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Sesame street hears the call

Children's Television Workshop of New York is bringing child's fantasy - having your favorite Sesame Street character tell you a story - to life this month....
March 1, 1996

Children’s Television Workshop of New York is bringing child’s fantasy – having your favorite Sesame Street character tell you a story – to life this month.

In a licensing agreement with Global Telecommunication Solutions of Elmont, New York, a phone card company, CTW is introducing its first-ever phone tag and is taking its well-loved creatures to the phone lines. Shaped as the face of a character, the Sesame Street Loops Phone Tag can be used as a name tag. Even more appealing to kids, the tag entitles its bearer to hear the character to narrate three, minute-long stories, by dialing the toll-free number and access code printed on the tag’s back. The first tag is Elmo. Big Bird and Ernie will be available in May, and more will follow.

‘I don’t think there’s anything comparable to this in the marketplace,’ says Cory Eisner, vice president of GTS. Ann Kearns, CTW’s vice president of licensing for the United States, predicts the line will be a hit because ‘children in this age group [preschoolers] love to use the phone. And this is a controlled way to use it.’

Sesame Street stores and theme parks in the U.S. will start to carry the phone tags before the end of the month. Eisner says GTS is in discussions with several national toy chains, gift stores, drugstores and supermarkets and plans to be in stores within a few months. GTS is looking to bring the products to Canada this summer.

At first, callers will be able to hear the stories, written and produced by CTW specifically for this product, in English only. In the long term, GTS hopes to develop Spanish and French phone tags.

In-store promotions and point-of-sale materials will support the launch.

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