Kids can get their own space on Sesame Street
Taking a unique book approach, Sesame Workshop has inked a deal with New York’s CustomAbility to publish personalized titles that put kids on the page with their favorite Sesame Street characters. Starting this month, parents can log on to www.makeitaboutme.com, plunk down US$29.95, and upload their child’s photo and personality description. (Make It About Me! also accepts photos via snail mail.) In 10 days, a book will arrive sporting the child’s mug on the cover and spine, with his or her image incorporated alongside the likes of Elmo and Cookie Monster throughout the story.
Bandai named Firehouse chief
Warner Bros. Consumer Products has tapped Bandai as its North American master toy licensee for preschool series Firehouse Tales, which launched as part of Cartoon Network’s Tickle U block in August. Bandai’s toy line centers around lead characters Red, Petrol and Crabby, trucks-in-training attending school to become full-fledged fire-fighters. Vehicles with eyes and mouths that move as their wheels spin will lead the first merch wave this spring, and toys equipped with music and sound effects will follow in short order. Playsets, construction toys and bath toys are pegged to round out phase one.
Global Icon acquires Build-A-Bear agency
Licensing agency Global Icons has acquired its L.A. neighbor, Evergreen Concepts, getting its hands on kid-skewing properties Build-A-Bear Workshop and Brainy Baby in the process. The two former Disney colleagues who founded Evergreen in 2003 are moving on – Jeff Fradin plans to concentrate on his existing consulting business, and Melissa Segal has joined Mattel’s Barbie team as GM of the older girls division.