PBS Kids To Premiere New Clifford Film

On December 14, PBS Kids will premiere the animated film Clifford Really Big Movie to celebrate Clifford’s 50th Anniversary. Warner Brothers originally released the film in 2004. It featured John Ritter as the voice of Clifford as well as Wayne Brady, Jenna Elfman, and John Goodman. The new animated film by Scholastic Entertainment will feature the original cast as well as Grey Delisle, Jess Harnell, Kel Mitchell, Judge Reinhold, Kath Soucie, Cree Summer, and Wilmer Valderrama. The new movie takes viewers on Clifford’s cross-country adventure with characters such as Cleo, T-Bone, and an entirely new cast of characters.


All Aboard: Amtrak, The Jim Henson Company Join Forces for Big Big Dinosaur Train Sweepstakes

All aboard the Big Big Dinosaur Sweepstakes, the new national summer promotion for the animated preschool series Dinosaur Train, which airs daily on PBS Kids. The Jim Henson Company, producers of the series, have joined forces with Amtrak for a second year to present a fun and engaging summertime promotion that will award one family with an Amtrak vacation.

Amtrak launches the Big Big Dinosaur Sweepstakes in August. Families can enter the sweepstakes by logging onto www.henson.com/Dtsweepstakes and following the entry directions for a chance to win a vacation to Chicago and Washington, District of Columbia, where they’ll have the opportunity to visit the National Museum of Natural History with exhibits featuring dinosaurs.

As part of the national summer promotion, Amtrak will distribute more than 65,000 free Dinosaur Train themed activity booklets to young travelers and 1 million Amtrak Dinosaur Train ticket jackets to passengers, as well as 20,000 placemats for use in Amtrak’s dining cars. Sweepstakes details will be posted on the websites of Amtrak, The Jim Henson Company, and Tomy. Tomy is the master toy licensee for Dinosaur Train in the U.S.

This post was originally written by Sierra McCleary-Harris 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.

Playsquare’s First Interactive Episode Brings Touchable Television to the iPad

PlaySquare, LLC, the creator of Touchable Television for the iPad, has announced its first release. The new app is an adaptation of the episode Happy Birthday Dog, from PBS Kids’ Emmy award-winning WordWorld. It is currently available for free on iTunes for a limited promotional period.

Touchable Television combines existing television episodes with interactive content to allow children to step into and participate in the story-world of a television property. PlaySquare transforms television from a passive viewing experience into an active adventure where children have the opportunity to watch, think, and do. Children can be immersed in their television shows, play with their favorite characters in their worlds, and help to move each story along.

The Happy Birthday Dog app includes rich, colorful, animation; lovable, funny characters; an engaging, immersive story world in which children can explore, discover, collect, and create different parts of the story as they play; letter recognition; letter sounds; word building; and word recognition. The app also reinforces eye-hand coordination and motor skills.

This post was originally written by Sierra McCleary-Harris 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.

Scholastic Celebrates 50 Big Years of Clifford the Big Red Dog

2012-2013 School Year Celebration Includes New Publishing, Apps, Live Classroom Event,  Birthday Card Campaign, National Sweepstakes, Broadcast Event, New Products, and Promotional Partners

Scholastic Media, a division of Scholastic Inc., the global children’s publishing, education and media company, announced that it will kick off the 50th anniversary celebration of Clifford the Big Red Dog on September 24th– in conjunction with the publication of Norman Bridwell’s Clifford Collection and the “Biggest Birthday Party Ever” at Scholastic headquarters in New York City, a live event that will be streamed to classrooms nationwide.

The campaign will span the school year and include the launch of new publishing, a birthday card campaign, and a national sweepstakes leading up to Clifford’s official birthday on February 14. Since the first Clifford book was published in 1963, the property has expanded to include 126 million books in print and an Emmy Award-winning television series, currently in its twelfth consecutive season on PBS Kids in the U.S.; the show has been sold to 30 countries in 12 languages worldwide.

Highlights of the Clifford 50th Anniversary year include:

“Biggest Birthday Party Ever” Kick Off Event/Live Classroom Webcast
On September 24 at 10:00 a.m., Scholastic will host Clifford’s Biggest Birthday Party Ever—a live celebration at Scholastic’s New York City headquarters and webcast to classrooms nationwide. Hundreds of children will gather to sing Happy Birthday to Clifford, and Norman Bridwell will be on hand for a big reveal on the façade of the company’s SoHo building.

