PEPPA PIG IS on the way to the rich list after her British creators signed a US merchandising deal worth a projected $1billion with toy company Fisher Price.
The animated children’s character – whose love of jumping in muddy puddles will make her unusual among billionaires – has been a huge hit in Ireland and the UK since launching in 2004. Toy sales are now worth upwards of €225million a year, with Peppa outselling kids’ favourites including Fireman Sam and Thomas the Tank Engine, the Guardian reports.
It’s believed that this figure could triple to €675million, or almost $1billion, when Peppa toys hit the lucrative US merchandise market, estimated to be worth around €60billion. The cartoon, which was created by British animators Neville Astley and Mark Baker, debuted on US TV in February and already has more than 500,000 viewers aged between two and five.
Peppa, who also has her own theme park, is so successful in the UK that she was caught in a controversy during last year’s general election. There were accusations that Peppa had “snubbed” then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown after pulling out of a scheduled appearance at a Labour party event, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Giles Willits, finance director of Entertainment One which owns the rights to Peppa, told the Daily Mail he now expects US sales of Peppa toys to grow steadily. “It’ll take three to four years to build up the franchise,” he said. “Kids’ brands aren’t about overnight success, they’re about building slowly over time.”