You’re not going to need your handy dandy notebook to figure out what Nickelodeon has lined up for the new Blue’s Clues licensing program.
With plans to modernize the popular franchise for today’s kids, Viacom Nickelodeon consumer products has partnered with its first licensees for the rebooted preschool series Blue’s Clues & You!
Floridian toyco Just Play has signed on as the global preschool toy partner for plush (including Blue and Magenta offerings), figures, playsets and roleplay. While, Hong Kong’s VTech will be the brand’s global partner for early learning toys with modern tech features. Rounding out the initial partners is New York-based Cardinal, which is going to manage games and puzzles. The new products will arrive on retail shelves in fall 2020.
Blues Clues was Nickelodeon’s first billion-dollar franchise, says SVP of toys for Viacom Nickelodeon consumer products, Jennifer Caveza, but it needs to come up with new and exciting products for today’s kids to be able to harness that previous success. Releasing the new series and its CP years after the original show aired gave Nickelodeon the opportunity to take what worked with the original series, update the products with the show’s new CGI look and leverage the nostalgia the show’s original fans still hold on to.
“The benefit to developing a line of product for a reboot like Blue’s Clues is the show has history with fans and retailers, and we were able to pull sales data, speak with the original retail buyers and also do consumer testing to understand what is resonating with kids today,” says Caveza. “We understand how kids watch, learn and play with this iconic series, and the new Blue’s Clues & You! consumer product line is being crafted based on these insights.”
The kidsnet did research into the success of the original CP program and knew that the brand’s familiar categories like plush and playsets should be a big part of the new lineup. Nickelodeon also knew that to make the series fresh for the newest generation, the new CP had to incorporate tech toys that could connect with them.
Moving forward, the kidsnet wants to partner with other techcos to incorporate updated technologies into the brand’s CP.
“We have a history of doing successful reboots and we manage to create these evergreen brands,” says Caveza. “This is one that, with its built-in audience, the new tech features and the nostalgia, has the potential to become that for us.”
Popular items from the first go-around including the handy dandy notebook and the mailbox are two toys that could be getting a tech-makeover from VTech and other tech companies. The kidsnet has plans to connect the toys to Nickelodeon’s apps and have them receive emails, though this is just a concept at this point and there are no details yet on how the company will actually role out products like this. “With technology in mind, we are exploring partners who can develop toys tied to content, whether it be interacting with the show on-air or through our apps,” says Caveza.
Similar to the original series, which debuted in 1996, the reboot revolves around the titular dog Blue and the show’s new host Joshua Dela Cruz who will lead viewers on an adventure to solve puzzles. Although specific dates haven’t been announced yet, three eps will debut on Walmart’s new video service Vudu before the official premiere on Nickelodeon in November.