Toronto-based toy maker Spin Master Toys has been awarded the master toy license by Venture Licensing of Canada and The Jim Henson Company to produce toys for the preschool children's television show JIM HENSON'S THE HOOBS. The agreement provides Spin Master the licensing rights to produce toys based on the five main characters: Iver, Tula, Groove, Roma and Hubba Bubba. JIM HENSON'S THE HOOBS is an innovative program mixing puppetry, animation and live-action. The program launched on the U.K.'s Channel 4 in January 2001 and currently airs in Canada on TVOntario.
Playmates Toys has acquired the licenseto create action figures based on the animated series THE SIMPSONS. Therewill be eight initial figures, including Homer, Bart, Lisa, Grandpa,Krusty, Mr. Burns, Moe, and Barney, which will all be part of the World OfSpringfield Intelli-Tronic line. Each figure will feature the voice of thecast member who plays the character on the show. There are also plans forthree dioramas, including The Simpsons' living room, Homer's work station
Walt Disney Records' DISNEY SWINGING CHRISTMAS is a collection ofholiday favorites performed by the Glenn Miller Orchestra. It includes "TheTwelve Days of Christmas," "Jingle Bells," "Nutcracker Medley" and "TheChristmas Song," among others. The compact disc is available now exclusively at The Disney Store and Disney Theme Parks for US$8.99. . . The TOY STORY 2soundtrack features songs and score by Randy Newman (TOY STORY, A BUG'SLIFE), and performances by Grammy Award-winning Sarah McLachlan,
On November 19, Tim Burton's first film since MARS ATTACKS!, SLEEPY HOLLOW, which features a CGI Headless Horseman created by Industrial Light & Magic, will be released. McFarlane Toys, the company responsible for the excellently crafted SPAWN action figures, is releasing several SLEEPY HOLLOW figures. The figures began appearing in retail stores the first week of November, including Toys 'R Us, KB Toys, comic book shops, Spencers, Musicland/Sam Goody, Electronics Boutiques, Babbages, and others.
Burger King, the US-headquartered fastfood chain, began offering Pokemon toys on November 8, 1999. The eight-weekpromotion includes 57 different toys in 56 days -- one with each kid'smeal. The toys, each of which are packed in a Poke Ball and include one of151 trading cards, is said to be the largest licensing effort ever forBurger King. The toys are part of the licensing for the feature filmPOKEMON: THE FIRST MOVIE which opens November 10, 1999. Consumers can alsopurchase one of six 23K gold plated trading cards for $1.99 with the
The fourth stamp in the Looney Tunes series, which will be releasedsometime next year by the US Postal Service, will feature two characterscreated by Chuck Jones for Warner Bros., Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner.The Bugs Bunny stamp began the series in 1997, followed by the Sylvesterand Tweety stamp in 1998 and the Daffy Duck stamp in 1999. The lucklessgenius inventor, Wile E. Coyote, and his speedy nemesis, the Road Runner,have appeared together in more than forty cartoons since their debut film,FAST AND FURRY-OUS, was released in 1949.
