By Dennis Abrams
In a press release, Nickelodeon, Viacom Consumer Products and Parragon Books announced Parragon’s acquisition of master publishing rights in the UK for Nickelodeon’s “dynamic children’s entertainment brand.” The Nickelodeon UK portfolio includes the classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as well as Nickelodeon newcomers Winx Club and Bubble Guppies, and its initial book launches include the popular Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants series.Nickelodeon will introduce over 300 new animated television episodes in 2012, and based on that content, Parragon will publish more than 60 new books starting in Spring 2013. Those titles will be offered in a variety of formats from storybooks and activity books to novelty and books-plus titles.
“We are greatly looking forward to our new partnership with Parragon in the UK as they have already proved to be an invaluable publishing partner for Nickelodeon in Australia and New Zealand with their understanding of our properties and audience as well as their dedication to quality,” said Mark Kingston, Nickelodeon VP of Consumer Products UK, Australia, Russia, Israel; and CEE, Retail Sales & Trade Marketing Europe.
In an interview with Publishing Perspectives, Parragon’s Publishing Director Paul Gregory described how the Nickelodeon deal meshes with his company’s market and goals. “We see global growth in the children’s license sector. The master publishing rights for the UK adds to our existing Dora programs in Australia and South America, helping us to build our already strong relationship with Nickelodeon. With Disney at the forefront, Nick’s exciting portfolio is a perfect compliment and will help us take retail space away from weaker ranges and grow our overall sales. Global organizations such as Nickelodeon, Disney and Mattel strongly match our belief that content can be generated centrally and executed locally.”
What is especially exciting for Gregory is the way the move allows Parragon to grow and change as book publishing itself changes over the next few years. “We have four publishing departments (license publishing, non-license children’s, adult reference/illustrated and cookery) and each one is facing different challenges but each one has exciting plans, some an evolution, some close to a revolution! Over the next five years you will see us change the focus and mix of our product categories, develop new types of product and enter new distribution channels throughout all our key global territories. Of course, all of this is with a view to protecting the core! The result will be a more creative, diverse business that is adapting well within difficult times.”