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Shaftesbury/Smokebomb expands into licensing

Award-winning creator and producer debuts at Licensing Expo with properties across a range of target demographics, from Murdoch Mysteries, female millennial-centric Carmilla, and kids’ shows Splashlings and The Moblees

TORONTO, June 16, 2016 – Leading creator and producer Shaftesbury/Smokebomb will make its first foray into licensing and merchandising at Licensing Expo 2016 (Booth E228) in Las Vegas. The company plans to evolve some of its most popular entertainment properties, including the international hit television series Murdoch Mysteries, the wildly popular millennial-centric digital series Carmilla, musical and movement-based pre-school series The Moblees, and Splashlings, the new toy property from Pound Puppies creator Mike Bowling, beyond screen-based platforms and into consumer products.

“We have built incredibly dedicated fan bases for our most popular series, like Murdoch Mysteries and Carmilla, and moving into licensing allows us to explore new business opportunities that will help us to continue building on the global success of our brands,” said Christina Jennings, Chairman & CEO of Shaftesbury/Smokebomb.

Available licenses at this year’s Licensing Expo include:

MURDOCH MYSTERIES (Drama – 10 seasons, 150 x 60 mins episodes)
One of Canada’s most successful and longest-running dramas, Murdoch Mysteries brings together compelling mysteries, unique slices of turn-of-the-century history, ingenious inventions, and personal moments for each character. The series is licensed to broadcasters in 110 countries and territories including the U.S., U.K., France, Finland, and China. Currently in production on season 10, the series has one of the most engaged fan communities in the world.

CARMILLA (Scripted digital series – 2 seasons, 72 x 4 mins episodes)
Since its debut on YouTube in August 2014, Carmilla boasts a highly engaged global fandom and has garnered 45 million views and counting. A modern take on the cult classic gothic novella by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, Carmilla tells the story of a university student and her mysterious vampire roommate. Carmilla is funded by the Kimberly-Clark U by Kotex® brand. Season 3 is slated for a summer 2016 launch.

SPLASHLINGS (Digital animated series, Kids 4-9)
Splashlings is a new collectible, mermaid-themed toy line from Pound Puppies creator Mike Bowling. Developed by Australian toyco TPF Toys, the February 2016 launch created a frenzy amongst toy unboxers with over 10 million views to date. An animated Splashlings digital series, produced by Shaftesbury/Smokebomb, debuted on YouTube alongside the toy launch, and has garnered over 1 million views. The property includes collectible trading cards from Upper Deck and an interactive collector’s guide app from AnimagaPlus. Splashlings follows five mermaid guardians of the sea as they encounter adventures, fend off dastardly Mer-Pirates, and make new friends while protecting the underwater kingdom of Orabel.


THE MOBLEES (Live-action, Kids 3-6 – 2 seasons, 50 x 11mins episodes)
The Moblees television series for Kids CBC features five loveable characters – Bailey Butterfly, Carlin Caterpillar, Gisbert Grasshopper, Dasha Dog, and Sylvio Snake – who, along with the audience at home, overcome obstacles through teamwork, movement, and music. Each episode features a song-driven adventure, encouraging kids to get up and get moving!

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About Shaftesbury/Smokebomb
With offices in Toronto and Los Angeles, Shaftesbury is an award-winning creator and producer of original content for television and digital platforms. Shaftesbury’s slate includes 10 seasons of Murdoch Mysteries for CBC, UKTV, and ITV STUDIOS Global Entertainment; David Shore’s new series Houdini & Doyle for Sony Pictures Television, Corus Entertainment, ITV, and Fox; thriller series Slasher for Super Channel and NBCUniversal’s Chiller; and Kids’ CBC series The Moblees. Shaftesbury’s digital arm, Smokebomb Entertainment, produces original digital, convergent, and branded entertainment projects including the hit YouTube series Carmilla, funded by U by Kotex®; mystery series V Morgan Is Dead, brought to life by RBC; fashion comedy series MsLabelled, produced in partnership with Shaw Media and Tetley Tea; and the Slasher VR app for iOS, Android, and Oculus Rift. In June 2014, Shaftesbury/Smokebomb launched shift2, a branded entertainment agency that drives profitable engagement with millennials using scripted series, turning brands into executive producers.

For further information:

Judy Lung