LICENSING NEWS

Penguin Random House celebrates 120 years of Peter Rabbit

Published on: 11th November 2021

Peter Rabbit’s landmark year will be marked with tree planting initiatives, new licensed merchandise and experiential activities. 

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter was first published in 1902 and since then the iconic rabbit has gone on to win the hearts of millions of families around the world. The original Tale has sold over 46m copies globally and has been published in 48 languages including braille and hieroglyphics.

The mischievous Peter Rabbit has captivated generations of children with his antics in Mr. McGregor’s garden, so Penguin Random House Children’s will be celebrating Peter’s 120th birthday with a suitably adventurous, fun-filled campaign, creating a wealth of opportunities for families to party with Peter throughout 2022.

The Owned Brands team at Penguin Random House Children’s will be paying tribute to the enduring legacy of Beatrix Potter’s original Tale whilst engaging family audiences with Peter’s trademark mischievousness. The team will launch a purpose-driven PR and digital campaign, working with high profile partners and ambassadors in the outdoors space to reaffirm Peter’s continued relevance and appeal to young families. Peter Rabbit’s role as children’s ambassador for the Queen’s Green Canopy will see Peter supporting tree planting initiatives throughout the year whilst celebratory Picnics for Peter will take place during the summer supported by key partners at locations throughout the UK.

Penguin Ventures, the licensing team at Penguin Random House Children’s, will be growing several existing product ranges throughout 2022 in the UK and has also confirmed a programme of experiential activations in the UK offering families immersive events throughout the year. A new Peter Rabbit Story Time Trail will launch in March and tour libraries and gallery spaces across the country, with venues booked up until July 2023 offering kids the chance to step into The Tale of Peter Rabbit. The first Peter Rabbit themed entertainment parties, meanwhile, will launch in 2022.

In addition, Happy Birthday Peter Rabbit, a brand-new stage production, will be launching at the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction in the Lake District next summer. The show encompasses music, puppetry and live action offering audiences an exciting and memorable theatrical experience. Outside of the UK, celebrations will include a major touring exhibition of Potter’s original Peter Rabbit artwork in Japan with exhibition partner Toei, marking the first time the collection will have left the UK. Additionally, a new permanent Peter Rabbit English Garden will open at Fuji Motosuko Resort in a deal brokered by Sony Creative Products with Fujikyuko Co. A new Japanese publishing partner, Hayakawa, has also been confirmed, reflecting Penguin Random House Children’s strategy to bring the World of Peter Rabbit publishing to family audiences in this key territory for the brand.

In Australia, a collectible 120th anniversary stamp pack will be produced by Australia Post and consist of 12 commemorative stamps, while plush partner Jasnor will be launching a range of a special edition Peter Rabbit plush to commemorate the anniversary.

Finally, Penguin Random House Children’s will be launching a range of commemorative publishing throughout 2022 including a beautiful picture book edition of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, featuring Beatrix Potter’s original text and iconic illustrations. The Tale of Peter Rabbit will be released in picture book format in April 2022 and will be supported with a creative and high-profile publicity and marketing anniversary campaign.

Izzy Richardson, Owned Brands director at Penguin Random House Children’s, said: “With an incredible legacy that has endured since 1902, we wanted to use this milestone for the brand to celebrate Peter Rabbit’s continued relevance and resonance with today’s families. Our ambitious, year-long series of birthday celebrations will enable us to connect parents, young children and fans with The World of Peter Rabbit, helping to continue Beatrix Potter’s legacy for a new generation. Through new immersive experiences, digital and social content, consumer products and publishing, everyone is invited to celebrate with Peter in 2022.”

Susan Bolsover, director of Licensing and Consumer Products, Penguin Ventures, added: “The birthday moment presents a fantastic opportunity for both our existing licensees as well as new partners in the UK and other key international territories. We have been delighted with the way in which licensees, promotional partners and retailers are supporting this milestone moment, helping create memories for existing and new Peter Rabbit fans alike be that through products, experiences or events. There is much more to look out for in 2022.”

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