By Allison Watkinson
Mercer Mayer has partnered with John R. Sansevere to develop licensing programs for Mayer’s literary franchises through their new company, TWELVE/30.
The newly created company has exclusive media and licensing rights to Mayer’s original IPs across all consumer products and publishing categories. Throughout his career, Mercer Mayer has published over 300 children books using a wide range of illustrative styles.
“I’ve been publishing stories for over 55 years, adventures inspired from my childhood or my children’s childhoods, and now I get inspiration from my grandkids,” said Mayer.
“I’ve long wanted to explore opportunities that will allow kids to engage with my characters and stories in ways that appeal to a new generation of children,” added Mayer. “Having worked with John over the years, I am extremely excited to collaborate with him again in the launch of TWELVE/30 and to continue creating inspiring new content and products based on my published works that parents will trust, and children will love.”
John R. Sansevere will serve as Managing Partner for TWELVE/30. Sansevere is an independent digital media writer, producer, designer, and creative director of original IP’s for all branches of the entertainment industry. His past clients have included NBC, Disney, Warner Bros., HarperCollins, Random House, Barnes & Noble, Mindscape, and more.
“Multiple generations born after 1980 grew up with Mercer Mayer’s books and are now passing on their love for his characters and stories to their own children,” said Sansevere.
“The first IP we will develop is Little Critter, one of the last remaining evergreen U.S. publishing brands that has never had a TV show or large-scale licensing and merchandising program,” added Sansevere.
“With the 50th anniversary of Little Critter coming up in 2025, this is a perfect time to bring the world of Little Critter to new audiences everywhere through animated content and appealing products that will allow children to further engage with the brand.”
The initial brand focus for the company will be Mayer’s Little Critter series for children age two to six-years old. Other series that are set to be developed include Little Monster, A Boy, a Dog, and a Frog, There’s a Nightmare in My Closet, There’s an Alligator Under My Bed, One Monster After Another, and more.
TWELVE/30 has signed its first licensing agreement with HarperCollins for a new line of Little Critter books. This licensed book series will include two titles under the publisher’s recently launched I Can Read Comics label and two new titles in the I Can Read series. Little Critter will also soon be featured in a Costco Little Critter Deluxe Treasury Collection.
The TWELVE/30 entertainment company will also create animated content for television and streaming based on Mayer’s IPs. The first animation project will be a series of shorts with the first Little Critter I Can Read Comics title as the basis for the initial episode. The first episode will premiere on the newly branded Little Critter YouTube channel.