FOX Lands Classic Kids Cartoon Figure, Planning for New Animated Series

Eddie Murphy might get another chance to play Gumby. Fox Entertainment acquired the rights to the Gumby universe, with plans to produce new content featuring the beloved green clay animation character. There are also plans to develop non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which will somehow appeal to the young Gumby fans out there.

Fox announced the deal on Tuesday, in partnership with the estate of Joseph Clokey, son of Gumby creator Art Clokey. The deal covers Gumby and all of his friends, including his horse Pokey. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, reports The Hollywood Reporter. Art Clokey died in 2010 at 88, and his son died in 2018 at 56.

Fox wants to "reimagine" the Gumby franchise for new generations by producing live-action and animated shows featuring the characters. Fox also gained access to classic Gumby episodes, which will live on the free Tubi streaming service. The company is also plotting consumer products and NFTs with Gumby and friends.

"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," Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier said in a statement. "Fox is proud to be home to these iconic characters. Welcome one and all."

This is the latest acquisition for Fox Entertainment since Disney's acquisition of 20th Century Television gutted the company of existing entertainment assets. Since then, the company snapped up Bento Box, the studio best known for Bob's Burgers, and MarVista Entertainment. Fox Entertainment has also established Studio Ramsay Global with chef Gordon Ramsay and bought TMZ for about $50 million last year.

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Art Clokey created Gumby in the early 1950s while studying at the University of Southern California. Gumby was first seen on Howdy Doody before The Gumby Show debuted in 1956. The show was revived in the 1960s, then in 1988. In 1995, Gumby: The Movie hit theaters. Although there have not been new Gumby shows or movies produced since 1995, the character has remained a cultural icon. Murphy famously played the character in multiple Saturday Night Live sketches. When Murphy hosted SNL in December 2019, he played Gumby one more time during a "Weekend Update" segment.