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Adelaide Set to go Panda Crazy

September 16, 2009
With less than three months until they go on display at Adelaide Zoo, a massive promotional campaign for Adelaide's giant pandas has been unveiled.
Toy pandas wearing designed outfits, a board game and a children's book by South Australian author Phil Cummings are among the official Wang Wang and Funi merchandise ready to go on sale from mid-November.
The company behind the merchandising campaign, Adelaide-based Imagination Ventures, expects the products to go global and raise $1 million a year for Adelaide Zooâs conservation programs.
As Imagination Ventures Chief Executive Shane Yeend explains, âit's a Hollywood-style campaign, you look at the remarkable merchandising of movie properties like Toy Story and we can do a similar thing with Wang Wang and Funi.
"All profits will go back to the zoo, so it's a great way to raise money for important causes."
The company has released computer-generated images of Wang Wang, described as "playful with boundless energy", while Funi has "beautiful soft fur and ever-inquisitive eyes".
The giant pandas will arrive in Adelaide in next month and will go on display on 13th December.
Zoos South Australia Chief Executive Dr Chris West explained that everything is on track for Wang Wang and Funi's arrival from China, including the completion of their multimillion-dollar exhibit and having enough bamboo to feed the pair.
Dr West stated âthere's a lot of excitement around already and obviously this is only the start of it.�?
South Australian businesses are being encouraged to stock the merchandise. While negotiations with national retailers, including Coles-Myer, are under way.
Adelaide Zoo will stock the full range of official panda products from December.

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