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Rainbow's highlights of 2019

What a momentous year it has been! With a new decade upon us we’re taking a look back at the highlights of 2019…

Some of your favourite characters celebrated special milestones this year.  Elmer the Patchwork Elephant celebrated his 30th anniversary with a special trail of community-designed sculptures and activities during October. The Clangers celebrated their 50th with new episodes and appearances at Trafford Centre. Small & Tiny also made an appearance and showed off their dance moves at the Museum of London Docklands Family Rave! Wallace & Gromit marked 30 cracking years with a special 50p coin inspired by the original short film, A Grand Day Out and appeared at Cheese Fest events across the country. Last but not least everyone’s favourite badge collector Duggee celebrated his 5th anniversary with the release of his Birthday song which is available on YouTube. The show Hey Duggee has been a hit since its first episode in December 2014 and has won International Emmy Kids Awards 3 years in a row. Duggee made his debut appearance at Drusillas Park this April and has since been wowing fans all over UK and even held his very own behind the scenes exhibition Designing Duggee at the Design Museum, London.

Our licensed character portfolio grew in 2019 with the addition of some well-known DreamWorks characters – Shrek, Minions, Poppy & Branch from Trolls, Po from Kung Fu Panda and Alex and the penguins from Madagascar.  Pepi Nana and Moon Baby from Moon & Me and UglyDolls Moxy, Ox, Lucky Bat, Wage & Babo are also now available for appearances throughout UK.

You might have spotted some of your much-loved characters on the red carpet this year too.  In April Boomer, the star of Wonder Park, visited various cinemas across the country promoting the movie.  August saw UglyDolls’ Moxy & Ox appear on the orange carpet and Dora the Explorer made several appearances to see her fans around the release of her new movie Dora and the Lost City of Gold.  Finally, Shaun the Sheep’s second movie Farmageddon premiered in Leicester Square in October, where Shaun and his best friend Bitzer made an appearance alongside real-life astronaut Tim Peake.

2019 was also a big year for sports. The first Major League Baseball event was held in London Stadium and of course it included the infamous bobblehead race.  We had the honour of bringing to life four notable Brits – Freddie Mercury, Nessie, Winston Churchill & Henry VIII – to go head to head with Freddie Mercury taking the victory.  Muller also held its annual Anniversary Games and Tasty B was there to take part in some of the activities and pose alongside his fans.

In March, Skillzy, the official mascot for UEFA EURO 2020 was unveiled. Next year he will be performing freestyle tricks at events throughout the EURO tournament, alongside two lucky winners from UEFA’s Your Move campaign.

PJ Masks swept the nation with their Be a Hero tour where children had the chance to meet their heroes and learn their signature moves. For the second year running the PAW Patrol pups headed up the PAW Awards, celebrating ‘real-life’ little heroes who have made a difference.  Peppa Pig partnered with Save the Children for their Muddy Puddle Walk and Christmas Jumper Day, as well as released her Bing Bong Christmas Song. 2019 also saw Brand Licensing Europe move to ExCel London for the first time, bringing characters such as Paddington™, the Gruffalo, Bugs Bunny, Red Bird and TMNT (just to name a few) to the show floor.

Characters aside, our team had a year full of adventures as they took on the Three Peaks Challenge, Export Manager James Barlow completed the Brighton Marathon and the team won The Light Fund Treasure Hunt, which raised over £8000 for the charity.

Looking ahead to 2020, here’s a sneak peek at what’s in store for January…

1st January: Begin your new year with a visit to Cheltenham Racecourse to see Alex & Skipper from Madagascar

18th January: All four pups from PAW Patrol are attending a cinema screening in Bluewater Shopping Centre

21st – 22nd January: Toy Fair 2020 returns to Olympia London and will see characters such as Bing & Flop, Pepi Nana & Moon Baby and Batman join the legendary character parade.

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