The latest creation from The Jim Henson Company likely won’t hit TV airwaves until late next year or possibly 2009, but that doesn’t mean its presence isn’t being felt. The Skrumps, based on a toy line created by artist John Chandler in 2005, is a character-driven boy-skewing property that’s building its fan base online as it continues to evolve.
What originally began as a way to test proprietary Henson Digital Performance Studio technology, has now become a pointed marketing tool. The company created Skrumps band GrumbleBelly and began putting shorts, animated using HDPS software, on a microsite at Yahoo! Kids. Since then, says Lisa Henson, co-CEO, the company has started adding video blogs to whet young viewer appetites while it works to secure broadcast deals and consumer products partners for the soon-to-be-produced series.
While she is mum on how negotiations are going, the reaction to the blog has been substantial. Since it’s January 2007 launch, the Skrumps microsite (http://kids.yahoo.com/experiences/skrumps ) has logged 135,476 page views, welcoming more than 66,000 visitors and streaming 122,474 Skrumps videos.
With the next few months’ worth of video blogs in the can, and a positive reception at last month’s Comic-Con, expect to see more and more seeding of the Skrumps through non-traditional media.