Viacom sleuths for Nancy Drew licensees
Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing has appointed Viacom Consumer Products as its worldwide licensing agent for all-American girl detective Nancy Drew in lead-up to celebrating the sleuthing icon’s 75th birthday next year. Pamela Newton, Viacom Consumer Products VP of marketing and licensing, is currently on the hunt for licensees in toys, activity products, games, stationery, apparel and home décor. Existing licensees include Penguin imprint Grosset & Dunlap for hardcover editions of the original 56 Drew titles, Her Interactive (CD-ROM games), Running Press (novelty books), Gumshoe Girls (sleepwear) and Papercutz (graphic novels and comics). To date, 250,000 copies of the first four titles of Nancy Drew: Girl Detective – the updated series that S&S Children’s Publishing released in early 2004 – have sold through in the U.S.
Nick Latin America looks to local properties for growth
In its first step to develop 360-degree broadcast and licensing programs for local properties, Nickelodeon Latin America has acquired all domestic rights to top-rated Chilean kids show 31 Minutos. Plans for the 42 x 30-minute puppet series that parodies TV newscasts (while covering sports, politics and the environment, of course) include broadcast on Nick’s pay-TV arm in the fall and placement on terrestrial broadcasters in the region by spring 2005. Manuel Torres, VP of licensing and merchandising for MTV Networks Latin America, is lining up licensees in toys, publishing, music, stationery, wireless and apparel. Products should be on the shelf by spring 2005, with Mexico as the kick-off country. According to Torres, since its launch on Chile’s TV Nacional in 2003, 31 Minutos has racked up US$5 million in merch sales in its native land. Its licensee roster totals 25 partners covering plush, apparel, stationery, music and accessories.