After working for many years across the Nordic and Germany working in Campus bookstores and as an academic publisher, Knud Pilegaard starts Forlaget Buster (Buster Publishing Company) in 1995. The company is named after his son, who is less than a year old at the time the company is founded.
It all begins with Knud’s participation in the grand finale of a BBC quiz show, Going for Gold . 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.
In 1997, we begin distribution in Finland, where we launch the ever so lovely Elf-Helpbooks. At the same time, we start distributing the Xenophobes Guide series, which went on to become such a big success that thr “Xenephobes guide to the Danes” appeared on National TV three times in 1997/98
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.”
Buster Forlaget ended the 20th century by launching String Along in Denmark and Finland – titles that are still in print in these two countries today.
Crossing the millennium, Forlaget Buster started distribution in Norway and Sweden, and for the first time as a pan-Nordic publisher, introduced one of the top preschool children’s books, Peppa Pig – still a household name throughout the world.
In 2007, Buster Forlagetbecame the proud publisher of The Elephant Family series from Walker Books.
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 toutingSir Stirling Moss as the narrator of the BBC book series. Currently, the series has already enjoyed over 10 years in our portfolio.
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:
More great news! Ronaldo de Assis Moreira – better known as Ronaldinho and FIFA World Player – in both 2004 and 2005. Ronaldinho Gaucho Comic strip by Brazil’s answer on Walt Disney – Mauricio de Souza. Thanks for the show, dear friends.
2009 represents another successful launch, The FIFA World Football Record book …
And a tribute to Michael Jackson, who died earlier that year.
In 2010 we happily welcome Postman Pat to our growing family, and we change our name to Buster Nordic.
2011 represents another big jump forward with a series of Monster High books …
Dora the Explorer …
The Immortal Series …
Time Riders …
and a flood of fact-based books.
2012 opens up for the very successful Skylanders Book series and
Mike the Knight.
2013 saw the launch of the official One Direction books.
That year we also launched Neymar Jr. about the fabulous Neymar Da Silva’s glorious soccer career.
And it keeps getting better. In 2014, we introduce license books within The Warner Bros. book range.
Also joining the party is Pingu, to great applause.
2016 we welcome Bob the Builder.
In 2017The Enchantimals finds a home with us.
These years Buster Nordic specializes in in-store campaigns with activity books throughout the territory and gather is gathering many valuable experiences.
2018 we significantly joined the digital arena, where we now enjoy fruitful partnerships with the market leading platforms throughout Nordic.
2019we 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.
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
Click on the video to see a danish version of Tine Square Critters.
Siri the Viking
… with more titles coming up very soon.
Buster Nordic is expanding on a healthy range of products and has the anatomy to include more exciting book series.
Please stay tuned and like our SoMe channels so that you always will be updated on our next exciting adventure.
We always start the day with a smile and end the day with an even more thankful smile – even though we once in a while are stuck in an airport.
Our goal is to bring entertaining and fun books featuring well-known characters to kids across the Nordic region: Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. We publish in their local language in both print- and digital formats. The first licensed character we were fortunate to work with, when we started Buster Nordic back in 1995, was Thomas the Tank. We still publish Thomas & Friends books in all of Nordic. Prominent characters have joined us – and Thomas – over the years: Pingu, Postman Pat, Bella Sara – along with all our happy friends from Warner: Tom & Jerry, Scooby Doo, Batman and many more!
We have solid channels of distribution in all four countries. Are are in book stores, toy stores, kiosks, supermarkets – you name it! We publish story books, coloring- and activity books, sticker books, board books and magazines.
Editorial and sales Our dedicated team makes sure are books are well suited for the Nordic market both in terms of contents and formats. We have sales representatives in all of the countries and visit all on a regular basis.
Licensors We built our business on long-lasting and loyal partnerships. We know how to transform characters known from tv- or films into appealing and age relevant books for kids. We work with some of the most well-reputed licensor; Warner, Mattel, Dreamworks – and many more.