Trouble in Toytown has been averted by a deal between the BBC and the owners of the copyright to Enid Blyton's children's books over who should benefit from the world-wide popularity of Noddy, writes Will Bennett.
The agreement announced yesterday means that the division of profits made from marketing Noddy, Big Ears and the other inhabitants of Toytown will not have to be decided by the courts.
The BBC will continue to distribute world-wide the Noddy television series which it has been producing for the past four years and can also sell videos, tapes, books and other spin-off items from the programmes. The Enid Blyton Company, a subsidiary of the London entertainment complex Trocadero, which in January paid pounds 13m for the copyright to all the Blyton works, will handle more than 100 Noddy story books and the licensing of Noddy merchandise.
The two organisations will combine to introduce Noddy into the United States and to promote him further in Japan, where the Toytown characters are popular, in time for the centenary of Blyton's birth next year.
Trocadero plans to use Blyton's stories to create a Disney-type fantasy world at its shopping and entertainment complex in central London.
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