Licensing agent Evolution partners with CCI Entertainment to develop new children’s animated series “Taffy Saltwater.”
Press release from Evolution:
LOS ANGELES, CA – Global licensing firm Evolution and CCI Entertainment have entered into a co-venture agreement to develop an all-new animated series Taffy Saltwater, created by Michael Paraskevas and his creative partner, Judy Paraskevas. The brand will be developed on all platforms and include a comprehensive licensing program. The agreement will see Evolution provide all licensing and retail development functions globally for Taffy Saltwater and CCI Entertainment will work with Evolution to guide brand development as well as Executive Produce and distribute the series.
Currently in development, this vibrantly colorful animated series targets children ages four to eight and is propelled by the unstoppable imagination and vivid storytelling of a vivacious girl named Taffy Saltwater and her comical collection of beach buddies. The series encourages imaginative play and models positive writing skills through dynamic and compelling age appropriate stories and relatable characters with a huge dose of humor added to the mix. Further engaging the audience, Taffy’s storytelling will encourage kids to write stories about themselves, and share their own adventures with friends via their own blogs. The best weekly blogs will be displayed on the series’ dedicated website, and emailed to Taffy’s fans.
Taffy Saltwater will debut in hardcover picture book format in Spring 2013, under a newly signed deal with Michael Paraskevas and Random House Children’s Publishing, packaged by Fonda Snyder under her book packaging and management company, Alchemy Ink, Inc.
Evolution will unveil Taffy Saltwater at the upcoming Licensing Expo 2012 at booth #7162. The series is anticipated to have a 2014 TV launch, with products at specialty retail in summer 2014 and mass retail in the fall. Key licensing categories will include toys, dolls, figures, play-sets, apparel, accessories, swimwear and seasonal merchandise such as beach toys and towels.
Michael Paraskevas previously partnered with his mother Betty, co-authoring and illustrating 22 children's books over 15 years. The duo also created and executive produced such popular children’s animated series as Maggie and the Ferocious Beast for Nickelodeon, Marvin the Tap Dancing Horse for PBS and The Kids from Room 402 for then Fox Family Channel. They also produced and created The Tangerine Bear as a home video Christmas Special.
“Evolution and CCI Entertainment together provide the perfect blend of talent to bring this story to life in animated form, and nurture it all the way to the retail shelf through licensing partnerships that support the brand message,” said Michael Paraskevas. “We are confident that through their collective efforts, Taffy Saltwater will delight millions of young fans through every medium.”
“Young girls will delight in Taffy’s vivid imagination and stories, friendships and unique worlds, and the positive and social writing skills that are encouraged will allow them to truly become immersed in Taffy’s world,” said Travis J. Rutherford, President of Licensing & Retail Development for Evolution. “To be involved with the property from this early development stage is a significant advantage as we develop the Taffy Saltwater brand.”
Charles Falzon Co-Chairman, CCI Entertainment adds, “We are really looking forward to working on Taffy Saltwater. The talent that each team is bringing to the table on this project is sure to produce an incredibly engaging brand that will connect with children internationally both on and off screen.”
For Taffy Saltwater every day is another story, another adventure for her to write about. Waking every morning to gaze out the window of her Dream Castle at the endless blue sea and hear the calls of the seagulls, Taffy Saltwater’s bouncy beach ball buddy, Rollo, asks, “What are we going to do today?” Taffy always thinks of some exciting new adventure and then they’re off. To the boardwalk, the beach, and extra special places such as The Dream Castle, Pirate Cove, Hula-Hula Island or The High Seas. To get there, Taffy places her tiny, tiny toy boat in the water where it magically transforms into a boat big enough to take them where they want to go! At the end of the day, as the sun is setting, Taffy grabs her tablet device to blog about her adventures, and her friend Rigby, the Rabbit, will grab his paints and his notebook to illustrate it.
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.