18 NOV 2022

Ferly: The strategies behind a global franchise

Tuomas Sorjamaa, VP Sales at Finnish company, reveals the steps behind preschool hit show “Momolu and Friends” and speaks about Ferly new project "Mistfall".


Tuomas Sorjamaa


Finnish animation, publishing, and licensing studio Ferly has created a big hit animated series “Momolu and Friends” alongside with Yellow Animation, Atmosphere Media and DGA, and the show has sold worldwide and multiple merchandising and licencing deals have been closed around this IP. "The strategy with 'Momolu and Friends' was already set from the start to develop it into a franchise", asserted Tuomas Sorjamaa, VP Sales at Ferly to Señal News. The Finnish studio was in charge of the development of all the characters, with merchandising built into its DNA. "When we started developing the series, we kept through that and develop it with a franchise potential", he explained.

Currently, Ferly is looking for new partners in key territories in order to expand "Momolu and Friends" brand. In September, the company has appointed Brands With Influence as its UK licencing agent for the "Momolu" brand. This deal followed the agreement closed with United Smile who will launch a product line featuring a collection ranging from plush toys, arts & crafts sets, figures next year. "We want that kids be able to play with their favourite characters, they can have the same characters in books, they can interact in their home and can play with the panda, that is the main idea", he highlighted.

Ferly chooses its different licensing and merchandising partners according to the quality of the products they make and to the understanding they have about the essence of the series. "It needs to be someone who understands what we're looking for. And the same applies for all the partners we have on board, we select them based on how well they understand what the show is about", he specified.

Ferly was involved also into the development of short-form series adaptation of "Mistfall" alongside Star Stable Entertainment. The series was pitched on Cartoon Forum and Tuomas Sorjamaa had multiple meetings at Mipcom to present the series. But the executive attended the Cannes market looking for new ideas where Ferly can participate as co-producer, producer, investor, licensing agent or work on a publishing deal through its literary agency. “I'm open to everything, as long there's a good story in that, it can be anything," said Sorjamaa.

Ferly has presence in different territories through agents, but it's always looking for new partners and business around the world. "We rely a lot on our local distributors and local agents," he affirmed, but he also mentioned that he had a meeting with Mongolian buyers, and he wants to know more about Latin America.

Talking about the future, Sorjamaa asserted he is seeing that a lot more things are coming from certain unusual places. "We'll hopefully see more of global hits and global IPs that originate from places that you might not expect, like Asian countries or Africa or Latin America, and not just from the US and Europe."