launching from spring, the Paddington Steiff plush will be available in three sizes with a full range of gift boxing. Rainbow Designs will also be bolstering its Paddington plush range by introducing a special anniversary classic plush, launching this summer for general retail.
Further promotional activity will also be taking place for the DVD release of Paddington 2 on March 12, as well as key celebration timings and activities continuing throughout the year.