U.S. Group Classic Media Grabs Rights to Iconic British Creation Noddy From Chorion
LONDON – U.S. group Classic Media has coralled rights to iconic British character Noddy from U.K. kids, crime and characters business Chorion.
Chorion is continuing to sell off rights to iconic characters in its bid to meet debts with the sale of the classic character.
Created in 1949 by Enid Blyton, Noddy is one of the enduring characters for generations of children and will now find himself driving around Toyland in his car under the watchful eye of Classic Media.
Classic Media’s stable of characters already boasts Postman Pat, Lassie, Mister Magoo and Where's Waldo? among others. It has offices in the US and London.
The Noddy franchise boasts more than 250 episodes in its program library and the latest series, Noddy in Toyland, is aired in 100 countries.
Noddy and his friends such as Big Ears first appeared on British television screens back in 1954 with Blyton’s books tallying up more than 250 million sales since the character’s creation.
"Noddy is a brand with a wonderful heritage and we are pleased that we have found a good home for it with Classic Media," said Chorion managing director Mary Durkan.
Eric Ellenbogen, co-chief executive officer, Classic Media described the addition of Noddy to her stable as a wonderful additon.
“For more than 60 years, Noddy has helped bring the magic of toys to life and we’re going to keep passing that along to fans and new generations,” Ellenbogen said.
In February this year, Chorion sold off a 64% stake in the Agatha Christie estate, including the Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot characters, to US home entertainment company Acorn Media.
Acquired in 2006 for £136 million by private equity operator 3i, the innovative kids, crime and characters business planned to acquire unexploited intellectual property and generate TV, DVD, licensing and merchandising revenues.
However, the financial collapse of 2008, weakness in the DVD market and the burden of maintaining interest payments proved to difficult for the management team to overcome.
Chorion has also sold rights assets to the Mr Men, The Octonauts and The World of Beatrix Potter.
It still has the remainder of the Blyton estate to sell separately.