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Press Releases

Press releases 2017

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WDR mediagroup and Sixteen South take an adventure into the “WildWoods”

Copyright: Sixteen South

WDR mediagroup (WDRmg) from Cologne has secured the international programme distribution rights for the new live action children’s series “WildWoods” by Belfast-based studio Sixteen South. The show, targeted at kids aged 4 to 7, will be filmed in summer 2017. It features puppets in beautiful outdoor locations and aims to encourage children to appreciate nature. The show has been acquired by RTÉ for Ireland and by ABC KIDS for Australia.

“WildWoods” is an adventure puppet comedy series based around an odd couple: city-boy Cooper, a Sasquatch, and nature-loving Poppy, a Sugar-glider. In each of the 26×11-minute stories, a simple task usually goes very wrong as Cooper’s sheltered indoor existence makes him ill-prepared for outdoor living. Shot in the woods all across Ireland, the real outdoor locations provide a backdrop that reinforces the series’ key messages of appreciating the wonder of nature and respecting the environment.

Sixteen South is the current BAFTA Independent Production Company of the Year 2016 and has won multiple international awards for its shows, having already collaborated with some of the world’s leading kids’ production companies and broadcasters including Sesame Workshop, Disney, Nick Jr, The Jim Henson Company and the BBC.

Colin Williams, Creative Director at Sixteen South says: “’WildWoods’ is a very special show that encourages children to rediscover and to reconnect into the great outdoors. We’ve always loved puppetry and are thrilled to be going into production on this very special puppet show, shot completely outdoors – and we’re delighted too to be working with such great partners as WDR mediagroup.“

Stefanie Fischer, Head of Content at WDRmg, is equally convinced of the potential of “WildWoods”: “This visually unique series with the exciting approach of having puppets act in a real environment will work throughout the world.“ Andrea Zuska, Chief Content Officer, adds: “’Wildwoods’ fits perfectly in our international distribution portfolio of innovative kids’ programmes. This high-quality series allows us to sharpen our profile as a relevant provider and marketer of content on the international stage.”

The international distribution of children’s productions is a growing business segment for WDRmg. Last year, the commercial subsidiary of WDR announced a partnership with the Irish production company Kavaleer to develop the children’s detective series “Dougie Noir”. An animated series adaptation of the children’s book classic “Bobo“ (worldwide distribution), “Gigglebug“ (worldwide distribution) as well as the youth adventure series “Arman’s Secret“ (GAS distribution) have already been produced and are now available.

“WildWoods” is supported by some production funding from Northern Ireland Screen.

Press release: WDR mediagroup and Sixteen South take an adventure into the “WildWoods” (PDF)Image: "WildWoods" 1 (PNG)Image: "WildWoods" 2 (PNG)

On the way to new heights: WDR mediagroup sends “Q Pootle 5” into international commercial orbit / New products set to launch at Nuremberg Toy Fair 2017

Copyright: NICI

“Q Pootle 5” travels at full throttle, and not just aboard his spaceship! The hero of the outer-space animation series of the same name, and his band of alien friends, are about to take off in international commerce as well. WDR mediagroup (WDRmg), the licensing agency that holds the rights to commercial exploitation of the original children’s format in the GAS region, has cleared the way for a broad range of new merchandising products. At the Toy Fair in Nuremberg (1-6 February 2017), for the first time, renowned manufacturers NICI and Bullyland will be presenting “Q Pootle 5” plushes, toy figures and sets, cups and much more. After the fair, the products are set to launch at retail across Europe and, in some cases, in Australia, Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Toy manufacturer Bullyland has created a range of toy figures and keychains as well as gift and play sets that will be available in Europe and beyond, in Australia and Africa.

The extensive “Q Pootle 5” range by plush manufacturer NICI comprises not only stuffed animals and pillows in different sizes but also pencil cases, purses and all the gear required for an intergalactic menu (lunchboxes, drinking bottles, cups). International test sales of these items are initially planned in Asia and Latin America.

Julia Wurzer, Head of Brands at WDRmg, said: “’Q Pootle 5′ is all about adventure and friendship. The programme alternates action-packed space scenes with quiet moments in which the focus is upon the lovingly crafted characters. This combination makes the series popular with children around the world and boosts demand for the brand in the licensing market.”

Ben Butterworth, Snapper Productions, added: “We are over the moon at the reception ‘Q Pootle 5’ and his pals have received in Germany and around the world. We know that fans of the series have been eagerly awaiting the chance to get their hands on new products and we are extremely pleased with the quality of the toys and other merchandise that has been created by NICI and Bullyland.”

“Q Pootle 5” is produced in the UK by Snapper Productions and is based on the best-selling books by children’s author and illustrator Nick Butterworth. The series has so far been sold to more than 70 countries worldwide. In Germany, where it airs on KiKA, the programme has garnered a market share of 54.5 percent in the target group of 3- to 5-year-olds (source: AGF/GfK 2015).

Visitors to the Nuremberg Toy Fair will find the “Q Pootle 5” products by Bullyland in Hall 5/C-30 and by NICI in Hall 1/E-05, F-04.

Press release: WDR mediagroup sends “Q Pootle 5” into international commercial orbit (PDF)Images: "Q Pootle 5" products (ZIP, 33 MB)
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Rechte: Patryk Kosmider - Fotolia
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“WildWoods”: broadcasting rights available now

Copyright: Sixteen South The new live action series by Irish production studio Sixteen South will be filmed in summer 2017. It features puppets in beautiful outdoor locations and aims to encourage children to appreciate nature.

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Kavaleer and WDRmg team up for "Dougie Noir"

Copyright: Kavaleer, WDRmg 2016 Kavaleer Productions and WDR mediagroup will collaborate on a new 52 x 11 action-comedy series for 6-11 year olds, "Dougie Noir". The (estimated) €4.5m series is scheduled to begin pre-production Summer 2017.

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On the way to new heights in international commercial orbit

Copyright: NICI Q Pootle 5 travels at full throttle, and not just aboard his spaceship! Renowned toy manufacturers NICI and Bullyland will launch a range of new merchandising products at retail stores across Europe and beyond.

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International format distribution: speed dating in Finnish

Copyrights: WDR The WDR-format “Autumn Tingles” makes the leap into Finnish television. Kaiho Republic will produce a remake of the German series about speed dating for the public broadcaster Yle.

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