Licensing Expo came to a close last week. Here are some things we liked:
- This fall, the Jim Henson Company will air its new show, "Sid the Science Kid," on PBS. The science show, which uses proprietary digital puppetry technology, is aimed at 3- to 6-year-olds, has a sketch comedy format, and covers topics like temperature, estimating, and measuring. In each episode, Sid asks a question like "Why do bananas go bad?" and he and his team set out to find the answer.
- Peter Rabbit . . . Naturally Better: "Socially Responsible Licensing Inspired by THE Classic 'Natural' Brand." As part of the initiative, Penguin Young Readers Group will release a new line of books, including a baby record book and board books, printed on recycled paper with vegetable-based inks. (Look also for organic Peter Rabbit toys and toiletries for babies.)
- Scholastic's massive new Goosebumps initiative. We remember buying the original Goosebumps series from Scholastic's "Book Orders" in the 1990s. Things are a little different in 2008: The new 12-book Goosebumps HorrorLand series, launched this spring, is accompanied by a show on the Cartoon Network, multi-platform video games, DVDs, Halloween costumes, and, of course, Web sites (www.scholastic.com/goosebumps and www.enterhorrorland.com) with over 1.5 million unique visitors a month
- At Nickelodeon's orange-carpeted booth, the SpongeBob SquarePants Hour of Happiness on Tuesday, featuring square cupcakes with bright SpongeBob yellow frosting. Sweet, showy, not a lot of substance--a bit like Licensing Expo itself, you might say.