Mr. Men Little Miss is set to celebrate its 50th anniversary next year and are seeking licensing partners ahead of the milestone. Mr Men Little Miss plan to create a buzz around the anniversary by launching two brand new characters that are promised to bring more diversity to the collection. Since Mr. Tickle, the first character in the series was born in 1971, the books have remained a family favourite for half a century, with the franchise selling a book every 2.5 seconds around the world.
The global brand has successfully collaborated with a host of partners in recent years, including the likes of the Spice Girls, Transport for London (TfL), Next fashion and Haliborange Vitamins. A recent collaboration with Carex helped drive 3.8% value sales growth for their Fun Editions range.
Ian Henderson, Global Head of Brand at Carex, says: “At Carex we are proud to have collaborated with Sanrio on our Mr. Men Little Miss range. Our Carex Fun Editions range is based on the insight that hand washing can be a chore, especially when it comes to getting children to wash their hands. The Mr Men Little Miss collaboration allows us to reach a new audience with a range of products that perfectly embodies the humour and fun of this much-loved family brand”.
Since Sanrio acquired the Mr. Men Little Miss brand in 2011 the iconic licensor has remained the second biggest pre-school brand in the market, with over 1.8 million books sold in the UK in 2019 alone.
Alastair McHarrie, Licensing Director at Sanrio, comments: “The Mr. Men Little Miss 50th Anniversary in 2021 provides an opportunity to reflect on the role the brand has played for many generations of kids and adults across the world. Our celebrations will lead with publishing, the foundation of the brand, with two new characters chosen by our fans joining our family of well-loved characters. Over the next year we are looking forward to announcing exciting collaborations as we prepare for what’s shaping up to be the most successful year yet.”
When the late Roger Hargreaves created the Mr. Men character, Mr. Tickle, in 1971, the book went on to sell a million copies in just three years.
Emily Campan, Publisher at Egmont UK, adds: “Our Mr Men and Little Miss publishing had a stellar year in 2019, rising to be the number 2 pre-school brand in the books market. We’re delighted that the books are still making readers big and small laugh after nearly 50 years, and we’re so excited for all the fantastic things to come in 2020, as we build up to the 50th anniversary in 2021.”