February 12, 2024

Bagpuss celebrates 50th anniversary with range of collectables and events

In 2024, Bagpuss, the most important, the most beautiful, the most magical saggy old cloth cat in the whole wide world, will celebrate his 50th birthday and international media group and rights owner Coolabi has announced a range of collectable products from commemorative 50ps and stamps, to plushes and crafts to mark the moment.

Just thirteen episodes of the iconic Smallfilms animation were created by Peter Firmin and Oliver Postgate, which live on in the hearts of the British public, and to this day Bagpuss is considered one of the greatest ever TV shows. The remastered show was re-released on DVD and Blu-ray in 2023 by Fabulous Films, a long standing UK/US distributor specialising in classic and cult television and is available to stream on Britbox and ITVX, plus iTunes, Amazon and more.

To mark the moment, leading distributors of collectable coins and stamps, The Westminster Collection, will be releasing a brand new collection of five 50p coins in base metal and sterling silver. The reverse of each will feature one of the characters from the show, each with a relevant quote that fans of the show will remember dearly.

Bagpuss – ‘He gave a big yawn and settled down to sleep’

Professor Yaffle – ‘Fiddle sticks and Flap Doodle’

Gabriel – ‘With a splish and a splosh!’

Madeleine – ‘Alright alright, I’ll tell you a little story’

The Mice – ‘We will fix it like new, new, new’

The obverse of the coins will feature the portrait of His Majesty King Charles III by Glyn Davies along with the 2024 date and Bailiwick of Guernsey wording and will have Royal Approval from His Majesty King Charles III.

Guernsey Post will issue a set of four commemorative stamps, on the 25th July, for the island of Alderney, which is part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, a Crown Dependency. The stamps, which are also subject to Royal Approval from His Majesty, will feature Bagpuss and his friends and will carry King Charles III’s Royal Cypher. The range of collectables will include souvenir sheets, first day covers and a presentation pack.

Rainbow Designs, creators of high quality, forever toys, inspired by the beloved characters from children’s literature, has launched a new range of Bagpuss plush toys including a brightly coloured Yawning Soft Toy that lets out a big yawn when you squeeze his head.

Bagpuss – The 50th Anniversary Edition, is a special edition Bagpuss exclusive to Danbury Mint. The MBi designers have worked directly with Steiff, the inventors of the teddy bear, on this special anniversary piece. He’s been airbrushed by hand and has the special Steiff button-in-ear as a guarantee of authenticity. Available to pre-order now, this limited edition piece ships in April 2024.

Practical Publishing will be releasing a Bagpuss collection available at CraftStash, featuring cutting dies, beautiful printed papers and toppers, that will allow card makers and crafters alike to create inspirational projects whilst capturing the nostalgia and fun of Bagpuss.

Emily Firmin, Peter Firmin’s daughter, who features in the show, comments: “I can’t believe Bagpuss is 50! That makes me feel old. It’s funny when I think about it, he wasn’t a kitten when he opened our shop. I think he must have been at least a three year old cat to own a shop of lost and founds.

“Many moons ago, Oliver Postgate and my father Peter Firmin, offered me sweets for a funny photo of me and a gorgeous pink and white cat. The sweet dress my mum Joan made me and the horrible Victorian style shoes I had to wear seem like a dream.

“Who would have believed that Bagpuss would still be such a super star 50 years later. I still adore him. I see him occasionally when I pop into the Beaney museum in Canterbury. He’s in good company in an exhibition of all the puppets made by my father. I’m very proud of the fact that Bagpuss has supported The Hospices of Hope since 2002 and I will be visiting their hospital in Romania this year to paint a mural with some of the children.”

Fran Huxley, Coolabi representative, comments: “Bagpuss is a charming, quintessentially British brand that captures the hearts and minds of people across the world. We are delighted to wish Smallfilms’ magical saggy old cloth cat a very happy 50th Anniversary and to have such a wonderful range of collectables out this year to mark this lovely occasion.”

The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge is hosting The Smallfilms Gallery, renamed in honour of the studio, a family gallery showcasing work by Peter Firmin and Oliver Postgate, who created their iconic children’s programmes from their studio near Canterbury. The exhibition, created in close conjunction with the Firmin and Postgate families and Dr Chris Pallant, Canterbury Christ Church University features the original Bagpuss, and many of the original film props.