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Clifford Musical Kicks Off 50-City Tour

“Clifford The Big Red Dog Live! A BIG Family Musical” kicked off earlier this month in Vermont and Connecticut. The 50-city live touring show includes both school and public performances. The new musical adventure teaches audience members that “it only takes a little to be big.” Through laughter, songs, and dancing, the characters and audience learn about Clifford’s Big Ideas (share, play fair, have respect, work together, be responsible, be truthful, be kind, help others, believe in yourself, and be a good friend) from the PBS Kids series Clifford the Big Red Dog. The production is directed by Mark Fleischer and produced by Mills Entertainment, in cooperation with Scholastic Media. The Brad Simon Organization serves as the exclusive booking agency for the production.

For more information on the show, click here.

This post was originally written by Elizabeth A. Reid 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.

Second Annual STEM Competition

The National STEM Video Game Challenge is now accepting entries for its annual competition, hosted by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and E-Line Media. Submissions of original video game concepts and designs from students and educators are currently being accepted through March 12.

The challenge aims to motivate students who have an interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) by tapping into their natural passion for playing and making video games. The STEM competition is divided into four categories for individuals and teams: middle school, high school, collegiate, and educator.

Entries can be created by using any game-making platform, including, but not limited to, written concepts, Gamestar Mechanic, Microsoft’s Kodu Game Lab, GameMaker, and Scratch.

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Kick Off Summer Reading with WordGirl

“WordGirl’s Ludicrously Literate Library Week,” a special weeklong programming event airing July 11-15 on PBS Kids Go!, will have the beloved heroine, picked as this year’s “Ambassador of Summer Reading,” pitted against various vocabulary villains.

Scholastic Media, a division of Scholastic Inc., announced that in support of this five-day television festival celebrating reading and books, a new section will open on PBSKIDSGO.org where fans can answer trivia questions to unlock a secret spaceship with loads of exclusive content.

This is the second time that WordGirl is serving as the national Ambassador of Summer Reading. The special weeklong event will kick off PBS Kids’ continuing programming that promotes summer reading.

WordGirl is an animated series that helps children build their vocabularies. For descriptions of the new episodes, or for more information, click here.

PBS Kids Toy Line Now Available for Purchase

The first-ever PBS Kids toy line of preschool toys is now available online at the newly launched PBS Kids Shop at PBSKidsShop.com. The line, initially including more than 20 wooden toys, will be sold exclusively on the website until early fall when it will become available at other online retailers and in stores.

In addition to the new toy line, consumers will be able to find educational books, games, toys, DVDs, and more at PBSKidsShop.com, all based on PBS Kids programming. The shop was developed with Brand-Xpand, a leader in the design and management of eCommerce sites and services.

PBS Kids Shop will also feature exclusive items, including customizable backpacks, water bottles, room décor, apparel, and birthday party supplies featuring children’s names and their favorite PBS Kids programs and characters. Proceeds from the shop will help fund free, educational PBS Kids programming for children.

PBS Debuts PBS Kids Toy Line at Toy Fair

PBS has announced its first-ever PBS Kids toy line, selecting Happy Kid Toy Group as the line’s master licensee. Happy Kid will manufacture and distribute the PBS Kids toy line, with the first products being available this spring. The line will initially include more than 20 individual wooden toys for preschoolers across key toy categories, including the PBS Kids Sounds of the World Rhythm Set, PBS Kids Puzzle Playset Safari, PBS Kids Exploration Blocks sets, and PBS Kids 3-Layer Puzzles.

Learning Curve’s Dinosaur Train Rolls Into Retailers

RC2‘s Learning Curve has announced the launch of its Dinosaur Train-licensed products. The highlight of the announcement is the Dinosaur Train InterAction Figures, which uses the company’s Smart Talk Technology. Figures can interact with one another as well as emit around 40 dinosaur sounds, facts, and phrases from the CGI-animated, PBS Kids program.

Other toys include Dinosaur and Train 2-packs, a collectible figure and toy train combo, and Lights and Sounds Dinosaur Train, a train set that can be expanded with other Dinosaur Train sets.