Thunderbird Entertainment establishes Thunderbird Brands to further grow licensing business
Thunderbird Entertainment Group, a global award-winning, full-service multiplatform production, distribution and rights management company, has formalized its consumer products operations under the new Thunderbird Brands banner. Led by Thunderbird President of Global Distribution and Consumer Products, Richard Goldsmith, Thunderbird Brands represents product, experience and service licensing rights for the 20-year-old production company’s original series from its Atomic Cartoons (animation, kids and family), Great Pacific Media (unscripted) and Thunderbird Scripted (comedy, drama) labels and select third-party properties under the Company’s management.
Thunderbird Brands will make its industry debut at Licensing Expo (Booth #K236). It is presenting four key properties/brands to potential manufacturing, retail and promotional partners at the show:
Mermicorno: Starfall: The brand-new epic original animated adventure-comedy for kids ages six to nine, created and produced by Atomic Cartoons in partnership with global design tastemaker tokidoki, will debut exclusively in the U.S. on WarnerBros. Discovery’s Max. The series invites viewers into a fantastical, magical undersea world, where eight unique Mermicornos (enchanting unicorn/mermaid creatures) join together on a quest, using their creative powers (art, dance, writing, photography, etc.) to save the ocean from the threat of the evil Ika Inkblot. In terms of licensing, collectability and themes of creativity will inspire product extensions for the mass-market program.
Mittens & Pants: Last year, Thunderbird Distribution acquired the global media distribution and licensing rights to this super-cute preschool series produced by Windy Isle Entertainment, which launched on television platforms in early 2023. The live-action series features the adventures of baby animals living in the tiny town of Kibble Corners as they explore the world around them. It was commissioned by CBC Kids in Canada and promptly acquired by Sky Kids in the U.K. and has had a successful first-season run on both platforms with more programming and international platforms to be announced soon. Mittens & Pants’ environments, houses and vehicles are inherently toyetic, making the series well-suited for toys, publishing, apparel and other key categories.
The Last Kids on Earth: In North America, Thunderbird Brands is now representing the property based on Max Brallier’s bestselling book series (10 million copies and counting), and the hit Atomic Cartoons Netflix series of the same name, and is looking to expand its consumer products presence. The Last Kids on Earth currently has several successful ancillary extensions, including The Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom console video game (Outright Games); the DVD/digital releases of Books One to Three of the Netflix series (NCircle Entertainment); and a U.S.-based mini monster truck tour (Live a Little Entertainment).
Highway Thru Hell: The licensor is also dipping into its unscripted catalogue to bring Thunderbird-owned Great Pacific Media’s hit high-stakes documentary series Highway Thru Hell to the consumer products market for the first time. With 11 seasons on air, distribution in more than 170 countries and hundreds of daring rescues captured on film, Highway Thru Hell has attracted a legion of fans across the globe.
“Thunderbird Entertainment is a pure-play content company that employs 1,300 people focused on making outstanding scripted, unscripted, kids and family, and animated content for platforms worldwide. For the content we produce that generates significant brand awareness, we have a unique opportunity to market products to our fans, such as toys and apparel, and new content like books, video games, live entertainment and recorded music that will extend the franchises,” said Goldsmith. “Looking at our pipeline over the next few years, we are very excited about the opportunities for this key growth vertical for our company.”