With SonicX now airing twice on Saturdays and consistently winning the Fox Box its highest weekend ratings (averaging a 1.6 on December 6), ShoPro is bringing its quirky Hedgehog character back into the licensing arena.
With product hitting shelves in June, the first phase of a multi-demo program will target kids in the six to 11 age range with action figures and plush produced by Woodbury, New York-based master toy licensee Toy Island. At press time, ShoPro VP of consumer products Cynthia Modders was in negotiations with other licensees to flesh out toy offerings in the craft & activity, puzzle, remote-control and novelty categories.
Modders credits the extensive TV development that went into creating SonicX for giving ShoPro and property licensees a much wider world of racing and robot characters to work with on the toy front, adding that a secondary line focusing on the speed, vehicle and racing aspects of the 52-ep series will roll out in fall 2004.
Originally launched in the early ’90s as a video game property, Sonic grew to become a US$1-billion franchise by the end of the decade. Modders says Sonic has traditionally performed best in apparel, footwear and candy/food categories, so plans are in the works to revisit those categories in phase two of the program. S. Goldberg is currently producing a line of kids athletic footwear featuring Sonic, and Top Heavy is the property’s T-shirt licensee. ShoPro is also on the lookout for soft line licensees in bedding, backpacks and stationery.
Fans of the classic Sonic need not fear: ShoPro is looking to create a mid-tier program targeting collectors that will complement the mass-market kids line currently in the works. You can expect to see T-shirts and soft goods designed with a ‘more retro look’ in the coming year.