The Little Gym Partners with Nickelodeon, Creates SpongeBob Parties

TheLittleGym.logoSpongeBob SquarePants, the animated character from Nickelodeon, is coming out from his pineapple home for birthday parties at The Little Gym, a national gym designed for children ages six months to 12 years. The company is developing the curriculum for the parties in partnership with Nickelodeon.

As kids go on an undersea adventure inside their local The Little Gym, they will engage with characters such as Patrick, Squidward, and Mister Krabs in an interactive and imaginative story designed to get them moving, climbing, and tumbling.

The Little Gym has offered Awesome Birthday Bash parties since 2012. Each party features age-appropriate games, music, and fun activities led by trained instructors, and The Little Gym team handles both setup and cleanup.

Spirit Halloween to Host Annual Spirit of Children Program

SpiritofChildrenSpirit Halloween will continue its annual Spirit of Children program, which brings Halloween cheer and festivities to hospitalized children by hosting more than 84 events in conjunction with Child Life departments throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Special guests at select Spirit of Children parties will include Warner Brothers’ Batman, Saban‘s Power Rangers Super Megaforce; Nickelodeon‘s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dora the Explorer, and Bubble Guppies; DreamWorks Animation‘s Puss in Boots, Skipper from Penguins of Madagascar, and more.

This year, Spirit of Children’s goal is to raise $5.2 million—bringing its total contribution to more than $21 million donated since the program’s inception in 2006.

Shoppers can donate to the Spirit of Children program online or in a Spirit Halloween location. The funds raised will go to the location’s closest hospital. Spirit Halloween shoppers who make at least a $2 donation will receive a Spirit of Children bracelet.

All funds raised are donated to participating Child Life departments across North America and focus on the emotional and psychological well being of hospitalized children while doctors and nurses focus on their medical needs.

Out of the Blue Enterprises Acquires Colorforms

Out Of The Blue Enterprises.logoOut of the Blue Enterprises is planning an extensive new toy line, animated series, and digital apps based on its newly acquired legacy brand, Colorforms. New products in the line are expected to debut at retail next fall, based on popular brands including Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer, Bubble Guppies, Spongebob Squarepants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Peter Rabbit, Pete the Cat, and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.

Colorforms Brand LLC, the new division of Out of the Blue, is showcasing its new Colorforms toy line to retailers at the Fall Toy Preview in Dallas this week.

New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Products Heading to Toys “R” Us

NickTMNTToys “R” Us will offer a new line of toys and accessories based on the third season of the Nickelodeon TV series, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, beginning this month.

The selection from Playmates Toys includes exclusive action figures and play sets, vehicles, role-play items, and more, and is available in Toys “R” Us stores and on toysrus.com.

Toys “R” Us is also hosting a Turtles in Training Sweepstakes, through which a grand prize winner will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Los Angeles, Calif., to record their voice for an upcoming episode of the CG-animated series.

TIF to Auction Off a Tour of Sesame Street and More

tif_logoThe Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) is launching an online fundraising auction to benefit TIF programs and grants, which help children in need around the world.

TIF partnered with global charity auction site, Charitybuzz, to host the auction—which includes a visit to the set of Sesame Street in New York, tickets to Nickelodeon’s 2015 Kids’ Choice Awards in Los Angeles, and private meetings with top toy executives.

Bids may be placed through September 30 at charitybuzz.com/tif.

Nickelodeon’s TV and Digital Channels to Go Dark for 11th Annual Worldwide Day of Play

Nickelodeon will empower kids to get active when its TV channels, websites, and app go off air and offline for its 11th Annual Worldwide Day of Play (WWDoP) on Saturday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET. Nickelodeon, Nicktoons, Nick Jr., TeenNick, nick.com, nickjr.com, nicktoons.com, teennick.com, and the Nick App will all participate.

The network’s national pro-social partners—United States Tennis Association, NFL Play 60, the Boys and Girls Club of America, among others—will host several thousand local events across the country to help celebrate kids’ love of play. These events will be hosted by Nickelodeon’s national partners, including Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City, the Boys and Girls Club of America, the Girl Scouts of the USA, and more.

On September 20, Nickelodeon will air health and wellness-themed messaging beginning at 9 a.m. At 12 p.m., Nickelodeon will sign-off on air and online, signaling kids and families to get up and get moving. While the network is dark, a message encouraging viewers to go play will appear on a loop. [Read more...]

Hasbro to Step Back from The Hub Children’s Network

Hasbro logoAs reported by The Wall Street Journal, Discovery Communications Inc. and Hasbro Inc. are ending their equal partnership in The Hub, a cable network that hoped to become a force in children’s television against Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel.

Under the terms being completed, Discovery would take a controlling interest in The Hub and reposition the channel as a family network aimed at parents as well as children. Hasbro will retain a large stake in the service and control six hours of daytime programming on the network, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Launched in 2010 with a $300 million investment from Hasbro for half of the network, The Hub was designed to be an outlet for some of Hasbro’s best-known toy brands, including G.I. Joe, Transformers, and My Little Pony.

The makeover could take place as early as the fourth quarter, with The Hub renamed Discovery Family.

Rubie’s Introduces Paw Patrol Costume Collection

rubielogoRubie’s Costume Co. Inc., under license with Nickelodeon, is launching official costumes for Paw Patrol. Available in child sizes toddler and small, the Paw Patrol Costume Collection includes the heroic pups Marshall, Chase, and Skye. In addition, the collection is available for pets.

Paw Patrol is a CG, action-adventure series that is currently the highest-selling preschool series on iTunes.

Jeffrey Dunn Named President and CEO, Sesame Workshop

sesame-workshopVincent Mai, chairman of the board of trustees of Sesame Workshop, announced today the appointment of Jeffrey Dunn as president and CEO of Sesame Workshop, effective September 29. Dunn, formerly the president and CEO of Hit Entertainment, will succeed Mel Ming, who announced his retirement earlier this year.

Dunn currently serves as a 2014 Advanced Leadership Initiative Fellow at Harvard University with a focus on media and education. Previously, he served as president and CEO of Hit Entertainment from 2008 until 2012. Before joining Hit, Dunn served as group COO of the Nickelodeon Networks group and the president of Nickelodeon Film and Enterprises, where, among other things, he built Nickelodeon’s international networks business and oversaw the growth of Blue’s Clues, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Dora the Explorer into three of the world’s largest licensed property brands.

Lalaloopsy Girls Movie to Debut on Nickelodeon

An all-new Lalaloopsy Girls movie, Lalaloopsy Girls: Welcome to L.A.L.A. Prep School, will air on Nickelodeon on September 7 at noon. The one-hour animated special features the new Lalaloopsy Girls students at the Lalaloopsy Academy for Learning Arts, where they learn to navigate the fun and quirky school, attend classes, join clubs, and make friends along the way.