HIT, Russ Berrie Partner To Produce New Range Of Barney Plush

HIT Entertainment, one of the world’s leading providers of high quality children’s entertainment, has entered into a licensing deal for the first time with Russ Berrie Company, granting them the rights to manufacture and market a full line of plush toys based everyone’s favorite big purple T-rex, Barney, and his dino friends BJ, Baby Bop and Riff.

Barney

Press Release from HIT Entertainment

New York, NY (October 5, 2010) – HIT Entertainment, one of the world’s leading providers of high quality children’s entertainment, has entered into a licensing deal for the first time with Russ Berrie Company, granting them the rights to manufacture and market a full line of plush toys based everyone’s favorite big purple T-rex, Barney, and his dino friends BJ, Baby Bop and Riff.  The Barney plush toys will be available at all leading mass retailers and specialty retailers in the US starting in Fall 2010 in specialty markets and then rolling out to all retailers in 2011.

Russ Berrie plans to develop, manufacture and market a variety of plush toys for children including Plush with features (interactive, moving, talking and singing); Plush puppets; Plush beanies; Plush key chains, Plush backpack clips; and Plush bookmarks.

“Barney is the loveable, huggable T-rex that’s been a favorite with children for generations, and Barney plush toys are a classic staple for Barney fans everywhere,” said Stacie Reiner, Vice President, Consumer Products, HIT Entertainment Global Brands, US. “We’re excited to work with Russ Berrie, a leader in plush toys, to expand the range of Barney plush offerings so that children can continue to share hugs with Barney.”

"We at Russ Berrie & Applause are very excited to be the new home for Barney and look forward to creating fresh new product to help further energize the brand,” said Jeffrey A. Bialosky, Executive Vice President, Strategic Sales & Marketing, Russ Berrie, U.S. Gift, Inc. “Our marketing strategy includes differentiated product for both Strategic Big Box and Specialty retailers, providing unique points of difference and consumer destinations for both.”

As a helping hand for growing children, Barney (along with special pals Baby Bop, BJ and Riff) helps parents give their children the range of skills they need to grow – and he always does it with lots of fun, music and laughs.  Barney & Friends™ episodes are always filled with Sharing, Caring, Imagining, Dancing and Learning and can be seen on PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS Sprout and are available for download through iTunes. For more information about Barney and all his friends, please visit www.barney.com.

About HIT EntertainmentHIT Entertainment is one of the world's leading independent children's entertainment producers and rights-owners. HIT's portfolio includes properties, such as Barney, Bob the Builder, Thomas & Friends, Pingu, Fireman Sam, Angelina Ballerina and Rainbow Magic. HIT represents Chapman Entertainment’s Fifi and the Flowertots and Roary the Racing Car in North America, as well as Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep, Timmy Time and Aardman Classics from Aardman Animations.  HIT also acts as representative for The Wiggles in the UK. Launched in 1989, HIT’s lines of business span television and video production, content distribution, publishing, consumer products licensing and live events and has operations in the UK, US, Canada, Hong Kong and Japan.   HIT is a part-owner of US-based preschool channel, PBS KIDS Sprout®. For more information, visit www.hitentertainment.com.

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Rick DeMott
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