The Jim Henson Co. Debuts New Preschool Property

Jim-Hensons-Chatter-Zoo-300x137The Jim Henson Co. is launching Jim Henson’s Chatter Zoo, its first preschool property to be released “digital first” for mobile platforms. The new app is a collaboration with Mindshapes, the creator of mobile learning applications for kids. Chatter Zoo aims to teach early language acquisition as young preschoolers interact with four baby animals.  

Chatter Zoo, which was created by Alex Rockwell (Pajanimals, Bear in the Big Blue House), will premiere as a digital property prior to any other platform, and will be available in iTunes for iPhone and iPad on August 8. The Amazon Kindle Fire launch will follow in September. The Jim Henson Co. is simultaneously developing the property for television and ancillary products.

Mindshapes’ Chatter Zoo appisode includes two “Learn & Play” activities, two interactive stories, animations, and music content. Mindshapes’ Livebook format allows users to interact with the characters through touchscreen interactions. Users will experience four different activities in the Chatter Zoo house: Playtime, Mealtime, Bathtime, and Bedtime, all relatively time-appropriate (“day” or “night”). The app also features adaptive experiences like cause and effect, care giving, and responsibility, all taught by the Chatter Zoo characters, demonstrating positive social and intrapersonal values.

Amtrak and The Jim Henson Co. Partner for Pajanimals Sweepstakes

Pajanimals_3Amtrak and The Jim Henson Co. have joined for the Pajanimals Pack Your Pajamas Sweepstakes. The new promotion and the company’s ongoing partnership with Amtrak were announced by Melissa Segal, executive vice president of global consumer products for The Jim Henson Co.

Families can enter the Pajanimals Pack Your Pajamas Sweepstakes now through July 31 by logging onto www.henson.com/PJsweepstakes and following the sweepstakes entry directions. The sweepstakes will award one grand prize of four round-trip coach tickets on Amtrak, a Flip video camera, and a four-piece large plush set of Pajanimals from Tomy. Five first prize winners will receive HeysUSA Amtrak luggage and a Pajanimals Adventure Game, from Briarpatch. Ten second prize winners will receive an Amtrak-branded hoodie and the Pajanimals Playdate DVD from NCircle Entertainment.

Amtrak will promote the Pajanimals Pack Your Pajamas Sweepstakes and entry details through counter cards and seatbacks in more than 100 Amtrak stations nationwide. Amtrak will also distribute free Pajanimals-themed activity booklets to young travelers and Pajanimals will be featured on placemats for use in Amtrak’s dining cars.

The Jim Henson Company Appoints Mindshapes to Develop Interactive Educational Entertainment for Pajanimals, Sid the Science Kid

The Jim Henson Company has announced a partnership with Mindshapes, a leading kids’ mobile learning company. Under the deal, Mindshapes will create appisodes based on The Jim Henson Company’s current preschool series Sid the Science Kid and Pajanimals as well as content for new Henson properties that will be announced later this year. These appisodes will feature stories, games, and learn and play activities, as well as animated video and music content for a fun kid-friendly experience.

The first product, Sid the Science Kid’s Slide to the Side Appisode, will be available beginning in April, following the premiere of the new feature Sid the Science Kid: The Movie, premiering on PBS KIDS on March 25 (check local listings), and will coincide with the release of the movie on DVD and in iTunesLater in the year will see the release of an appisode featuring the Pajanimals, the musical series that airs every night on 24-hour preschool channel Sprout and on the NBC Kids weekend block.

Sprout’s Original Series, The Chica Show, to Debut on NBC Kids

The Chica Show, Sprout’s newest original series, will join the NBC Kids Saturday morning lineup on February 9. The Chica Show made its television debut on 24-hour preschool television channel Sprout on November 24. With its debut on NBC Kids, the show will double its reach to 115 million homes nationwide. [Read more...]

Tomy Launches Pajanimals Toy Line in Time for the Holiday Season

Just in time for the upcoming holiday season, a new line of toys from Tomy, based on Pajanimals, is now available at retail and online. A co-production with The Jim Henson Company, Sprout, and Sixteen South Television, the television series airs daily on Sprout during The Good Night Show and on Saturday morning on NBC. [Read more...]

Jim Henson Extends Agreement with Tomy

The Jim Henson Company has extended its licensing agreement with Tomy International, naming the company the global master toy licensee for its Pajanimals brand. Tomy International was initially appointed U.S. master toy licensing partner in October 2011.

Under the terms of the multi-year agreement, Tomy International will develop an assortment of toys and juvenile products for the global marketplace. Among the products and merchandise being developed for international retail are 9-inch and 15-inch plush toys based on each of the series’ four main characters (Sweetpea Sue, Squacky, CowBella, and Apollo), nighttime projectors, monitors, nightlights, and a Snuggle Up Story Mat to help children transition from play time to nap time.

Tomy will debut the first Pajanimals products, the plush and Snuggle Up Story Mat, in the U.S. in October. The same product lines will also debut in the fall in Australia. The broader line will roll out in the U.S., Europe, Latin America, Australia, and Canada next year.

This post was originally written by Loren Moreno and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.