Herschend Entertainment Studios expands leadership team

Natalie Setton joins as Vice President of Commercial, Content Distribution & Licensing ahead of 2020’s relaunch of Chuggington, including new series and toys from Alpha Group

Written by Rhys Thomas

Posted 11.09.2019 | Pre-School

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Herschend Entertainment Studios is expanding its leadership team to prepare for the 2020 relaunch of kids’ brand Chuggington and the development of new intellectual property within the Herschend Enterprises family of companies.

Natalie Setton joins HES as Vice President of Commercial, Content Distribution & Licensing. In the new role Natalie (pictured top) will lead all sales, licensing, marketing, retail support, live events and location-based entertainment for HES properties. She’ll also work alongside Julie Phillips, who serves as Vice President of Development and Production, and as an Executive Producer on Chuggington’s new season. This executive team is being led on an interim basis by Peter Schube, former President of The Jim Henson Company and COO of Illumination Entertainment.

“I’m excited to collaborate with the amazing team at Herschend Entertainment Studios to develop the commercial business for the company, working closely with Peter and Julie on Chuggington and other properties that we develop,” says Natalie. “We’re all excited for the relaunch of Chuggington. We know that there is still strong demand in the market for the brand, and we’re looking forward to establishing new partners across multiple key categories.”

Acquired from UK parent company Ludorum PLC in December 2018, Chuggington celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2020. HES is prepping for a full-scale global relaunch of the popular series with an all-new season six premiering in spring 2020, and an exciting new toy program from master toy partner Alpha Group debuting in autumn 2020. The new toy line will bring innovation to train play as fans are given the opportunity to re-enact the series' adventures like never before with universal track sets and trains from the Chuggington world.

The brand reintroduction will also be supported with refreshed and all new creative assets, a special mini-hub website, broadcaster support, direct-to-consumer campaigns, promotional events, and global brand partnerships.

Julie Phillips says: “With the addition of our media business, Herschend Entertainment Studios has joined an elite group of companies with the capability to build 360-degree, evergreen franchises. This ability positions us well to offer fresh and exciting kid’s entertainment as we develop or acquire new intellectual properties, allowing us to connect with kids and families beyond traditional media.”

Chuggington seasons one through five rolled out across 178 territories in 36 languages and generated close to $1bn at retail globally.

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