Beano 80th Anniversary celebration plans revealed

Beano Emoji

A wide-ranging interview over at Licensing.biz with Ian Downes at Start Licensing has hinted at some major plans afoot to celebrate the Beano‘s latest milestone next year.

Beano 3903 Roger the DodgerAs well as a raft of new tie-in products, a big live celebration of the British weekly humour comic’s long history is in the works.

“Plans are being developed for the 80th Anniversary,” says Ian. “There is a dedicated 80th Anniversary style guide which existing and new licensees will have access to. There will also be a number of partnerships and activations with galleries, museums and selected partners.”

The Beano‘s 75th anniversary was celebrated in style with an exhibition on London’s South Bank – and the 80th will see more of the same type of activity “with new twists, new locations and new partners,” Ian teases.

“We have also some new partnerships in the art and print category including a work in progress original art collection from a very noteworthy contemporary artist that will be announced soon.  Art and Beano go well together.”

One popular new item of merchandise has been Signature Gifts new range of personalised products with a particular highlight being a personalised edition of this year’s Beano Annual – the first time that this has been done.

“It’s a really great alternative to the standard Beano Annual for the fan or gifter looking to add an original twist to a classic annual,” Ian feels.

The Beano Water Pistol from Lagoon Games
The Beano Water Pistol from Lagoon Games

“A company like Lagoon Games is a good example of a Beano success story,” Ian also notes when asked about licensing successes for the comic and its publisher DC Thomson, whose products include a Sculpturades game and Beano-inspired water pistol.

Beano was the first license Lagoon took and over the years they have enjoyed a lot of success with the brand whilst extending their activities in the licensing field with other partnerships,” says Ian. “Rather than stand still we have investigated ways of developing new products with Lagoon and this year they launched a Beano range in partnership with modelling compound Plasticine.

John Hornby Skewes‘ range of ‘real’ musical instruments is a current highlight as well. They have a great range that blends traditional instruments such as ukuleles with electric guitars coupled with original products such as the pBuzz – a starter instrument for wind instruments. It is great to be a player in this category – one of Dennis’ highlight was his band the Dinmakers so it makes perfect sense to have a musical instrument range!”

Ian thinks the 80th will bring some interesting new opportunities.

A best seller - the Truffleshuffle Bananaman T-Shirt
A best seller – the Truffleshuffle Bananaman T-Shirt

“We have actually signed a few new deals in the last week specifically for the 80th Anniversary including a deal with Truffleshuffle which will allow them to produce Limited Edition T-Shirts and designs for their site.

“This is a really nice dal for me as Truffleshuffle’s first ever license was for Bananaman – so it is nice to be working with Pat and his team on Beano’s 80th.”

What else might we see on release next year?

“I think wall art, original art and artworks are a great area for Beano to explore,” feels Ian.

(John Patrick Reynolds of course already creates handmade silkscreen prints of classic comic around the world including The Beano, The Dandy, The Victor and Commando)

“I think there is more that can be done in this area,” Ian says, “both by working directly with artists but also exploring ways of upcycling real Beanos into other uses.”

Read the full interview with Ian Downes here on Licensing.Biz |follow Ian Downes on Twitter @StartLicensing

Beano 3903 is on sale now in all good newsagents and via digital platforms | www.beano.com

The Beano annual is on sale now in all good bookshops and some supermarkets

Signature Gifts personalised Beano annual
Signature Gifts personalised Beano annual

Signature Gifts personalised Beano annual is available to order and buy here

Beano and characters © DC Thomson

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor. He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY. Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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