(June 2, 2016) The Jim Henson Company will be returning to Licensing Expo, under the guidance of Federico San Martin, Vice President of Global Consumer Products.
The company will present a trio of new properties debuting this year, including Word Party, Dot. and Splash and Bubbles, together with a continuing licensing program for Dinosaur Train, now in its fourth season on PBS Kids in the U.S. Additionally, JHC will focus on Labyrinth, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, and the ever-popular Fraggle Rock.
With a fourth season of the five-time EMMY®-nominated and Parents’ Choice Silver Honor animated series on air in the U.S. on PBS Kids and in over 200 territories across the globe, Dinosaur Train gathers steam worldwide with new master toy partner Jazwares on board to debut new products at retail this fall in the U.S. and select international markets. From figures to playsets, the new toy line will offer a fresh array of products for children - whether they want to engage in their own adventure or simply collect their favorite characters -- and will round out with plush.
At Licensing Expo, JHC will meet with potential new partners across multiple categories in both the U.S. and international markets. The Company has recently signed new licensing partners for DINOSAUR TRAIN, including TV Mania for apparel and accessories and GEDA Labels for mealtime products, both in Germany. In Italy, Giochi Preziosi is on board for food with premiums and Panini for publishing. In the U.S., Wall-Ah! has joined the DINOSAUR TRAIN program with wall decals. These new licensees join existing Dinosaur Train partners around the globe, including global toy partner Jazwares; Evrika LLC for chocolate eggs in Russia; California Costumes for costumes in the U.S.; Fun Stickers for stickers in the U.K.; and Papstar for paper goods in Germany.
Currently representing Dinosaur Train around the world are Bulldog Licensing (UK), Biplano (France), LizenzWerft (Germany), CPL (Latin America), Megalicense (Russia), Jantar Projekt (Poland), and Distefano Licensing (Italy).
The vocabulary building show Word Party (26 x 11’ episodes) follows four adorable baby animals as they sing, dance and play. The series, which debuts in July 2016 on Netflix in the U.S. and in territories around the world where Netflix is available, invites the youngest viewers to help teach the baby animals new words, learn new words themselves, and even celebrate these achievements with a “Word Party!” Word Party is produced using the groundbreaking Henson Digital Puppetry Studio, a proprietary CG animation technology from Jim Henson’s Creature Shop that allows puppeteers to perform digitally animated characters in real time - enabling the animation to be more lifelike and spontaneous. Henson will be seeking key partners at Licensing Expo across multiple categories.
Based on tech expert and author Randi Zuckerberg’s debut picture book of the same name, Dot. is a new animated series (52 x 11’ episodes) targeting the bridge market of 4–7-year-old girls. The series follows the inquisitive and exuberant tech-savvy Dot, who embarks on hilarious adventures to satisfy her imagination, curiosity and latest passion. Dot. will debut in the U.S. on Sprout, NBC Universal Cable Entertainment’s 24-hour preschool network, in September 2016. For a girl as curious and creative as Dot, there’s no better way to spend the day than outside, exploring the world with her dog, her group of friends and any tool or tech that will help deepen their play and exploration. Each episode ends with Dot giving the viewers a call to action to get inspired and explore. Henson will also be developing a comprehensive global consumer products program and will be seeking key partners at Licensing Expo.
SPLASH AND BUBBLES
Splash and Bubbles is an all-new animated series that will debut this fall on PBS KIDS in the U.S. and other platforms worldwide. The series, consisting of 40 episodes each including 2 x 11’ stories, dives into the diversity and wonder of our natural undersea world, introducing viewers to strange new marine species and ocean phenomena. Utilizing the dynamic CG animation technology of the Henson Digital Puppetry Studio, each episode introduces kids ages 4–7 to the adventures of its title characters - Splash, a yellow fusilier fish, and his friend Bubbles, a mandarin dragonet. Splash migrated all over the ocean before settling down with his family in Reeftown. Now, he and Bubbles explore the world’s ocean, meet wildly diverse marine animals and discover otherworldly undersea habitats with their friends Dunk (a pufferfish) and Ripple (a sea dragon). Together, they bring back what they’ve learned to share with their neighbors. Splash and Bubbles is co-produced with Herschend Enterprises. Come and join our undersea adventure at Licensing Expo as Henson collaborates with licensing partners in multiple category opportunities.
The mesmerizing and enduring fantasy Labyrinth, produced by JHC and Lucasfilm Ltd. and starring David Bowie and Academy Award-winner Jennifer Connelly, celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.
In honor of the anniversary, JHC and new partners are releasing new Labyrinth branded products this year. A brand new book from publisher Insight Editions will be released in October 2016. Labyrinth: The Ultimate Visual History is the definitive exploration of the beloved classic, featuring rare artwork, interviews, and on-set photos. Additionally the new Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: The Board Game from River Horse will debut this summer. Created in partnership with JHC, the fast-paced family game will feature the likenesses of the main characters from the movie in the form of five beautifully crafted miniatures. The film’s dedicated fan base has continued to grow over the years and today fans both young and old will be able to find an array of new Labyrinth collectibles, as well as an apparel program at retail in fall 2016. In addition to the ongoing Labyrinth screenings throughout the country, there are special anniversary screenings and local events planned for this fall.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is also on board with a limited engagement theatrical run through Fathom Events. The film, newly restored in 4K, will be shown in select movie theaters in the United States on Sept. 11 & 14. The theatrical engagements will also showcase select exclusive content. Following the theatrical re-release, the beloved fantasy will come to Blu-ray™ and next-generation 4K Ultra HD™ Sept. 20, with the Blu-ray available within a gorgeous 24-page Digibook package that includes rare photos and a look behind the scenes. In addition, the film will be released in a Limited Edition Gift Set in unique “mirrorbox” packaging inspired by the film’s climactic and iconic final scene. The Gift Set also includes the Digibook and will initially be available exclusively at Amazon. The Labyrinth 30th Anniversary Blu-ray is loaded with all-new bonus content, which features Jennifer Connelly in one of her first on-camera interviews about the film since its release. The new special features will take fans behind the scenes at the Center for Puppetry Arts—home to The Jim Henson Collection as well as puppets from the film—and include all-new discussions with the Henson family, and special reflections on working with David Bowie in his iconic role as the Goblin King.
Praised by film critics and moviegoers alike for its astonishing imagery and distinct characters, Labyrinth has been celebrated for being wildly ahead of its time and was heralded as a groundbreaking cinematic experience at its release. Directed by Jim Henson and executive produced by George Lucas, Labyrinth’s distinct creatures were brought to life by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop™, working closely with acclaimed artist and Conceptual Designer Brian Froud.
Created by Jim Henson, Fraggle Rock stars a cast of puppet creatures called Fraggles, quirky cave-dwellers who live in an underground world alongside their industrious green neighbors, the Doozers and a family of enormous Gorgs. The show has been seen in over 80 countries and continues to enjoy a loyal international fan following while encouraging friendship, tolerance and diversity with fun adventures and a unique mix of music from all genres including folk, blues, gospel, country and rock.
JHC has signed licensing partners in the U.S., including Super Impulse for novelty, Toy Factory for prize redemption, Funko for collectibles, joining Zen Monkey Studios for apparel and gifts and Trevco for print on demand.