Exclusive: In the good books – Walker Books celebrates 40 years

Published on: 16th October 2020

Walker Books celebrates its landmark 40th anniversary this year, and major plans are underway for the expansion of its global licensing programme. 

Walker Books

Earlier this year, Walker Books announced that it had been acquired by Trustbridge Global Media. The sale provides the Walker group of companies with enhanced ability to access new markets and is expected to help accelerate the company’s growth and expansion in publishing and other media.

As the company prepares to mark its 40th anniversary, the beloved children’s book Guess How Much I Love You marks its 25th year since the adventures of the Nutbrown Hares first appeared in print. In addition, a companion title – Will You Be My Friend –  launched globally in September, introducing a new friend for Big Nutbrown Hare and Little Nutbrown Hare in the shape of a snow hare, Tipps.

The brand continues to be the company’s top-performing licensed property with over 30 licensees globally, enjoying a strong presence in the US, UK and Germany across core product categories including toys, plush and apparel.

In spring 2021, Rainbow Designs will introduce a series of new wooden toys to its popular Guess How Much I Love You collection. Alongside a colourful new Wooden Shape Peg Puzzle and a Guess How Much I Love You Box of Blocks, there will be a new Wooden Pull Along featuring both Large Nutbrown Hare and Little Nutbrown Hare. There will also be a new Balancing Toy with wooden pieces, all of which balance on a wooden moon bearing an illustration of Large Nutbrown Hare and the wording ‘I Love You to the Moon and Back’. Rainbow Designs has also recognised the appeal of the brand in the adult gifting market by creating a range of gifting plush perfect for any special occasion.

Pindy O’Brien, licensing & retail development director, Key Franchises (UK & Europe), commented: “We are thrilled to be strengthening our global capabilities across licensing. Our classic brands are loved by children all over the world, and we hope we can offer them further joy and entertainment through our toys and other merchandise. Rainbow Designs produces high quality, beautiful product which we are excited to see in our EMEA markets. We also have Guess How Much I Love You toys in Australia, and in the US via Kids Preferred.”

Click here to read the full article in the special licensing October issue of Toy World.


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