Peppa Pig steams ahead of Thomas the Tank Engine

Children’s character Peppa Pig has overtaken Thomas The Tank Engine as the highest-selling pre-school toy with retail sales of more than £200m.

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The rights to license and merchandise Peppa Pig are owned by entertainment group Entertainment One (E1).

The British animated cartoon character generated retail sales of £150m in 2009. The company says that the continued growth of the sale of Peppa Pig toys last year has led to the character taking the top spot from Thomas.

E1 has licensed the character for dozens of lines, including toys, jigsaws, books, DVDs and clothing.

The first TV series of Peppa Pig debuted on Five in 2004.

The character had been used to promote the Labour government’s Sure Start programme. However, in the run up to the general election last year E1 decided not to allow Peppa Pig to attend the launch of Labour’s manifesto for families.

Look out for Marketing Week’s Brand Licensing feature in this week’s (27 January cover date) issue.

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