Build-A-Bear Workshop Teams with Sesame Workshop
Elmo fans will get a chance to create their very own plush toy via a new deal between Build-A-Bear Workshop and Sesame Workshop. Starting July 23, consumers can choose Elmo, and go through the same eight steps that Build-A-Bear Workshop offers to create a unique, personalized experience. Children can pick a special heart for Elmo, and he will be stuffed, stitched, and fluffed right before their eyes. The 18-inch Elmo plush will be available for $20 (U.S.) and $30 (Canada).
In other news, Sesame Workshop named Copyrights Promotions Licensing Group its licensing representative for The Benelux. CPLG will oversee Sesamstraat, the local Dutch adaptation of Sesame Street, which kicks off its 30th anniversary celebration in 2005. Both companies will work together on developing a full-scale licensing program featuring a wide range of products and retail promotions.
Dragon Booster to Make a Splash at Comic-Con
Score Entertainment will debut its Dragon Booster trading card game next week at Comic-Con, where attendees will get a first look at excerpts of the TV show and be the first to receive a promo card pack available at the booth. The show is slated for the U.S. on Jetix, (ABC Family and Toon Disney’s branded block) October 23 and on CBC in Canada October 26. Jakks Pacific, worldwide master toy licensee, ships first products in fall 2005, followed by Konami Digital Entertainment with the first video game due holiday 2005.
Arthur Stars in New Magazine
Redan Publishing Inc. is launching a Fun to Learn Arthur magazine aimed at kids ages 4 to 7. The publication will feature stories based on the TV show, an educational 16-page pullout workbook full of activities, and a collectible poster. The 32-page, bi-monthly title will retail for $4.50 and will be available by subscription and at newsstands from August 16.
A Colorful New Property
National Geographic Television & Film’s Kids’ Programming and Production unit will develop and produce an animated TV series based on children’s book series “Adventures in Color.” NGT&F is working with animation director/producer Ron Myrick and original author/designer Tony Porto and his team at Three Communication Design to develop the series. “Get Red! An Adventure in Color” and “Blue Aliens! An Adventure in Color” are the first two books in the series. The third book is due out in 2005.
TRU Sweet on Frankford Candy
Frankford Candy & Chocolate Co. recently received a Vendor of the Year award from Toys “R” Us. The award marks a collaborative effort between the two on a licensed-driven candy section featuring licenses such as SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, Rugrats, Rocket Power, Blue’s Clues, Fairly OddParents, Scooby-Doo, Powerpuff Girls, Care Bears, Barbie, Hot Wheels, and The Simpsons.
Penguin Group to Helm Atomic Betty Publishing Program
Breakthrough Animation signed on Penguin Group as master publishing licensee for Atomic Betty. The publishing program will launch in summer 2005 with key titles published through the company’s Grosset & Dunlap and PSS! imprints. Included in the initial releases are a Cine-Manga full-color graphic novel, “The Atomic Betty Files”; Atomic Betty Mad Libs; and a How to Draw Cine-Manga Book featuring scenes from the Atomic Betty Show. The launch will be supported by in-store displays, “Top-Secret” phone messages from Betty to buyers, Hyper-Galactic Starcruiser-shaped sell-in kits, Atomic Betty-themed retailer promotional premiums, and more.
Executives Climb the Ranks
Cheryl Rubin was promoted to senior vice president, brand management, at DC Comics, where she will continue to supervise the brand, creative, and merchandising activities for the library of DC Comics and MAD magazine properties. Rubin also will continue to be the company’s liaison to Warner Bros. Consumer Products and oversee DC Direct, DC’s own toy and collectibles business, and work on brand management of the properties in other forms.
At Sony Pictures Consumer Products, Elise Barkan was named director of marketing, where she will be responsible for developing and implementing global marketing programs for key properties such as Bewitched and Zathura. She also will act as liaison between the various divisions.
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