Nelvana Nabs Toy Deals for Barbar, Miss Spider, Franklin

Children’s programming and products distributor Nelvana made some new playmates at the American Int’l Toy Fair in New York this week. The company landed new licensing and merchandising deals for its animated properties Barbar, Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch Friends and Franklin.

With Babar’s 75th anniversary coming up in 2006, Nelvana has licensed the evergreen property to C&A in a pan-European direct-to-retail agreement. C&A stores in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Hungary, Russia and the Czech Republic will carry a range of infant wear feauring the show’s title elephant. The line, including nightwear and pramcoats, is expected to debut in June 2005. Babar will also grace T-shirts for young women through a deal with apparel manufacturer 2 Love. The agreement will see the garments distributed in U.S. department stores and speciality boutiques during the second quarter of 2005.

Joining global master toy partner Fisher-Price on the Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch Friends program is children’s furniture maker Spin Master and novelty/sports specialty company Kellytoy. Fisher-Price’s line of electronic plush and hard goods is set for a fall 2005 retail bow in the U.S. and Canada.

Also licensing Miss Spider are A.D. Sutton (U.S. BTS bags, stationery), Baby Boom (cuddle pillows), Bakery Crafts (cake decorations), Rubie’s (Halloween costumes), Happy Kids (apparel), S.G. Footwear (footwear), Springs Industries (bedding, home furnishings), Stargate Apparel Group Licensing Inc. (girls sleepwear), Zooth (oral care) and American Greetings (party goods/social expressions). In the U.K., Martin Yaffe International (wheeled toys) and David Halsall (outdoor toys) recently joined the Miss Spider toy roster. The U.K. program will be supported by publishing product from Penguin, under license from rights holder Callaway Arts and Entertainment.

A Nelvana/Absolute Pictures co-production, Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch Friends airs on Nickelodeon in the U.S. and TELETOON in Canada. Internationally, the series airs on Five TV in the U.K. and will debut on TF1 in France this fall.

Following a successful launch on FIVE TV’s popular Milkshake! block, Nelvana’s popular French series, Franklin, has a new U.K. master toy licensee in Martin Yaffe International. Nelvana has also finalized a Europe-wide deal with Ouat for a new Franklin interactive DVD set to launch in April 2005, and is finalizing the property’s U.K. partner roster for a full-scale program launch.