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Nelvana Inks Babar European Deal; Reveals Miss Spider Lineup at Toy Fair

While exhibiting at the American International Toy Fair in New York City, Nelvana Ltd. announced it has completed a pan-European direct-to-retail agreement with C&A to carry a carry a range of BABAR-themed infantwear.

Under terms of the direct deal a first for Nelvana in the international market C&A stores in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Hungary, Russia and the Czech Republic will carry the BABAR baby line, which is expected to debut in June 2005.

We are extremely pleased to close our first direct-to-retail deal with a strong European player like C&A, and were proud to have BABAR showcased in such an emblematic category for the brand across Europe, said Marie-Laure Marchand, vp of European merchandising and marketing.

BABAR is very well known and has a special appeal among the mothers of babies. He is playful, creative and full of optimism and care for his family and friends. This corresponds perfectly to C&A's customer message, said Philippe Rainot, license manager, C&A buying children's division.

Nelvanas international merchandising team has been hard at work finalizing a series licensing agreements sure to create buzz for BABARs 75th anniversary coming up in 2006.

Beauty Distribution has just come on board and will launch a range of health & beauty products this fall in France and Clementoni has signed on to create a line of educational games and puzzles set to launch in July. Other new French licensees include Canal Toys (stationery, dough products and outdoor items), Mosaiques (kids breakfast dishes, kitchen linen) Corner (kids & adult tees) and Ouat (interactive DVD). The French program now boasts more than 45 licensees.

Recent deals in the U.K. market include GUND (plush), Rye by Post (collectible cels) and Alligator Books (annual and activity books).

Nelvanas North American merchandising team also revealed its licensee lineup for MISS SPIDERS SUNNY PATCH FRIENDS. Joining global master toy partner Fisher-Price on the merch roster are toy licensees Spin Master (childrens furniture) and Kellytoy (novelty/sports toys). Fisher-Prices line of electronic plush and hard goods (including a Miss Spider-themed tea set) is set for a fall 2005 retail bow in the U.S. and Canada.

Also caught in MISS SPIDERS licensing web are A.D. Sutton (U.S. BTS bags, stationery), Baby Boom (cuddle pillows), Bakery Crafts (cake decorations), Rubies (Halloween costumes), Happy Kids (apparel), S.G. Footwear (footwear), Springs Industries (bedding, home furnishings) and Stargate Apparel Group Licensing Inc. (girls sleepwear), Zooth (oral care) and American Greetings (party goods/social expressions).

In publishing news, Penguin will release series-based books in North America, under license from rights holder Callaway Arts and Ent. and on the home entertainment front, Lions Gate is distributing series-based titles in the U.S., while MGM Kids has rights to the special, MISS SPIDERS SUNNY PATCH KIDS.

MISS SPIDERS SUNNY PATCH FRIENDS, a Nelvana/Absolute Pictures co-production, airs on Nickelodeon in the U.S., TELETOON in Canada, Five TV in the U.K. and will debut on TF1 in France this fall.

In its U.K. program, Martin Yaffe Intl (wheeled toys) and David Halsall (outdoor toys) recently joined the toy roster. Miss Spider has all the potential to become a classic brand in Europe and our goal is to build a long-term strategy with our key European licensing and promotional partners, said Marchand.

Nelvana Ltd. is one of the worlds leading international producers and distributors of childrens programming and products. Nelvana is owned by Corus Ent., a Canadian-based media and entertainment company. Corus ( is a market leader in both specialty TV and radio. The company's other interests include music, television broadcasting and advertising services.