Illumination’s Minions: The Rise of Gru, the long-awaited next installment of the most successful animated franchise in history, is set to hit cinemas across the globe in July 2022.

In anticipation, Universal Brand Development (UBD) is pulling out all the stops to support the new feature film with global toy partners Mattel and The Lego Group. The toy collection will feature fresh new looks of action figures, construction sets, electronics, plush, collectibles and playsets. Other partners include Topps, Asmodee, Ravensburger, Clementoni, Posh Paws, Danilo and Boxine.

During last year’s 2020 lockdown, Minions’ global popularity in the international grocery sector, which remained open, kept the beloved characters front-of-mind. The franchise has shown continued strength throughout Europe in FMCG, food, personal care and beauty categories and UBD is planning a broad-based programme in a number of categories with Yazoo, Brioche, Pez, Danone, Volvic, Perfetti Van Melle, Colgate, Avon, BIP and Glamglow.  Softlines will also be a focus as Minions: The Rise of Gru sparks further interest in the franchise.

With a roster of local agents around the globe, UBD is taking a tailored approach to retail activations and licensing and merchandising opportunities. It is a formula that has consistently delivered results, establishing Minions as a powerhouse brand.

Last summer, UBD developed a number of online-only events and promotions including the Free the Fun digital pop-up event in the UK that included giveaways and prizes that enlisted top-tier UK grocers including ALDI, ASDA, Sainsbury, Tesco, as well as toy stores Smyths, The Entertainer and Hamleys. Leading up to the film’s release in 2022, UBD’s promotional and marketing efforts will be doubled as the pent-up demand and anticipation for all things Minions is expected to be huge.