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Factory signs licensing deal for Fred cartoon series


Altrincham animation studio and rights holder Factory has announced a new licensing partnership with greeting cards publisher Woodmansterne for its cartoon character Fred.

The Fred cartoons follow the surreal world of Fred and his wife Penelope, as they live a life of “curious domestic bliss” along with their black cat Anthony. 

The new range of greeting cards, which are colour for the first time, feature scenarios ranging from “sneaky Sunday afternoon naps to disastrous DIY, socially awkward situations with the neighbours to relatable relationship dramas”.

Woodmansterne has launched an initial range of 12 greeting cards which are available to buy now in John Lewis and independent card and gift shops. More designs, including special occasions, birthday and Christmas cards, will be launched later this year.

Fred was first created by British cartoonist and writer Rupert Fawcett in 1989 and published in the Mid Week Newspaper (1990-1992) and The Mail on Sunday (1991-1995).

The success of Fred led to over 800 different cartoons being created and sales historically of over nine million greetings cards in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, plus a bestselling range of merchandise, including 17 books.

Anya Hollis, Head of Brand Licensing at Factory Rights, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to be working with Woodmansterne in producing, for the first time, a range of coloured Fred cards. 

“Fred has been a long-standing household favourite for 30 years and it’s great to be able to share the cartoons with fans both old and new. We look forward to building the Fred merchandise range with new partners over the coming months and having a lot of fun in the process!”.

Ian Blake, Art Director at Woodmansterne, added: “We are already great fans of Fred and Penelope and following on from our existing Rupert Fawcett ranges, Off the Leash and On The Prowl, we are delighted to have the opportunity to publish this range.

“We have introduced colour to the images for the first time ever, knowing it would resonate well with our customers. Rupert is over the moon with the addition and how they have brought these charming characters to life, making the range feel new and contemporary. They have just launched and are proving to be an instant success.”

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