News in Brief

Big Boy signs Jim Benton's little girl mad scientist
October 1, 2004

Big Boy signs Jim Benton’s little girl mad scientist

New York agency CopCorp Licensing has brokered a deal to get Jim Benton’s Franny K. Stein property a little QSR play at Big Boy Restaurants, a sit-down burger chain with approximately 500 worldwide locations. Starring in a book series published by Simon & Schuster, Benton’s little girl mad scientist character takes the spotlight in the fall issue of Big Boy Magazine, which will be distributed to about a million kid patrons by the end of this month. The mag features an original Franny illustration on its cover, as well as a branded puzzle page and a Q&A with the fictional character.

CopCorp is betting that the exposure will help drive more kids to embrace the Franny books and a licensing program driven by Basic Fun (dolls, stationery, key chains, novelty items), Black Jack (T-shirts), E.S. Originals (footwear, backpacks) and H.E.R. Accessories (hair accessories, costume jewelry, belts).

Since comic legend Stan Lee helmed its launch in the ’50s, Big Boy Magazine has featured a new character every six weeks, including such classic icons as Spider-Man and SpongeBob SquarePants.

Scholastic pushes P.B. Kerr’s Children of the Lamp with a scribe-centric contest

Scholastic is wrapping up an essay-writing contest this month in support of thriller writer P.B. Kerr’s first kids adventure trilogy Children of the Lamp. The publisher ran a multi-tiered marketing campaign encouraging kids in the U.S. and the U.K. to enter their writing for a chance to win an all-expenses-paid transatlantic trip to New York or London, a US$3,000 donation to the charity of their choice, US$300 worth of Scholastic books for their school, lunch with P.B. Kerr and a signed copy of the first book from the trilogy, The Akhenaten Adventure. Winners will be announced later this month.

Scholastic acquired the publishing rights to Children of the Lamp, which is about 12-year-old twins whose wisdom teeth make people’s dreams come true, for seven figures in 2003. Screen agent The Gotham Group has sold the movie rights to Lorrie MacDonald and Walter Parkes, the producing team credited with Men in Black and Catch Me If You Can.

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