Edgar Rice Burroughs’ beloved jungle boy Tarzan swoops down onto television in 1996. Tarzan: The Epic Adventures, a one-hour live-action children’s series, will debut in syndication domestically and globally in the fall.
It is the latest incarnation of the enduring character who survived and thrived amongst the jungle beasts, and even a bad Bo Derek movie, to become one of the most popular characters of the 20th century.
Twenty-two episodes are being produced by Keller Siegel Entertainment. The show is expected to be cleared in 80 percent of the country by the fall and in most major foreign markets as well.
‘[Tarzan] is an evergreen-type property that has an enormous level of appeal and history to it, and the awareness worldwide is just enormous,’ says Len Reiter, president of Bradford Licensing Associates, the series’ worldwide licensing agent. ‘It’s not a flash-in-the-pan idea.’
Here’s a brief look at how things are swinging for Tarzan’s licensing activity:
- MIPCOM 1995: Keller Siegel Entertainment announces plans for a live-action Tarzan series to debut in the fall of 1996.
- Long-term licensing deals previously set into motion by the Burroughs’ estate remain intact. Trendmasters is the master toy licensee. Other licensees are set in trading cards, comics and books.
- February 1996: Bradford Licensing Associates is named worldwide licensing agent for the series. Other Bradford clients include Pepsi, Pizza Hut and Kawasaki.
- Bradford coordinates with previously signed licensees to make sure that all licensees will be on the same page in terms of design and attitude. ‘Our goal is to convey in merchandise the imagery and the sense that is being conveyed in the television series,’ Reiter says.
- March 1996: Bradford sets sights on fast food and other promotional partners, as well as soliciting licensees in the apparel, gift and stationery areas.
- April 1996: Bradford hopes to finalize deals and sign contracts to move products into production for a fourth-quarter roll-out in conjunction with the series debut.
As the series takes off in the fall, Bradford plans to license a full range of merchandise to complement what will already be available in the marketplace.