Chinese tech and media giant Tencent teams with one of China's leading original IP studios to produce of a new CG-animated series based on the hit character BOOMi.
Chinese tech and media giant Tencent has invested in the new CG-animated series, Super BOOMi, produced by Up Studios, one of China's leading original IP studios.
The deal, valued at seven figures in U.S. dollars, includes cash investment in the series production by both Tencent and Up Studios, along with Tencent's vast promotional resources across its growing video platform, the WeChat mobile platform, and promotional events across the country.
Super BOOMi will launch with 52 11-minute episodes beginning summer 2017, with production at Up Studios continuing through 2018. The adventure show stars the character BOOMi, an adorable bear with a big imagination who invents a virtual reality world where toys come to life.
BOOMi was created by Up Studios founder and CEO Trevor Lai, and the character has enjoyed exposure in Greater China thanks to previous partnerships with Apple, the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Shanghai, and others. Last year, Up Studios also signed the largest licensing deal for an original IP in China with the Intercontinental Hotel Group, and BOOMi is now featured in more than 80 Holiday Inn hotels and resorts across the country. Recently, BOOMi family suites were also launched in pilot programs at Holiday Inns in Australia and Singapore, and the series is poised to find international broadcast and licensing partners at Kidscreen later this month. Wanda, the Chinese conglomerate which acquired AMC Theaters and Legendary Entertainment, recently renovated 100 of the suites at its largest ski resort in China to become BOOMi family rooms filled with the character's furnishings, merchandise and content.
The Super BOOMi series deal with Tencent marks the latest milestone for Lai and Up Studios, as the company celebrates its fifth anniversary this month. Last year, Lai became the first author-illustrator in China to sign a six-figure deal with Bloomsbury Press, the publishing house behind the “Harry Potter” book franchise, for the Piggy series, which was published internationally in December. He is currently developing animated shows for both Piggy as well as his other book series published by Macmillan's Imprint, “Tomo Explores The World.”