Aussie ani ‘Blinky Bill’ goes int’l

A mischievous but environmentally conscious koala is set to become one of Australia’s most successful exports.

Deals to syndicate the “Blinky Bill” animated TV series in the U.S. and to market the character as toys in the U.S., U.K. and Australia were unveiled Tuesday.

No Australian animated series and character has had that kind of exposure and merchandising program in the U.S., said a spokesman for the producer, Yoram Gross Film Studio.

Sachs Family Entertainment will syndicate the 26-episode series “The Adventures of Blinky Bill” domestically, launching in September.

The series screened in Britain on BBC 1 in September and will air on Australian pubcaster ABC and Germany’s ARD next year. It’s been sold to 70 countries by Beyond Distribution and EM Entertainment.

One of America’s leading toy companies, Ertl Inc. of Iowa, has been inked as the master toy licensee for North America. Ertl will launch a range of Blinky Bill toys at the N.Y. Toy Fair in February 1995 and sell the products in the U.K. and Australia.

Other licensing deals include Germany, where 11 licensees have guaranteed minimum royalties of $ A1 million ($ 667,000); Asia including Japan, with Determined Prods.; and the U.K. (BBC Licensing).

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