Scholastic has made the leap from book-based to non-literary licensing with its acquisition of Schoolhouse Rock. According to Peter Van Raalte, VP of consumer products, the 26-year-old, 41-episode interstitial series fits Scholastic’s philosophy of making learning fun. The original three-minute shorts are broadcast on ABC on Saturday mornings, but no new episodes are being produced. ‘We’re just relaunching the licensing program now because it hasn’t been done in a few years,’ Van Raalte says. Schoolhouse Rock’s last licensee was King Features, which achieved some success with T-shirts, mugs, and CD-ROMs in the mid `90s. So far, no licensees have been named.
Scholastic Entertainment has named Children’s Apparel Network the master apparel license for another retro property-book-based Clifford the Big Red Dog. Product will ship for fall 2000, simultaneously with a new animated series. Planned licensed products include plush, collectible figures and electronic toys by master toy licensee Toy Island, along with backpacks, bags, party goods, puzzles and games. Van Raalte says Scholastic Entertainment will continue a two-tiered licensing approach for both Clifford and Schoolhouse Rock to benefit from both their current and nostalgic appeal.