A weekly CGI animated YouTube series featuring “top tomcat” Talking Tom and his furry friends, including fellow felines Talking Angela and Talking Ginger, will launch in April 2015 with 52 total 11-minute episodes. The series, created by Outfit7 in conjunction with animation studio Arx Anima, debuted with a special Christmas Eve episode in 2014.
A feature-length fully animated or hybrid animated and live-action film is also anticipated for release within the next two to three years. In 2014, Outfit7 announced a partnership with Mythology Entertainment to produce the feature and adapt the Talking Tom and Friends universe for family audiences, the company says.
The animated webseries and film follow on from Outfit7’s previous successes for the “Talking Tom and Friends” franchise, including a series of 10 three-minute webisodes and two music videos in 2012. The webisodes, created in collaboration with Disney Interactive, totaled more than 300 million YouTube views, while the music videos, produced in collaboration with Walt Disney Records/Hollywood Records, drew 180 million viewers on YouTube. “These videos were very successful, which showed us that users wanted more,” Login adds.
The company attributes the success of the apps – which have more than 230 million active monthly users – to their ease of use as well as the experience they offer users. “The apps are very fun, and give users the chance to create the content and guide their own story,” Login says. “The characters are also very lovable, and that’s important.”
The newest in the “Talking Tom and Friends” family of apps, My Talking Angela, launched in December. The app allows users to “adopt” Angela as a kitten and nurture her into adulthood. Users can feed and care for Angela, customize her home and dress her up in the latest fashions. The app also offers fun mini-games, digital stickers that can be shared through social media, and content creation and sharing opportunities.
The app, like Outfit7’s other creations, also allows users to have Angela repeat what they say and react to tickles or nudges in the character’s own unique fashion.
All of the company’s apps are regularly updated, with new content and features added at least once a month. “We have exceptional execution and distribution power,” Login says.
Outfit7’s apps are also distinguished by their unique sense of humor. “Our company’s mission is to ‘build entertainment using infectious humor and creativity to empower the inner child in us all,’” she adds.
Talking Angela, Talking Tom and Outfit7’s other creations will continue to cross over from the digital realm to appear on even more store shelves in 2015, thanks to a number of licensing deals recently struck by the company.
Several new products are anticipated for release in 2015 to coincide with the release of the new animated webseries. “The kids and other users who like our characters want to have products featuring those characters,” Login says. “With the new episodes launching, we think the Talking Tom and Friends franchise will be even more attractive to licensees.”
Product categories sought by the company include toys as well as comic books, school supplies, apparel, footwear, vitamins, figurines, beverages and candy. U.S. licensees include Lotty Dotty LLC, which in February 2015 will launch a children’s t-shirt line featuring screen-printed figures that can be dressed interchangeably with Velcro-backed outfits. Outfit7 also recently teamed with sticker and card producer Paper House Productions on a product line available in the U.S. market.
A number of licensing agents around the world help Outfit7 secure product deals. They include Bulldog Licensing, serving the U.S. and Canadian markets; Exim Licensing Group, serving Central and South America; Team! Licensing, serving Germany, Austria and Switzerland; Icon Promotion, serving Russia; Plus Licens AB, serving the Scandinavian and Balkan countries as well as Poland and Hungary; Enjoy Brand Licensing, serving Spain and Portugal; and Dream Theatre, serving India. Africa and Asia are represented by agencies including Copyright Licensing Agency and PPW, respectively.