Mattel hugs the bear
The Jim Henson Company has awarded Mattel the master toy license for its preschool television series Bear in the Big Blue House. As part of the deal, Mattel will create merchandise in four toy categories, including plush, molded figures, infant and preschool, and games and puzzles. Bear in the Big Blue House, which airs at 10:00 a.m. weekday mornings on Disney Channel, follows the adventures of a seven-foot bear and his animal friends. The first of the Bear products will start hitting retail in the fourth quarter of this year.
Pokžmon toy license
Following the trend started by the great Godzilla, a new Japanese monster phenomenon will be taking North America by storm in September. Hasbro has been named the master toy licensee for Pokžmon, a Japanese Game Boy video game in which players find and raise a collection of 150 virtual pet monsters. In Japan, Pokžmon generated US$4 billion in retail revenue in its first 18 months by expanding into other categories, such as animation, toys, trading cards, CDs, comics, puzzles and snack foods. Hasbro plans to continue to build the product by introducing a new Pokžmon board game and Pokžmon action figures.