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.

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.

New VINCI Offering Provides Engaging and Educational Content for Kids

Rullingnet Corporation, home to VINCI Early Learning Systems, announced the release of VINCI Kids Library, which includes interactive stories, learning games, videos, and more than 500 titles at the launch, with an expected 1000 titles before the end of the year. Designed for children ages 18 months through nine years old, VINCI Kids Library is free from commercials, adult content, violence, and addictive in-app purchases, creating a unique and safe digital learning environment for children.

Rullingnet has partnered with leading children’s educational content providers, including TVO, The Jim Henson Company, and Mightybooks. The VINCI Kids Library will include popular games, such as TVO’s “Alphabet Goop,” “Tumbletown Mathletics,” and “Amazing Spelling Fleas;” Mightybooks’ “Pixie Has A Question;” and a selection of clips from “Sid the Science Kid.”

Additionally, VINCI is inviting game developers to help create apps on VINCI Kids Library. As a content provider, developers will have access to several co-marketing opportunities with VINCI, such as special features and announcements on VINCI’s social media channels, monthly newsletters, and numerous highlights of one’s brand at www.vincigenius.com.To learn more about how to become a VINCI content provider and to submit an app, visit developer.vincigenius.com.

VINCI Kids Library is available for download to the VINCI Early Learning Systems. All content within VINCI Kids Library will be offered free to customers until August 31, 2012.

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.

New Sid the Science Kid Episodes for Earth Day

Sid the Science Kid will be celebrating Earth Day (April 22) with four new episodes, the week of April 18, on PBS Kids.

New episodes of The Jim Henson Company and KCET/Los Angeles animated preschool show will explore a different science theme related to the environment. As in every episode, Sid will begin each episode with a question and spend the day finding answers with help from his friends and family.

The episodes include “Where Did The Water Go?” (What happens to water that goes down the drain?) on Monday, April 18; “Clean Air!” (Why does Sid’s dad wear a mask when he paints?) on April 19, repeating on Earth Day; “Reused Robot” (Where does trash go when we throw it away?) on April 20; and  “Save The Stump” (Can an old stump be a home for tiny creatures?) on April 21.

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Dinosaur Train Picks Up Second Season

A new season of The Jim Henson Company’s Dinosaur Train is set to premiere in the U.S. next fall. In 2011, PBS Kids will broadcast the second season of the show, which will include 26 CGI-animated, half hour episodes that encourage parents to explore their local surroundings with their children. The show will continue to be co-produced by Sparky Animation.

Wilson & Ditch Gets Second Season

The Jim Henson Company announced yesterday that PBS Kids Go series Wilson & Ditch: Digging America will get a second season. The web show follows two gopher brothers as they travel across America learning about geography in their eco-friendly van.

In the new season, the brothers will explore locations such as Seattle, Wash.; Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.; and Chicago, Ill. The PBS Kids Go website will also feature five new songs from the brothers as well as two new games to play. Additionally, Wilson’s blog and highlights from past locations will be featured.

According to The Jim Henson Company, PBS’ children’s websites, including PBSKIDSGO.org, receive nine million unique visitors per month and its videos are streamed approximately 50 million times. The brother’s next stop is the Grand Canyon (September 9).

Take a Ride Underwater With Dinosaur Train

PBS KIDS and The Jim Henson Company have announced the premiere of Dinosaur Train‘s underwater adventure, Dinosaur Train Under the Sea. The special, airing August 20,  features the dinosaurs traveling between underwater train stations and through time as they learn about dinosaurs from the Cretaceous, Jurassic, and Triassic periods. In the show, the crew will pick up new friends as they make their way along this hour-long adventure.

MEGA Brands Inks New Deal for Dinosaur Train

As part of a partnership with MEGA Brands, Inc., there will be a new line of Dinosaur Train toys hitting store shelves in North America beginning spring 2011. The new Mega Bloks products will launch worldwide fall 2011.

The deal by The Jim Henson Company, creator of Dinosaur Train, grants Mega Brands worldwide, multi-year licensing rights for the line of preschool construction toys.

Created by Craig Bartlett (Hey Arnold!), Dinosaur Train airs on PBS Kids.

Patch Products Announces New Line of Science Kits

Patch Products is releasing three new preschool science kits based on PBS KIDS’ Sid the Science Kid television show. Produced by The Jim Henson Company, Sid the Science Kid aims to encourage children’s natural curiosity, while developing early science skills.

Patch Product’s science kits include “Why Do I Need a Jacket?,” “How Do Plants Grow?,” and “Why Are Wheels Round?.” Each kit costs $9.99–for ages 3 and up–and includes a journal and kit-specific items.

“Why Do I Need a Jacket?” encourages preschoolers to explore aspects of the weather, including temperature and precipitation. “How Do Plants Grow?” teaches the fundamentals of plant growth, including what dirt is, while “Why Are Wheels Round?” teaches movement and some basic physics.

The Jim Henson Company Premieres New Properties, Looks for Partners

The Jim Henson Company is debuting several new properties at Licensing International Expo, and seeking licensing partners in an array of key areas.

Me and My Monsters tells the story of the Carlson family who moves from Australia to the UK and discovers there are three monsters living in their basement. Ten-year-old Eddie Carlson thinks the houseguests are the best friends a kid could have, but the monsters proves to be more stressful for Eddie’s working mom and his highly strung dad, and an ongoing embarrassment for his teenage sister.

Me and My Monsters stars human actors and three monster puppets, which are developed by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. The series will air on BBC in the UK, ZDF in Germany, and Network 10 in Australia. BBC Worldwide is spearheading licensing for the series in the UK, Germany, and Australia, and The Jim Henson Company is managing for the U.S. market.

Wilson & Ditch: Digging America is an internet destination produced for PBSKidsGo.org for kids ages 6 to 10. Kids can embark on a cross-country adventure with two comical gophers (brothers Wilson and Ditch) as they explore America’s most interesting destinations.

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