Brands & Merch Business News Labels & Publishers Media

Batt plans various Womble ventures having secured rights beyond the music

By | Published on Thursday 29 August 2013

The Wombles

Well, you know what they say, in this here digital age it’s not enough for a band to just write songs and sing them anymore – “the band’s the brand” remember, and merch, product extensions, TV shows and film projects are all part of the equation if you want to have a truly viable business.

And now The Wombles, presumably having carefully watched the careers of Bieber, Gaga and One Direction, have finally learnt this, and have appointed their musical director Mike Batt to handle all their business affairs. And a new TV show is already in the pipeline as a result. Bloody hell, there’ll be publishing books about these guys soon, mark my words.

So, yes, Batt’s Dramatico Entertainment company has announced various plans to develop and exploit The Wombles brand after acquiring a major shareholding in Wombles Copyright Holdings earlier this month. Batt, of course, was behind the musical side of the popular children’s characters, but his company will now also control all the other aspects of the franchise.

Genevieve Dexter of entertainment consultancy Serious Lunch will work with Batt to pursue new opportunities, and she told CMU: “Many people have attempted to bring back classic properties, and failed. What sets The Wombles apart is that they were ahead of their time, as the first recycling enthusiasts and with the extra dimension of the band which brought them to a family arena. The rights have now been regrouped and adapted for 21st century tastes and media consumption, although the relevance of the original themes holds strong and the messages therein are perhaps even more widely accepted today”.

A new Wombles TV show will be aired by Channel 5 in 2015, though CGI will replace the stop-motion animation of the original 1970s television programme and they’ll probably use some new fangled high-tech Cribinator to do the voices, rather than hiring the master narrator Bernard Cribbins (though the 1990s remake had a whole cast of voices).

New Wombles pop ventures are also in the pipeline, including another tour for the only slightly scary giant Wombles live band.