National Geographic Kids recently named Westchester, New York-based Lisa Marks & Associates to represent key properties Toot & Puddle (of the Holly Hobbie book series fame) and the wholly original 2007 film Sea Monsters 3D. President Lisa Marks has been busily prepping merch programs for the diverse properties over the summer.
There are nine books in the ongoing Toot & Puddle series that stars the adventures of two curious globetrotting pigs and has sold more than one million copies worldwide. This fall, new title The One and Only Opal will hit bookstores while Nat Geo’s first animated T&P offering I’ll Be Home for Christmas makes its way to the airwaves and on to DVDs distributed by Warner Home Video. The special is the lead-in for a planned preschool TV series launching in 2007.
Marks is taking a two-tiered approach to the property, developing a classic T&P specialty program based on the books and a mass retail program to support the TV series. The specialty plans are kicking off with the launch of plush from Yottoy that will accompany the new Opal title this month. To round out the upstairs offering, Marks is looking for gift, stationery, and craft & activity licensees. As for the mass component, she’s on the hunt for toy (including puzzles and playsets), apparel, accessory, home furnishings and sleepwear partners for a 2008 product debut.
Meanwhile, Marks is also kicking into high gear for the upcoming Nat Geo IMAX-bound feature film Sea Monsters 3D. The movie puts a new twist on an old subject that continues to fascinate kids – dinosaurs. In this case, Nat Geo is creating a character-driven story about the life and times of prehistoric sea creatures (underwater dinos, if you will), and plans to distribute it to more than 120 giant-screen theatres worldwide in October 2007. The DVD from Warner Home Video will follow.
As for the licensing program, Marks says she intends to have fun with this one and envisions a broad merch range for core kids (with a secondary target of tweens and teens) including toys, posters, apparel, stationery and novelty items. And the field is wide open right now for interested licensees.