BOCA RATON, Fla., May 23, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Grom Social Enterprises, Inc.’s (GROM) Curiosity Ink Media – a creator, producer and franchise manager of original multiplatform family entertainment – today announced that the company will partner with Cepia LLC to serve as licensing agent for the hit toy and entertainment franchise, Cats vs Pickles. The Cats vs Pickles brand has established tremendous appeal among global fans with collectible bean-filled toys, popular YouTube animated shorts and a hyper-casual app game. The announcement was made jointly by Cepia LLC Founder and Chief Executive Officer, James Russell Hornsby, and Curiosity Ink Media’s Chief Executive Officer, Jared Wolfson, Chief Content Officer Russell Hicks and Chief Creative Officer, Brent Watts.
The licensing partnership builds on the Curiosity-Cepia relationship established in 2021, an alliance to develop Cats vs Pickles into a widely distributed animated series featuring the hilarious cast of characters from the wildly popular Cats vs Pickles product line. In addition to entertainment content, Curiosity Ink Media has also signed on to develop multiple publishing titles, planned for 2022 and 2023 release. The first book in the series, Everybody Loves Cats vs Pickles is slated for release in September of 2022.
“Cats vs Pickles has all the ingredients of a character-based toy property that can successfully expand into various categories of business, ”said Wolfson. “We believe it is uniquely positioned for continued growth, and are excited to work with Russ and the great team at Cepia to further bolster the property, with expanded entertainment content and multi-segmented licensing applications.”
The licensing program will tap into the growing popularity of Cats vs Pickles, as fans have amassed huge collections and love the brand’s signature quirky, clever designs. To date, there are more than 600 distinctly styled characters (or “beans” as fans call them) in the collection, all featuring silly puns in their names and bios (including one-eared Vincent van Meow or Triggy Kitty, the blackboard cat covered in math equations). And, of course, the lovable Pickles are treasured by collectors as well, including Leaf Pickleson, the Viking pickle or the dashing, tuxedo-clad Fitzgherkin.
A recent survey of over 1300 Cats vs Pickles fans revealed that the average collection size is over 70 characters, with 20% boasting collections of 120 or more in just the past year. The brand also has kid and adult fans, with both boys and girls collecting. Remarkably, more than 60% of all fans report that they regularly take their Cats vs Pickles collectibles with them to school or to work, making it a true lifestyle brand.
“Cats vs Pickles is more than a collectible; to our fans the entire CvP community is an important part of their lives that gives them a little happiness and joy, ”explains Hornsby. “Cats vs Pickles speaks to the ‘kidult’ in all of us, and, in many ways, is really a comfort pet collectible. ”
Brand phenomenon are not new territory for Cepia. Their robotic hamster toy, Zhu Zhu Pets, was a massive hit that created 60 million Zhunatic fans worldwide and delivered more than $ 1.7B in retail sales for the privately held toy company. The Zhu Zhu Pets brand is memorialized on HOUR Magazine’s list of the “All-time 100 Greatest Toys,” and received top honor “Toy of the Year” recognition in five countries, including 2010 “Toy of the Year,” “Most Innovative Toy” and “Best Girls Toy.”
“We see several hallmarks of a collectible franchise that hits the right notes, with an engaged and growing fanbase that spans demographic groups, clever characters that are beloved and a storyline that has a heart,” added Cepia’s Chief Marketing Officer, Laura Frerichs. “Our CvP community have been actively asking for licensed product in all categories – they can not wait to show their true colors of Team Cat or Team Pickle.”
Curiosity Ink Media will be taking meetings with select partners during the upcoming Licensing Expo 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada, May 24th – May 26th.
Headquartered in St Louis, Mo., Cepia, LLC is a privately held, family-owned global manufacturer of entertainment-driven brands designed to ignite the imaginations of children of all ages. Led by industry veteran and former inventor of the year, James Russell Hornsby and a small band of passionate toymakers, Cepia creates toy franchises that ignite magic through wonder and imagination. Cats vs Pickles is distributed in major and specialty retailers in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Thailand. For more information, please visit www.cepiallc.com and www.catsvpickles.com.
About Curiosity Ink Media
Curiosity Ink Media is a global media company that develops, acquires, builds, grows and maximizes the short, mid, and long-term commercial potential of Kids & Family entertainment properties and associated business opportunities. Driven by a best-in-class leadership team, Curiosity Ink Media’s multi-faceted IP library is designed to amass ongoing value through strategic stewardship, partnerships, and highly targeted market entry.
About Grom Social Enterprises, Inc.
Grom Social Enterprises, Inc. is a growing social media platform and original content provider of entertainment for children under 13 years of age, which provides safe and secure digital environments for kids that can be monitored by their parents or guardians. The Company has several operating subsidiaries, including Grom Social, which delivers its content through mobile and desktop environments (web portal and apps) that entertain children, let them interact with friends, access relevant news, and play proprietary games while teaching them about being good digital citizens. The Company owns and operates Top Draw Animation, which produces award-winning animation content for some of the largest international media companies in the world. Grom also includes Grom Educational Services, which has provided web filtering services for K-12 schools, government and private businesses. For more information, please visit gromsocial.com.
This press release contains statements, which may constitute “forward-looking statements.” Those statements include statements regarding the intent, belief, or current expectations of Grom and members of its management team as well as the assumptions on which such statements are based. Such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties, and that actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by such forward-looking statements. Important factors currently known to management that may cause actual results to differ from those anticipated are discussed throughout the Company’s reports filed with Securities and Exchange Commission which are available at www.sec.gov as well as the Company’s web site at www.gromsocial.com . The Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect changed assumptions, the occurrence of unanticipated events or changes to future operating results.
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