On November 2, 1999 Rhino Records will release GO SIMPSONIC WITH THESIMPSONS, musical selections from the often very musical THE SIMPSONS.Consisting of more than 50 tracks of songs, themes, and underscore music,GO SIMPSONIC not only picks up where its predecessor, SONGS IN THE KEY OFSPRINGFIELD, left off, but also digs deep into the first nine seasons,capturing selections that didn't make it onto the first collection. GOSIMPSONIC also makes available for the first time four never-before-heard
Los Angeles-based Rhino Records has released TIP OF THE FREBERG, a four CDbox set that also includes a video and a booklet. Stan Freberg is probablybest known to animation fans as the voice of Junyer Bear, Bertie the mouse,and Pete Puma in various Warner Bros. shorts, as well as the beaver in LADYAND THE TRAMP, but Freberg, who has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame,has also won many awards for his comedy records and commercials. This greatcollection spans Freberg's entire career, 1950 to 1998, and includes many
Every fan who dreamed of building a car like Speed Racer's Mach 5 will beinterested to know that Speed's ultra-cool car is finally being built byLong Beach, California-based Focus on Cars, an automotive fabricationcompany that caters to the entertainment and advertising industry. The carwill be used to promote a nation-wide safety tour conducted by The ChildSafety Network (CSN) called CHILD SAFETY DAY AT THE RACES. The Mach 5 willprivately debut at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show -
The United States Post Office has issued a Yellow Submarine stamp with TheBeatles which was illustrated by Robin Shepherd and Caleb Lawrence ofJacksonville, Florida-based The Robin Shepherd Group. The stamp wasofficially dedicated on September 17, 1999 in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and thepackage of fifteen stamps will be available soon at post offices across thecountry. The "Celebrate the Century" stamp series features fifteen stampsfor each decade of the twentieth century. The final stamps were determined
Kid Rhino has released WHAT TO DO, BLUE?, an audio tape and booklet set. On the tape, the cast of Nickelodeon's BLUE'S CLUES, Steve, Blue and friends, are joined by BLUE'S CLUES co-creator Angela Santomero who reads, WHAT TO DO, BLUE? In the story Blue searches for something to do, while visiting her friends. The booklet allows listeners to read along with Santomero. WHAT TO DO, BLUE? retails in the US for $7.98. Kid Rhino and Nickelodeon will also release BLUE'S CLUES: GOODNIGHT BLUE on November 2, 1999.
McFarlane Toys is releasing four dual-packed assortments of action figures based on characters in YELLOW SUBMARINE featuring The Beatles, John, Paul, George and Ringo. Each card comes with two figures and accessories. John comes with Jeremy, the Nowhere Man; Paul comes with Glove, one of the Blue Meanies instruments of evil; George comes with the Yellow Submarine; and Ringo comes with a Blue Meanie. The figures will be released in late September or early October, and retail for between US$8 and $11.
Westbury, New York-based American Royal Arts Corp., an animation artdealer, has been licensed by Apple and Signatures to produce hand paintedlimited edition cels and sericels featuring The Beatles from YELLOWSUBMARINE. The artwork will be signed by some of the same people who wereresponsible for making the original film, including the composer, SirGeorge Martin, the producer and co-author, Al Brodax, and Erich Segal,co-author of the original YELLOW SUBMARINE screenplay and Ringo Starr, the
AnotherUniverse.com, a website devoted tocomic books and science fiction, has reported that the widow and daughterof Jerry Siegel, co-creator with Joe Schuster of Superman, have filedpapers with the U.S. Copyright Office which have the effect of returning50% of the rights to the character of Superman to them. (Apparently, DCwill retain 50% interest in the rights unless the family of Joe Schusterfiles similar papers. Whether the Schuster family, or representative, will
Kid Rhino's BATMAN BEYOND soundtrack on CD and cassette was released onAugust 31, 1999 in the US. BATMAN BEYOND is a popular series that is setfifty years in the future, taking place after Warners' previous Batmanseries, THE ADVENTURES OF BATMAN AND ROBIN. The album includes twentytracks. Also, the inlay and CD booklet include comments about thesoundtrack music by Bruce Timm, the series' producer, and artwork from theseries' opening sequence. The CD will retail for US$13.98, and the cassette
On September 14, Kid Rhino will release the soundtrack album for the upcoming feature length Scooby-Doo video, SCOOBY-DOO! AND THE WITCH'S GHOST, which is scheduled for release on October 5. In SCOOBY-DOO! AND THE WITCH'S GHOST, Scooby and Mystery Inc. travel to a small New England town to learn why it's being spooked by witches' ghosts. Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Machine will appear in the flesh at the Rhino Retrofest, August 13 to 15, at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in Santa Monica, California, USA. Suggested retail price for the CD is US$13.98 and US$9.98 for the cassette.
