ABC Kids (formerly known as ABC For Kids) is an Australian children's television brand on the ABC. They are also known to fans as the distribution company for The Wiggles albums since 1991, videos since 1993, and their primary TV broadcaster since 2002.
The early learning items, the Apple, Bee and Carrot were the mascots during 1989-2009, both in 2D in 1992 and 3D in 1998-2009 (although in the 1998 promo, other characters appear).
During 2009-2015, the three mascots (and some returning, and new characters in the 2009-2015 promo) were re-designed by ZSPACE to be 3D rendered, like in the 1998 promo. Iconised versions of the three mascots designed by brand agency, Hulsbosch, are used during 2015-2020.
In April 2020 and onwards, to coincide with the premiere of Season 2 of Bluey, the ABC Made team had to re-design the Apple and Bee items to be 2D animated mascot characters, much like in the 1992 promo. Carrot was originally going to be returning as an animated mascot with a worm on it (as evidenced by some early artwork for the three returning mascots on the ABC Kids 2020 re-brand's "Making of" video, but was later removed while Croc, a new animated mascot, took the Carrot's place. Also, Ant and Bird were both considered to appear, but were later removed (although they both have early designs of their own in the "Making of" video. In addition, all three current mascots have child voice actors of their own. Apple and Bee are voiced by female kids, and Croc is voiced by a male kid.
Characters in branding history
- Apple - Appears as an object in promos through 1992-2020, and as animated mascot from April 2020 onwards. In the 2020 rebrand, she lives in the country, and likes to be safe and cosy with her family. She moves by jumping, tumbling, and rolling, despite having no legs and arms.
- Bee - Appears in promos through 1992-2009 and 2015-2020, later re-designed in the 2009-2015 promotion, and as animated mascot from April 2020 onwards. In the 2020 rebrand, she lives in the city. She is always finding something fun to do to fuel her curiosity, and is described as "a buzzing ball of energy".
- Crocodile (named as Croc during 2020) - Appears in the 2009 promotion, later re-designed as animated mascot in April 2020 onwards. In the 2020 rebrand, he lives in the outback. He likes being deadly and making new friends "in a snap", and also loves to adventure all across the wide Australian land.
- Carrot - Appears as an object in promos through 1990-2020. It was originally going to be returning as an animated mascot with a worm on it (as evidenced by some early artwork on the ABC Kids 2020 re-brand's "Making of" video), but was later replaced by Croc in the 2020 rebrand.
- Ant - Appears in the 1998 promotion as a black ant who wears white and red coloured shoes, later given a re-design in the 2009 promotion as a green ant whom goes barefoot for comfort. Ant was considered to return in the 2020 rebrand as a red ant, as it has early artwork on the 2020 re-brand's "Making of" video, but was later removed.
- Armadillo (or Aardvark) - Appears in the 1998 promotion, later given a re-design in the 2009 promotion.
- Bird - Only seen in the 1998 promotion as a yellow bird. It was intended to re-appear as a blue bird as it also has early artwork in the 2020 re-brand's "Making of" video, but was also removed.
- Butterfly - Appears in the 1998 promotion as a butterfly with a colourful pattern on it's wings, later given a re-design in the 2009 promotion as a blue and black patterned butterfly.
- Cow - Only seen in the 1998 promotion.
- Cat - Appears in the 1998 promotion, later given a re-design in the 2009 promotion.
- Bilby - An Australian marsupial. Only seen in the 2009 promotion.
1992, 1999-2009 opening logo
2009-2015 opening logo
2009-2015 closing logo
2015-2020 opening logo
2015-2020 closing logo
2020 opening logo
- Near the end of the 1992-2009 promotion, the Bee draws the 1974 ABC lissajous curve shape in a dust trail, which disappears after that.
- In the 1998-2009 promotion, the Ant wears three pairs of matching running/walking shoes on each of it's legs, while in the 2009-2015 promotion, it goes barefoot instead, as real ants don't wear shoes. This could be referencing one of Ryu's win quotes in the original version of Street Fighter IV, in which he reminds; "Shoes? No, I can't certainly afford them. I go barefoot for comfort.".
- The Cat's design in the 1998-2009, and 2009-2015 promotions is likely based on the one in the Play School Claymation animation for The Ning Nang Nong. Both Cats have similar appearances in design, as the one in the Play School animation has yellow eyes and black pupils, while the ones in the 1998-2009 and 2009-2015 promotions have white eyes and black pupils.
- Apple, Bee, Carrot, Ant, Armadillo (Aardvark), Butterfly, Cat and Crocodile (Croc) are the only objects/characters to have several design changes for each promotion through the years.
- Despite being the logo's mascots, Apple, Bee, and Carrot have the most design changes out of all of the other characters in the branding history. Cow and Bilby only had a single design (Bird also has this, if not counting it's 2020 rebrand design), Bird, Armadillo (Aardvark), Butterfly, Cat and Crocodile (Croc) had two design changes, and Ant had three design changes (two if not counting it's 2020 rebrand design).
- The 1989-2009 ABC For Kids logo used the 1974 ABC lissajous curve logo until February 2009. The 2015-2020 and 2020 logos also have this lissajous curve, as it was brought back as part of the ABC's undergoing plan of their broadcaster-wide re-brand. The lissajous curve was the longest-running design with a lifespan of 45 years (as of 2019), and 28 on its first on-air run.
- Likewise, the 2009-2015 logo used the 2002-2014 ABC lissajous curve logo (which was retired in 2018). On DVDs, the curve is multi-coloured in the same style as the 2008-2019 ABC DVD logo.
- The 1989-2009 logo has two rows of three boxes, while the 2009-2015 logo has three rows of three boxes.
- A still of the 2D background from the 1992-2009 promotion can be seen in the end credits' of ABC For Kids: Live In Concert and ABC For Kids: Featuring Banana Holiday and Lots of Other Great Songs, as well as on the New Zealand marketing promo for Toot Toot!.