Nick, Sanrio Market Blues Clues in Japan

Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products will launch the Blues Clues property in Japan through a creative partnership with Sanrio, the character licensing group behind the hugely successful Hello Kitty brand. Sanrio has been named the master licensee for Blues Clues in Japan and will join Nickelodeon in creating a limited-edition Blue’s Clues and Hello Kitty line of products for tweens and young adults.

The blue canine star of Nickelodeon’s popular preschool series will be adapted by Sanrio into Hello Kitty‘s familiar world and product range with the new line, which will debut in the spring of 2007 and will be available for a short time only at select retailers. Sanrio holds the master license for Blue’s Clues across toys, apparel, packaged goods, home furnishings, stationery, gifts, accessories, consumer electronics, party supplies and sporting goods. Blue’s Clues merchandise will roll out in Japan in the summer of 2007.

“It is incredibly heartwarming that Blue has been invited to become part of Hello Kitty’s fantastic world,” says Traci Paige Johnson, co-creator, exec. Producer and director of design for Blue’s Clues. “Hello Kitty was a tremendous inspiration in the creation of Blue’s Clues and has been one of my favorite characters since childhood.”

Sanrio Far East Co., Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sanrio, inked a multi-year deal last June to represent Nickelodeon’s multi-billion dollar global franchises SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer, as well as Comedy Central’s South Park in Japan. SpongeBob SquarePants merchandise launched in select retailers in January and has already generated $20 million at retail, according to Nickelodeon and Viacom Consumer Products.

Combining animation and live-action, the award-winning Blue’s Clues series invites young viewers into a computer-generated storybook world to help solve the day’s puzzles. Created by Traci Paige Johnson, Todd Kessler and Angela C. Santomero, the show airs on Nickelodeon Japan and recently celebrated its 10th anniversary on the air in the U.S. Syndicated to 120 countries and translated into 15 languages, the property has raked in approximately $3.6 billion at retail since 1998.