The soundtrack for Willis O'Brien's stop-motion masterpiece, KING KONG, isbeing released by Turner Classic Movies Music/Rhino Movie Music. Composedby Max Steiner, the collection includes music cues from the 1933 RKO film'smost memorable moments, featuring a nearly 25-minute suite consisting ofpreviously unreleased material. The liner notes includes an introduction byDanny Elfman (of the band, Oingo Boingo, and composer of many soundtracks,including EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, BATMAN, and SLEEPY HOLLOW), and notes by
Warner Bros. Consumer Products has awarded Trendmasters, Inc., a toydesigner and manufacturer, the master toy license for Cartoon Network'sanimated series including THE POWERPUFF GIRLS, DEXTER'S LABORATORY and COW& CHICKEN. In addition, Trendmasters has also secured the master toy rightsfor Cartoon Network's classic characters including Yogi Bear andSnagglepuss. Under the terms of the multi-year agreement, Trendmasters,Inc. has the rights to produce toy related merchandise including toy
THE IRON GIANT, which opens in the US on August 6, will be accompanied bythe following merchandising. On August 3 Rhino Records will release THEIRON GIANT soundtrack. In addition to an original score by Michael Kamen(LETHAL WEAPON, 101 DALMATIONS), this collection includes tracks such asEddie Platt's 1958 hit "Cha-Hua-Hua," The Magnificents' "Let's Do TheCha-Cha," and Jimmie Haskell's "Rockin' In Orbit." Compiled by Rhino'sJames Austin, THE IRON GIANT soundtrack will retail for $16.1998/CD,
On July 6 Kid Rhino and Cartoon Network celebrate tunes from some of thebest-loved cartoon TV shows of this century with CARTOON MEDLEY, acollection of 38 of Cartoon Network's greatest hits. The collectionfeatures themes from JOSIE & THE PUSSYCATS, THE FLINTSTONES, SPEED RACER,THE JETSONS, SPACE GHOST COAST-TO-COAST, SCOOBY-DOO WHERE ARE YOU?,DEXTER'S LABORATORY, and the current cult favorite THE POWERPUFF GIRLS.Lyrics are included in the CD booklet. CARTOON MEDLEY will retail for
eToys Inc., an Internet retailer of children's products, reports that DarthMaul tops their list of most popular action figure characters. Samuel L.Jackson's Mace Windu, despite limited screen time, is number two. The leastpopular action figure characters at eToys are Senator Palpatine and theNaboo space craft pilot Ric Olie. Hasbro paid $590 million, and gave GeorgeLucas a 7.4% stake in the company, for the licensing rights to STAR WARSEPISODES ONE, TWO, and THREE.
Top Ten Action Figure Characters at eToys
IN SEARCH OF THE MIGHTY REPTAR, an audio adventure based on THE RUGRATS,the Nickelodeon TV series, will be released by Nickelodeon and Kid Rhino onJuly 20th. The release contains two separate stories, "Reptar On Ice" and"Journey To The Center Of The Basement." "Reptar On Ice" takes the Rugratson a quest to meet Reptar, the giant lizard beloved by Tommy Pickles andhis pals, at the Reptar on Ice Show. "Journey To The Center Of TheBasement" tells how the Rugrats summon up their courage to rescue baby
Red Storm, which has been broadening the boundaries of computer gaming withproducts like Tom Clancy's RAINBOW SIX, has reached an agreement withBohbot Kids Network (BKN), a New York-based syndication networkspecializing in children's programming, to produce a series of games basedon BKN's series ROSWELL CONSPIRACIES: ALIENS, MYTHS & LEGENDS, a new showwhich will begin airing in the spring of 2000 and already has a two-yearair commitment. The show is a creation of Allen Bohbot, Chairman and CEO of
On Monday in the USA, toymaker Hasbro introduced a series of actionfigures, play sets, vehicles, and other toys based on STAR WARS: EPISODE I- THE PHANTOM MENACE, the prequel to the STAR WARS trilogy. Most Toys R Usstores and some FAO Schwarz and K-B Toys stores opened at 12:01 a.m. on May3, and within hours their stock was sold out. "It was unbelievable.Insane," says AWN's Heather Kenyon, who visited four stores in the LosAngeles area. "People were leaving with shopping carts filled up. It was