As he enters his 50th year, Bagpuss continues his role as mascot to Hospices of Hope, the only UK charity dedicated to supporting hospice care in South and East Europe. He has held this role since 2002, when Oliver Postgate donated Bagpuss’ ‘pocket money’ to fund a specialist children’s wing at its Romanian partner hospice. Hospices of Hope celebrates Bagpuss’ birthday with a range of events including the Bagpuss Bash, a Bagpuss Bikeathon, family walks and more.

January 25, 2024

Coolabi Group signs groundbreaking development and production deal with Tencent Video for Warrior Cats

Coolabi Productions has signed a deal with Tencent Video who will develop its global publishing phenomenon ‘Warrior Cats’ for television and film.

Warrior Cats is a hugely successful feline fantasy book series about clans of wild cats, created by Working Partners, a Coolabi Group company. The Erin Hunter penned series has sold over 70 million books to date which have been translated into 38 languages and been a fixture on the New York Times bestseller list for the last 16 years.

Tencent Video, in collaboration with Coolabi, will work with the original characters and storylines to create animated adaptations with global appeal. This will be the first authorised official animation of Warrior Cats.

The brand has a huge and passionate fanbase across the world, garnering over 1.7m annual users on the official Warrior Cats website last year, half a billion views across user generated content on YouTube in 2023 alone plus almost 2 billion views on TikTok. The Warrior Cats: Ultimate Edition game on Roblox is consistently one of the highest-ranking branded games on the platform and has been played more than 430 million times.

Jeremy Banks, CEO of Coolabi Group, comments:

“We are delighted to have concluded an agreement with Tencent Video which will see Warrior Cats brought to animated life around the world. Official animation has consistently been top of the list of requests made of us by the enormous global community of Warrior Cats fans and I cannot think of a better partner to collaborate with. My team and I could not be more excited about working with the wonderful team at Tencent Video and look forward to seeing Warriors Cats on screens, big and small, across the world.”


December 4, 2023

Coolabi appoints Spotlight.1888 for Clangers retail representation

Spotlight.1888 is delighted to announce that it has been appointed by international media group and rights owner, Coolabi, as the UK & Eire retail agent for its multi-award-winning pre-school brand, Clangers.

Spotlight.1888 will seek new opportunities for the property, bringing a fresh approach to the brand at retail. Spotlight.1888’s remit includes attending key trade shows, identifying new channels, collaborations and exclusive opportunities to bring the Clangers world to life for pre-schoolers, parents, grandparents and gift-givers.

Clangers is the much loved, BAFTA award-winning, pre-school stop motion-animation featuring a family of lovable, pink, mouse-like creatures who communicate in whistles and live out in space on their Little Blue Planet.

The show, with the universal themes of kindness, community and resourcefulness at its heart, was originally created by Peter Firmin and Oliver Postgate and made its debut on BBC Television in 1969. The Clangers returned to CBeebies in June 2015 and there are now 104 new episodes available on the BBC iPlayer and Amazon Kids+.

Allison Watkins, Director of Consumer Products & TV Distribution, comments, “Clangers is loved across multiple generations and we are excited to start working with the team at Spotlight.1888 to realise the retail opportunities that exist and support our existing and future licensees. As the Clangers approach their 55th birthday in November 2024 we are seeking great partners to celebrate with us!”

Hannah Redler, Co-Founder and Group Retail Director of Spotlight.1888, says: “We are looking forward to exciting the Clangers’ fan-base at retail with the brand’s enduring and much-loved messages of wonder, community and creativity.

“The team and I are proud to represent such a multi-generational, iconic brand that appeals to pre-schoolers, parents and grandparents alike and continues to achieve outstanding fan engagement and impressive viewership on CBeebies and across social media.”

If retailers and/or brands would like to discuss opportunities with the Clangers get in touch with mary.lewis@thepoint1888.com to learn more!

May 9, 2023

‘Warrior Cats: Ultimate Edition’ Roblox game hits 300 million game visits on its second anniversary

The hit game rolls out its biggest update since launch

Coolabi Group and Roblox specialists, Aldrich-Callen Studios, co-producers of ‘Warrior Cats: Ultimate Edition’, today reveal the game has more than two million unique players a month, as the game reaches its two year anniversary.

The 3D role-play game on global online platform Roblox is based on Coolabi Group’s best-selling fantasy brand, Warrior Cats (Warriors). This month the game will also roll out its biggest update since launch, adding a new layer of interaction which will allow players to find and hunt down prey including mice, birds and fish, as well as a map refresh. There will be amazing new areas themed from the book series and an easier way for people to navigate between the notable areas of the Forest Territory.

