Changing its name from Parachute Press to Parachute Properties, the publisher of the very successful Goosebumps books by R.L. Stine has assumed control of several key licensing and merchandising rights previously held by Scholastic, which had been the sole licensor of the property. Parachute is now the licensor of Goosebumps as it relates to music, audio books, theme parks, live stage restaurants, consumer products and retail promotions. Scholastic retains control over all other areas.
The diversification of the children’s book company, whose titles top Publishers Weekly’s list of best-selling children’s books for 1996, has produced three new divisions: Parachute Publishing; Parachute Consumer Products; and Parachute Entertainment.
On March 21, Parachute and Viacom announced that a prime-time ‘frightcom’ for network television will be spun off from the R.L. Stine paperback series Fear Street. This kids book series has sold over 50 million copies since its introduction in 1989.
In the film arena, talks are being held with Fox concerning production of a Goosebumps film. The TV series, which spun off from the books in 1995, has been a hit children’s program since its debut on Fox.
According to a Parachute spokesperson, the goal of the new consumer products division is to ensure that all merchandise and promotions reflect the unique nature of the brand. Goosebumps’ primary audience is eight- to 12-year-old boys, who will be targeted by the new product lines, a number of which will be interactive.