One Animation is to launch 15 Oddbods FECs in China. The award-winning producer is partnering with CMC Inc. to create 15 new immersive worlds around the popular IP.
The first centre will be located in Xian and is scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2019. It will include bespoke attractions, themed restaurants, live character shows and a detailed retail programme. Further locations include Chengdu and Shanghai. The first five centres are set to be completed in the next five years.
“China is an extremely important market to us and one in which we are placing considerable resources and energy,” said Pauline Hiu, VP Consumer Products Asia & Latin America at One Animation. “Our philosophy is strongly focussed on delivering compelling and engaging content, stretching the boundaries of creativity and technology to create fun and unique experiences for kids and families.”
A gap in China for parent-child theme parks
Oddbods is a strong and swiftly developing brand. The seven colourful, non-speaking characters (Fuse, Newt, Pogo, Bubbles, Jeff, Zee and Slick) have captured the imagination of children around the world. The CGI animated comedy series has won a series of awards and the IP is now represented in 180 countries worldwide. Oddbods have had up to 4.2 billion views on YouTube (including 1 billion in China).
“CMC Inc. has identified a gap in China for parent-child theme parks and Oddbods is the ideal brand with which to fill it due to its significantly higher than average co-viewing appeal,” said Li Xie, VP of CMC. “CMC will kick off the first Oddbods FEC in mainland China, where children and parents can experience Oddbods in a fun, unique and highly engaging way. This is the first step in a potentially much deeper collaboration between CMC and One Animation, and a meaningful step in CMC’s location based entertainment strategy.”
The FEC deal was brokered by the ancillary business team at Pearl Studio, backed by a consortium led by CMC.
The potential market for branded play in China has tempted Merlin Entertainments to announced plans for five Peppa Pig World of Play attractions in China and the US.