Description: An animated series based on children’s author Lucy Cousins’ popular mouse character Maisy, slated to air on Nickelodeon in spring 1999. Produced by PolyGram Visual Programming (PVP) in agreement with publisher Walker Books, the television series, like the book series, centers around Maisy, whose adventures shed light on issues such as friendship, honesty and social interaction. ‘The show is skewed to girls age two to seven, and it’s one of the few properties that is attractive to that market in the sense that it is safe and non-controversial,’ says Phil Eisenstat, a licensing executive at Copyrights America.
Licensor: Copyrights America
Alma’s Design Soft toy items, alphabet blocks
Anagram International Inc. Mylar balloons
Art Group Ltd. Poster available through IKEA stores
Briarpatch Maisy Matching Board game, Maisy Counting Game
Candlewick Press U.S. publisher of original books
Changes T-shirts, sweatshirts, tank tops, baseball caps
Crocodile Creek Maisy rag doll, mobiles, Maisy soft toy, puppets and hand puppets
F.X. Schmid Puzzles
Inkadinkado Rubber stamps, activity sets
International Playthings Games and puzzles
Little, Brown & Co. Publisher of two Maisy titles
PolyGram Licensing Interactive products, including CD-ROMs
Peacable Kingdom Press Cards
Mani-G `Raps & Co. Gift wrap
Stickappotomus Stickers and sticker activity sets
Promotional Partners: Negotiations are in progress.
Media Support: Copyrights America is running a full advertising program in both trade and consumer magazines, as well as in kid-targeted publications.
Retail: Maisy merchandise has been available at Noodle Kidoodle, Learning Smith, Zany Brainy, Barnes & Noble and various gift and specialty outlets, and these outlets will carry the new line based on the television series. New lines will roll out just prior to, and at the same time as, the launch of the show in spring `99.
The Final Word: ‘What we’ve done is to position Maisy in the upper-tier gift specialty market,’ notes Copyrights America’s Eisenstat. While the agency has undertaken worldwide licensing and merchandising campaigns for the book property over a number of years, efforts to refocus the campaign to emphasize the unique characteristics of the animated series are under way.
With the addition of TV, a broader range of licensing opportunities are possible, says Eisenstat. ‘At some point when the property becomes more established-especially with the increased media presence-we will consider more mid- and mass-appeal [campaigns],’ he notes. Categories the team is currently working on signing new licensees for include apparel and accessories, bedding, toys, back-to-school and snack food.
‘We don’t wait for [the show's] ratings because that would be too late,’ says Eisenstat. ‘We start aggressive licensing programs at least a year in advance of the launch of the TV [series].’ And with the Nickelodeon show due to air in spring of `99, that push is beginning now.