Wind Dancer Films has appointed Licensing Street LCC as its U.S. agent for Ready Jet Go! The consumer products program for the new animated space themed series will launch licensed toys, publishing, and apparel nationwide next year. [Read more...]
Wild Kratts, the animated adventure series from Kratt Brothers Company and 9 Story Media Group, has reached the No. 1 spot for kids 4 to 8 and kids 6 to 11 across all networks. The strong performance of the brand also extends to toys and books.
Master toy licensee Wicked Cool Toys has launched a toy offering at Toys “R” Us, toysrus.com, and shop.pbskids.com. Due to the line’s strong initial performance, new items have been developed, including a Tortuga playset deluxe power suit with sound, as well as hero and villain packs. The new items were on display at the Dallas Fall Mass Market Preview and are expected to be available at retail next fall. Random House Kids has also released the fist Wild Kratts book in the U.S. and Canada, which needed to be reprinted because initial sales did so well.
The expansion comes shortly after PBS Kids greenlit a fourth season and 9 Story announced new sales of the series to France Télévisions (France), E Junior (United Arab Emirates) and Canal Panda (Portugal). Wild Kratts has previously been licensed to Discovery Kids (Latin America and Asia), Super RTL (Germany), Al Jazeera Children’s Channel (Middle East), Noga (Israel), TV3 (Spain), SIC (Portugal), Dublin Films (Ireland), VRT (Belgium), Chello Media (Eastern Europe), MediaCorp PTD Ltd. (Singapore), TV3 Catalunya (Spain), Minika (Turkey), and Primetime (Colombia).
PBS Kids and Whole Foods Market are partnering to bring PBS Kids’ line of educational and earth-friendly toys exclusively to the supermarket’s customers this holiday season. Starting this week, gift givers can find the PBS Kids line, including classic wooden toys and soft plush animals, at Whole Foods Markets nationwide in the retailer’s Whole Body department.
Appropriate for young children ages 6 months to 3 years, the PBS Kids toy line features race cars made from recycled milk bottles; colorful, wooden vehicles assembled by hand from local wood in Vermont; shape sorters and stackers intended to inspire a love for fruits and vegetables; and phthalate- and PVC-free plush. Each item is made with safe, non-toxic materials and inks, and all packaging is made from recycled materials.
The world’s most popular blue engine is rolling out on a 10-year North American traveling exhibit tour, which emphasizes the importance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning. Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails is an interactive exhibit created by Minnesota Children’s Museum that is inspired by the children’s series on PBS Kids. The tour will be in St. Paul beginning on June 14 for three months.
The STEM-focused exhibit was designed to engage children and families in foundation skills that encourage thinking mathematically, making comparisons, experimenting to solve problems, thinking creatively, and reflecting on actions and results. Visitors to the 1,500 square foot exhibit will enter iconic Thomas & Friends locations. Children will help Thomas and his friends solve challenges to test their abilities.
Right in time for Earth Day, PBS Kids has launched a new, web-original property, Plum Landing, a digital adventure designed to engage kids ages 6 to 9 in environmental science. Plum Landing crosses multiple platforms including animated and live-action video, hands-on activities, web games, and an interactive mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
Plum Landing follows the adventures of Plum, a video game designer from the desolate Planet Blorb, who longs to experience nature. To realize this goal, Plum commandeers a space ship, zooms down to earth, befriends five eager kids, and launches them on such missions as, “find a lake in the desert!” and “search for a cow that lives under water!” [Read more...]
PBS Kids and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) have partnered again for their annual Explore the Outdoors campaign. PBS Kids will air themed programming and launch online and mobile content beginning April 7 in celebration of Earth Month. PBS member stations and NRPA member parks will also host events throughout the month to encourage families to participate in educational outdoor activities and explorations.
In addition to eco-themed programming weeks and the premiere of The Cyberchase Movie, Earth Day themed episodes will play on PBS Kids on April 22. The season 3 premiere of Wild Kratts will begin on April 7, where episodes throughout the week will show the brothers exploring animals throughout the globe. Arthur’s Outdoor Week kicks off on April 21 and will include the premiere of two new episodes. The episodes will focus on teaching values, patience, sharing, teamwork, and the power of imagination.
The Plum Landing website will launch on April 21. Plum Landing is a new digital project produced by WGBH that uses animated webisodes, online games, free apps, hands-on science activities, and live-action videos. The goal of the website is to teach young kids about nature, ecosystems, and encourage them to be a caretakers of their planet. The webisodes will feature Plum, a purple alien from Planet Blorb, and her five earthling friends going on adventures and exploring ecosystems. Kids can play animated games in the same setting.
PBS Kids will premiere the The Cyberchase Movie in mid-April. The movie will be an eco-themed one-hour special that includes environmental and math topics. Three online games will debut on the Cyberchase website.
The “Neighbor Day” special aims to show preschoolers that doing something nice for their neighbors can be a rewarding experience that promotes additional acts of kindness and makes them feel good about themselves—a message very important to the beloved children’s entertainment pioneer Fred Rogers.
This Labor Day also marks the first birthday of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, as characters Daniel Tiger, O the Owl, Katerina Kittycat, and Miss Elaina, first met children and families from coast-to-coast one year ago. The special episode will air September 2.
It’s Friday afternoon and like all Fridays this summer, I’m struggling to find something interesting to watch on TV. There’s only so many re-runs one can watch without actually wishing that school was back in session. In between channel surfing and lamenting on days spent in the classroom furiously copying down chemistry notes, I stumble upon a channel I hadn’t bothered paying any mind to in some years.
Somewhere along middle school and now, I’d decided there were better things to watch in the vast pool of cable channels than enjoying some good old educational shows on PBS. Don’t get me wrong, PBS has produced some stellar television like Masterpiece Theatre since its launch. I adored Masterpiece and still do (Downton Abbey anyone?), but anything on the network regarding the PBS Kids block had lost its appeal to me as soon as I’d discovered Lizzie Mcguire and Even Stevens on the Disney Channel. Sitting in despair however, I realized I had nothing better to watch, so I resolutely dropped the remote and left the channel on PBS.
The first show that caught my eye was Arthur, and I was surprised it stood the test of time. As that all too catchy theme song came on (“Every day when you’re walking down the street…”), I quickly remembered why it had been one of my favorite shows. Arthur is based on the book series by Marc Brown, and follows an eight-year old aardvark and his friends and family as they intermingle with each other and deal with different experiences and problems. Yes, Arthur is an aardvark, but he’s not your archetypal aardvark. For one he doesn’t go around eating ants, and is anthropomorphic meaning he has human attributes such as wearing his trademark jeans and yellow sweater and eating sandwiches and ice cream. [Read more...]
PlaySquare LLC, the creator of Touchable Television for the tablet, announced an investment and partnership with Curious Pictures, a leading producer of television programs, commercials, animation, feature films, and video games.
Under the terms of its agreement, Curious Pictures will also be a production partner and provide support to PlaySquare in the development of Touchable Television episodes for its PlaySquare platform. The investment is being made through Curious Ventures, the venture arm of Curious Pictures.
PlaySquare will co-locate with Curious Pictures in their New York City studio. In addition, Jan Korbelin, CEO of Curious Pictures, will become an advisor and board member of PlaySquare.
PlaySquare’s first release is an adaptation of the episode “Happy Birthday Dog,” from PBS Kids’ WordWorld, which was released last July and has since accumulated more than 13 million minutes of use, as well as several industry awards. It is currently available for free on iTunes for a limited time.
The Company plans to release new episodes and the PlaySquare platform in the fall.