Buster Nordic Timeline
Buster Nordic timeline
After working for many years across the Nordic countries selling university textbooks and as an academic publisher, Knud Pilegaard started Forlaget Buster (Buster Publishing Company) in 1995. The company was named after his son, who was less than a year old at the time the company was founded. It all started with Knud’s participation in the grand finale of a BBC quiz show, Going for Gold (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=si2JUL1mrTg&t=300s). While on the show, Knud met Tom Thorsteinsen from Oslo, Norway, who inspired him to become a publisher. Buster, who is now 26 years old, is enjoying life in corporate finance, while Knud continues doing what he loves – publishing fantastic children’s books. But even if Buster is not currently working in the company, he has spent his early years helping out where and when he could, and always keeps an eye looking out for the good of the company.
Forlaget Buster started with a slightly different focus than it has today. We originally introduced Elf-Help books – coming from the monks of Saint Meinrad Archabbey, with quotes and sayings from many caring authors and illustrations by R.W. Alley, perhaps better known as the illustrator of Paddington Bear. The Elf-Helpbook series became a success, which inspired Forlaget Buster to take the next step.
Xenophobes Guide series
Thomas The Tank Engine
1998 represented a milestone for Forlaget Buster, as they joined the children’s books arena with the world’s fourth most popular children’s character: Thomas The Tank Engine. By accident, Knud’s family of three saw it on TV on a Friday afternoon in September 1996 and immediately fell in love. Two years later, their publishing program of this wonderful book series began, and it is something they still proudly hold as their crown jewel.
As in 1998, Buster Forlaget proudly introduced the Dutch author Rien Poortvliet’s Gnomes series. This remarkable artist passed away a few years before launching the series, so this release was also is done in tribute to Rien, who, according to Wikipedia, “was an outdoors man, hunter and painter. He understood as no other the art of bringing you into contact with the beauty and peculiarity of life on Earth.”
Roary the Racing Car
The following year, they really started rocking with Roary the Racing Car – an instantly popular series about a racing car with a similarly big heart as Thomas the Tank Engine and touting Sir Stirling Moss as the narrator of the BBC book series. Currently, the series has already enjoyed over 10 years in our portfolio.
In the Night Garden
Also in 2008 In the Night Garden, the most hyped character in the licensed book world 15 years ago, and Forlaget Buster gets the Pan Nordic rights. Weeeek! And in Norway we launch three book titles that get ranked as No 1, 2 and 3, respectively, on Ark.No bestseller list. Once NRK considered dropping TV support, it became a matter brought up at the Norwegian Parliament: https://www.nrk.no/kultur/vil-redde-drommehagen-1.6944834
2019 we added activity products, which was especially popular during the Covid-19 lockdown as a way to keep kids busy. And, we are now digital outside Nordic as well.
Tiny Square Critters
2021 and into the future, Buster Nordic has a strong presence in the licensing world – as well as taking part in Nordic series created in the Nordic, such as Tiny Square Critters. Set in the forest, Tiny Square Critters tells stories from the target audience’s own world, e.g. The first day in kindergarten, Where is my mum?, I can’t sleep. The critters are all square shaped animal children. These wonderful books are called: In Danish – Hjørnebjørne In Finnish – Kulmikkaat Kaverit In Norwegian – Firkantdyr In Swedish – Små Fyrkantiga Djur
Meet the team
CEO Buster Nordic