Spidey’s toy house welcomes Curious George
Universal Studios Consumer Products Group has chosen Marvel Enterprises toy division Toy Biz as its worldwide master preschool toy licensee for Curious George. With a reputation as an action figure and role-play innovator, Toy Biz will produce George action figures, playsets, vehicles, novelty figures, animatronic figures, role-play toys, games and infant toys and plush for an ’06 rollout. The release date of Universal’s 2-D animated film, featuring the voice talent of Will Ferrell, Dick Van Dyke and Eugene Levy, has been bumped from November 2005 to February 10, 2006. And PBS Kids has picked up the 30 x half-hour Curious George TV show from Universal Home Entertainment Productions, Imagine Entertainment and WGBH Boston for its fall 2006 sked.
The Wayans Brothers do comedy for kids
The family that gave us decidedly adult comedies such as In Living Color, Scary Movie and last year’s White Chicks has turned its attention to the kids entertainment biz. Brothers Shawn, Marlon and Keenan Ivory Wayans have created a 2-D animated direct-to-video series called Thugaboo, which they’ll also be producing, writing and voicing. The Wayans brothers’ experiences growing up in a family of 10 kids will no doubt provide a lot of comic fodder for the Q4-launching vids about nine kids coming of age in the inner city. L.A.-based licensing agent Fireball Group has locked down Playmates Toys (master toy), The Betesh Group (soft goods) and Scholastic (publishing) as licensees, and they’ll all be working towards releasing product in spring 2006. Fireball principal Shab Azam says she’s currently on the hunt for apparel, stationery/back-to-school, footwear, novelty candy and promotional partners to round out the Thugaboo program.