EXCLUSIVE: Leading Russian animation outfit Riki Group has signed a deal with Beijing-based producer and distributor Joy Culture and Chinese platform Tencent Video to partner on season four of animated series The Fixies.
Following its acquisition of the show’s third season, Tencent will now invest in the production of 52 new episodes of the series, which follows the comical misadventures of Tom Thomas and his secret friendship with Simka and Nolik, two young Fixies who live in his apartment.
The first 13 episodes will be completed before the end of this year, with 13 delivered subsequently every six months, with the deal running until June 2022. The series will be released in Russian and Chinese with English available shortly after.
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The show is produced by Moscow’s Aeroplane Productions, which was recently acquired by Riki Group. It first debuted on Tencent in 2015 and has gained significant popularity with Chinese audiences, clocking more than 12 billion views on Chinese VOD platforms and 6.4 billion on Tencent alone, according to the producers. It has also been sold into more than 90 territories.
“We consider this further step in our continued partnership with one of the China’s largest companies that specializes in content for kids and families to be the strongest evidence of our characters’ popularity in this country,” said Julia Sofronova, producer of The Fixies. “Five years ago Tencent acquired non-exclusive rights for the first two seasons of The Fixies, then exclusive rights for season three and now they have invested in the production of a new season. This leaves little doubt in Tencent’s faith in the quality of our production and in continued interest for the series from its audience. Moreover, the Chinese audience will be the first to see The Fixies new science show, which we are still only dreaming about in Russia.”
“We’re delighted that Chinese children will have a chance to watch season four of The Fixies at the end of this year. The deal is also strategically important for the brand’s development. We are glad to be continuing our exclusive licensing deal with Tencent video as they’re having great success with The Fixies brand in China,” added Li Yan, CEO of Beijing’s Joy Culture Media, Co.
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