Nickelodeon & Viacom (Nachrichten) Consumer Products (NVCP) showcased plans at Licensing 2007 International to create new merchandise. The Emmy and Peabody-Award winning SOUTH PARK, already a consumer hit on DVD, apparel and footwear will be expanded into new licensing categories. New merchandising programs will be created for other hit shows in the Comedy Central lineup including MIND OF MENCIA, THE COLBERT REPORT, THE SARAH SILVERMAN PROGRAM and the recently launched LIL' BUSH.
"Comedy Central is the number-one network in primetime for guys 18-24 and home to some of the funniest and most innovative shows on television, from SOUTH PARK to our latest hit, Lil' Bush," said Leigh Anne Brodsky, president, Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products. "We're thrilled to be bringing more Comedy Central product, from the basics to the completely outrageous, to adventurous retailers coast-to-coast."
SOUTH PARK will be made available to licensees in new product categories including, publishing, packaged goods, extreme sports and resort/destination. Beginning in August 2007, new SOUTH PARK products will hit retail, including a 10th season DVD box set, a holiday-themed DVD, plus new postcard and flip books from publishing partner, Simon & Schuster. American Greetings will also be launching SOUTH PARK greeting cards -- both in traditional and e-card formats.
Just in time for 2008's election-mania, NVCP is creating consumer products based on the just launched Comedy Central animated series, LIL' BUSH. The show launched with a collection of t-shirts and buttons available online. A full range of product opportunities exist at both specialty and mass retail heading into next year's big electoral event. LIL' BUSH's June premiere was the most-watched show on all of television in primetime among men 18-24.
Nick Jr., master toy licensee, Fisher-Price will launch a full THE WONDER PETS! toy line at mass market retail in fall 2008. The planned preschool products will combine the property's unique mix of music, animal-rescue teamwork, "superhero" roleplay and animation style. Partner Ty Inc. will produce plush products including the brand's signature Beanie Babies that will hit shelves in fall 2008. Random House and Simon & Schuster will launch book programs in Spring 2008. NVCP announced that it is looking for innovative partners to develop product across categories including: home, sportswear, sleepwear, accessories and interactive.
NVCP will be launching a range of tween-focused products in fall 2008 that will bring the NEOPETS virtual world to the real world at mass retail. New product will be designed around a 360 product-to-web experience that will deepen the already engaging relationship that the NEOPETS community has with the site's characters and interactive features. Together with the recently announced NEOPETS innovations such as dynamic pet customization, Mini-Shows on Nickelodeon and online global gaming events like this month's Altador Cup, these new products will further extend NEOPETS brand and super-serve its fans. NEOPETS publishing partner is Harper-Collins, who will create five titles that bring the rich Neopian stories and characters to book form, starring favorite characters as well as puzzle and activity books. NVCP will be adding partners to develop lines including: plush, apparel, accessories, toys, electronics, videogames and stationary.
In addition to the three new property availabilities, NVCP also announced new additions to its domestic roster of licensees:
* Rubies Costumes will produce a new line of pet costumes and accessories including characters from THE BACKYARDIGANS, SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS, DORA THE EXPLORER and BLUE'S CLUES
* Skechers has signed on to create a footwear line tied to DORA THE EXPLORER
* Take Two will create both handheld and console videogames based on a range of Nick Jr. programming
* Sport Obermeyer will be launching a line of Obermeyer branded ski outerwear featuring both DORA THE EXPLORER and SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS. The line will be available at specialty ski shops beginning in fall 2007.
Internationally, Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products has grown DORA THE EXPLORER and SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS from U.S. hit franchises to multi-billion dollar global phenomenon. SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS consumer products are now available in 50 markets, with seven new markets launching in 2007. In France, DORA THE EXPLORER has been the #1 licensed property for 19 consecutive months and the most successful property in Fisher Price history. In the U.K., DORA is the #1 girl's pre-school license and #4 overall.
New international property launches include GO, DIEGO, GO!, which will launch in the U.K. this fall across toys, home entertainment, interactive and publishing. NEOPETS' first major international retail promotion will take place in Benelux this summer with partner Kruidvat. THE BACKYARDIGANS, AVATAR and GO, DIEGO, GO! will start to roll out to retailers in Latin America for the first time beginning in fall 2007. THE WONDER PETS! will also be represented with consumer products in Canada in 2008.
NVCP will continue to build on the tremendous global success of DORA THE EXPLORER and SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS by increasing presence in existing markets and expanding into additional regions. In Europe, for the first time, Lego will launch a SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS line in France, Holland and the U.K. An exclusive eyewear line from Opal in July 2007 will debut a new category for DORA THE EXPLORER in France. DORA licensed product will launch in Israel for the first time with a toy line from Fisher Price customized entirely in Hebrew. NVCP will also launch complementary lines from Nickelodeon's hit portfolio including AVATAR, GO, DIEGO, GO!, THE BACKYARDIGANS and BLUE'S CLUES.
NVCP's limited edition HELLO KITTY and BLUE'S CLUES line from Sanrio will debut in September 2007 in Japan. This exclusive line brings together Nickelodeon's beloved puppy Blue from the hit pre-school series BLUE'S CLUES and global superstar HELLO KITTY across multiple categories including apparel, toys, stationary, gifts and accessories.
Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products manages the world's third largest licensing business, representing leading properties such as SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS and DORA THE EXPLORER, and managing merchandising for Nick Jr., Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTVN International, and Spike TV.