‘Warrior Cats: Ultimate Edition’ has had 300 million game visits since launch, and has been favourited over 975k times, making this a very exciting and much hyped moment for its hugely engaged community. The game ranks within the top 100 on Roblox for gameplay time and retention, with players spending more than 24 minutes per session. According to Metaverse Marcom, who collate charts and data on brand activity and experiences within Roblox, ‘Warrior Cats: Ultimate Edition’ currently ranks at #4 in the branded games chart in terms of game visits and #1 for gameplay session time.

In soon to be released Warrior Cats research, which has attracted over 30,000 responses from fans, Coolabi found that 48.6% of all respondents play Roblox either every day or at least once a week, and 38.4% of all respondents play Warrior Cats: Ultimate Edition on Roblox either every day or at least once a week.

Naomi Dare, Director of Digital at Coolabi Group comments:  “We are incredibly proud of ‘Warrior Cats: Ultimate Edition’ which has built a huge and engaged audience over the last two years, and continues to go from strength to strength.

“It has been extremely rewarding to read such positive feedback from the game’s players who have commented that in lockdown it was an outlet to escape the stresses of life and make new friends, plus introduced millions of young people to the Warriors books for the first time. We are very excited to be working on future developments already but can’t wait to see the reaction to this new prey update which has been so highly anticipated by the community!”

The ‘Warrior Cats: Ultimate Edition’ update is live now.


March 30, 2023

New UK licensing partnership with Rainbow Designs for Bagpuss

International media group and rights owner Coolabi has today announced a UK licensing partnership with leading soft toy manufacturers Rainbow Designs for heritage brand Bagpuss.

Licensed by Coolabi Licensing Ltd, the iconic, charming, British animated children’s television series Bagpuss first premiered on UK television in 1974. Co-created by Peter Firmin and Oliver Postgate through their production company Smallfilms, the Bagpuss series, which ran for a total of thirteen episodes, has left a lasting legacy.

Coolabi is delighted to share that Rainbow Designs will be launching a new range of Bagpuss plush toys later this year. The exclusive Bagpuss plush collection will be available to consumers across the UK in A/W 2023.

For over 50 years, Rainbow Designs has been creating high quality, made-to-last toys, inspired by the beloved characters from children’s literature, for babies and children of all ages, promoting bedtime cuddles and stories, and providing fun, comfort and sensory learning.

Anthony Temple, Managing Director, Rainbow Designs, comments: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Bagpuss to Rainbow’s family of classic characters ahead of his 50th anniversary celebration next year. This much-loved saggy cloth cat has created so many superb childhood memories for both parents and grandparents, families now have the opportunity to enjoy this delightful character with their children, creating new, lasting memories – which is such a wonderful gift!

“Bagpuss is a hugely iconic and instantly recognisable character. We received a fantastic response to our new super cuddly, yawning soft toy at all the trade shows this season, and we absolutely cannot wait to have him on the shelves and available to consumers later this year.”

Fran Huxley, Coolabi Group, comments: “Bagpuss is such a renowned and celebrated character, he holds such a special place in the hearts of families around the world. We are thrilled to be working with Rainbow Designs to bring Bagpuss into homes across the UK ahead of his 50th anniversary celebration in 2024, with further announcements to be made later this year.”

The magical, saggy old cloth cat has consistently been voted to the top positions of many polls of Greatest Children’s TV shows over the last twenty years. Peter Firmin, co-creator of Bagpuss, was honoured with a Special BAFTA Children’s Award in 2014 for his contribution to Children’s TV with Bagpuss proving to be the star of the show.

Coolabi Group is set to make further exciting announcements later in the year, as Bagpuss celebrates his 50th anniversary in 2024.

February 15, 2023

Warrior Cats wins Best Alternative Game at 2023 Kidscreen Awards!

Warrior Cats: Ultimate Edition was announced the winner at the 2023 Kidscreen Awards in Miami last night for Best Alternative Game.

These prestigious international awards are a high-profile celebration of children’s content excellence paying tribute to outstanding TV and digital media work that keeps kids and families entertained. Warrior Cats: Ultimate Edition, created by Aldrich-Callen Studios and Coolabi, is a hugely popular roleplay game on Roblox which has had over 280 million plays since its launch in 2021 and regularly ranks in the most popular and most engaging branded game charts, according to Metaverse Marcom.

Play the game on Roblox

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