Cartoon Network Enterprises (CNE) will be launching branded consumer products of kids entertainment television channel POGO in October 2006. The first phase of the POGO merchandising programme will commence with the launch of POGO Wheels, a high-performance toy. Additional POGO branded merchandise such as apparel, innerwear, stationery, gifts, bags, activity games, etc., will be launched in 2007.
Jiggy George, Director, CNE, India and South Asia, said, “The fabulous response received by our line of consumer products has led to CNE’s healthy year-on-year growth of 50 per cent. With the Network’s consistent endeavour to introduce novel concepts to Indian kids, we are mindful of evolving needs of today’s children for a brand that connects with them on a real basis. We are hopeful that the on-air connect that POGO enjoys with kids across age groups will extend to retail also.”
CNE has actively been promoting merchandising through popular channels like music, videos, promotional licensing and consumer products. George said, “It is the right time to launch consumer products with factors like retail and equity of characters booming currently. Of the Rs 600 crore toy industry in India, only Rs 120 crore accounts for organised retail. We will be marketing the POGO consumer products through our TV channels, contests, in-show plugs, and retail outlets.”
Commenting on why CNE is introducing these new products based on the TV channels and not characters, George said, “Character products is a different vertical, which is witnessing a healthy growth. Channel-based consumer products is a new vertical and we are introducing these now as this a peak season for sales of toys because of the upcoming festive season.”
POGO Wheels will also be promoted through racing arenas that will be set up in retail outlets. George added, “With the launch of POGO Wheels, we are giving kids an opportunity to compete each other and indulge in adventure sports through these toys.”
POGO Wheels will be sold through multi-brand retail chains like Lifestyle, Shopper’s Stop, Pantaloon, Piramyd, Landmark, Hypercity, Crossword and will be available in over 450 retailers across 38 cities. POGO Wheels will be manufactured and distributed by Cybershop Marketing Pvt Ltd.
Created with the expertise of Jakks Pacific Inc, a leading consumer products and toy company from the US, POGO Wheels promise real racing action. A basic set will include a wheel, a launcher and a rip cord. Other than the basic launchers, there are versions like the Body Gear Launcher, the Twin Turbo Launcher with a working speedometer that measures the wheels’ RPM and stunt ramps for true to life stunts.