"What does a tickle look like?" This was the question, asked by a young boy of his father in 1971, that spawned Charles Roger Hargreaves to create Mr. Tickle, with his impossibly long arms and big toothy grin. And so was born not only a series of children’s characters beloved the world over, but a multi-million pound industry spanning publishing, the electronic media and merchandising.
In April 2004, Chorion grew its portfolio of children’s properties, acquiring the rights to the Mr. Men and Little Miss characters from The Hargreaves Organisation and Mister Films.
The little square format storybooks were an instant success, selling more than one million copies in the first three years. The books found even greater fame when a BBC television series came about in 1975, narrated by Dad's Army star Arthur Lowe. The Little Miss characters joined in 1981 and a total of 175 animated programmes were eventually created and have been screened in all major broadcast territories. Since their launch in 1971, an estimated 100 million Mr. Men books have been sold in 22 countries.
Each of the Mr. Men and Little Miss characters creatively capture an individual human characteristic or trait, which everyone can recognise as part of themselves. There are now 22 translations of the Mr. Men and Little Miss books published all over the world and 48 Mr. Men and 35 Little Misses continue to entertain millions of children with their stories.
Both the Mr. Men and Little Misses have given rise to a diverse range of licensed products for both children and adults, ranging from Mr. Bump plasters, Mr. Funny’s Runny Honey and Mr. Messy baby bibs to Little Miss Naughty t-shirts and nightwear.
When Roger Hargreaves died in 1988, his son, Adam, whose innocent childhood question had precipitated the entire Mr. Men empire, took over development and drawing of the characters. Adam Hargreaves now works with Chorion as a creative consultant. His continued close association with the Mr. Men brand will ensure Chorion remains faithful to Roger Hargreaves’ original vision.