To mark the 50th anniversary of the classic Berenstain Bears children’s property, both Random House Children’s Books and HarperCollins Children’s Books will release new titles featuring the iconic bear family. Nelvana Enterprises is also looking to mount a licensing program focused on the IP’s upcoming milestone.
Further adding to the history of the kidlit brand, launched in 1962 with the release of The Big Honey Hunt by creators Jan and Stan Berenstain, Random House Children’s Books will re-issue a special anniversary edition this July of The Big Honey Hunt, the first Berenstain Bears book published. It will also publish a six-title bind-up entitled The Berenstain Bears: All in the Family.
Meanwhile, HarperCollins is set to publish 19 new titles this year, including Nothing Ever Happens at the South Pole for August, and The Berenstain Bears’ Old-Fashioned Christmas for September.
The new titles will add to the growth of the brand’s library which already boasts more than 300 published books and more than 250 million copies sold.
Beyond publishing, the books have been turned into an animated TV series (40 episodes), and Toronto, Canada-based Nelvana maintains a licensing program that has seen the Bears featured in a children’s musical, amusement park rides, toys, ebooks, apps and a video game. A feature film is also in development.
Despite the recent passing of Jan Berenstain in February 2012, following Stan Berenstain’s death in 2005, sons, Mike and Leo Berenstain, will continue to carry the torch for the iconic property.