The Gumby franchise is now part of Fox Entertainment.
The estate of Joseph Clokey, son of Gumby creator Art Clokey, has sold the property rights to Fox, which is planning to reimagine the titular green clay humanoid character for new generations through new animated series and live-action projects across the company’s linear, digital, and blockchain platforms. According to Deadline, Fox is already in conversations with a range of A-list creatives to come on board the said projects.
Though terms of the deal were not disclosed, the press release announcing the acquisition noted that the deal covers not only the titular character of the franchise but also his friend horse Pokey; his parents Gumbo and Gumba; his little sister Minga; Prickle and Goo; the troublemaking Blockheads, Professor Kapp, and Denali; and all other characters from the clay animation franchise.
“Picking a new home was important to me, and I’ve found great partners in Fox Entertainment,” Gumby said in a statement. “They have a vision for my modern, multi-platform reemergence, which is thrilling. Throughout our conversations, Pokey and I reiterated that we are talent they can mold. Literally.”
Fox has acquired all Gumby rights including film, TV and streaming, consumer products, licensing, publishing, and all other categories. The company has also picked up the full library of Gumby animated series, specials, movies and content, which will be available to stream on the Fox-owned streaming service Tubi.
“Competition for globally recognized intellectual property is fierce. Uncovering this gem, with its built-in awareness and affinity, and bringing it to Fox, adds meaningful value and creative possibilities to the IP itself and to multiple divisions of our company,” said Fox Entertainment CEO Collier in a statement. “Fox is proud to be home to these iconic characters. Welcome one and all.”
The Gumby franchise is the latest acquisition by Fox. In the past couple of years, the company purchased Bob’s Burgers animation studio Bento Box, production company MarVista Entertainment, start-up company Blockchain Creative Labs, and celebrity gossip site TMZ in a deal valued at less than $50 million. It has also partnered with chef and Hell’s Kitchen host Gordon Ramsay on the production company Studio Ramsay Global.
History of Gumby
Gumby was created by Art Clokey in the early 1950s after he finished film school at the University of Southern California. After a stint on the NBC children’s program Howdy Doody, Gumby went on to star in The Gumby Show from 1957 to 1969 and in Gumby Adventures in 1988. The character also headlined the 1995 feature film, Gumby: The Movie.
In an interview with Pop Mythology back in 2005, Joseph Clokey said that “the fact that Gumby’s an everyman hero who has a heart and a positive outlook” is what makes the character a pop culture icon. “There’s also something about Gumby’s ever-present smile that lights up the lives of those in need of hope,” he explained. “Gumby adventures are all about kinesthetic action, heart, art, imagination, and adventures that always leave a place better than when he finds it. These are attributes that transcend time.”