Fisher-Price to spin a sticky toy web for Miss Spider
Nelvana has signed preschool specialist Fisher-Price to cover master toy rights on eight-legged property Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch Kids, based on a book series by children’s author David Kirk. When the merch line hits shelves in fall 2005, lead products will include toys, playsets, plush and ELA software. The program will feed off the success of a new Miss Spider TV series from Nelvana that will debut on Nick Jr. this fall. The CGI show was put in the production fast track after Nelvana’s prime-time Miss Spider special delivered 1.1 million preschool viewers (43% more than its time slot’s average preschool audience) when it first aired on Nick in March 2003. Callaway Arts & Entertainment will come out with a new series of illustrated storybooks based on the TV series in spring 2005, and international publishing rights have been divvied up between Penguin (North America) and Puffin (the U.K.). Penguin has also picked up the English-language mass-market rights to publish a line of activity, pop-up and other novelty books under the Grosset & Dunlop imprint in the U.S. and the Ladybird label in the U.K.
Porchlight refuels Jay Jay’s merch program
Evergreen PBS mainstay Jay Jay the Jetplane is extending its licensing flight plan with four new partners. Property owner Porchlight Entertainment and London-based licensing agent The Partnership have signed The Sales Partnership to market board games, bundled games and cardboard puzzles in collectors’ tins in Britain, while Casdon works to distribute the line of toys, figures and playsets manufactured by Toy Island. Jay Jay airs on both Channel 5 and Discovery Channel in the U.K. Meanwhile, the State-side program will soon include younger-skewing developmental toys and chunky wooden puzzles from Imagiix and Educa Borras’s wooden jigsaw puzzles, which will be distributed by International Playthings.
United Media picks up a porky new preschool property
United Media will rep Mike Young Productions’ preschool property Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks in North America. The agency is looking for partners in the kick-off categories of toys and promotions, with social expressions and apparel on deck as its next priorities. A 40 x half-hour CGI series, Jakers! has been airing on PBS since last September.