NEW YORK, March 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Scholastic Media, a division of Scholastic Inc. (Nasdaq : SCHL ), the global children's publishing, education and media company, today announced that its 20th anniversary celebration of the beloved I SPY franchise will kick off next month in conjunction with the publication of I SPY SPECTACULAR: A BOOK OF PICTURE RIDDLES with riddles by Jean Marzollo and photographs by Walter Wick. The year-long campaign will include a slate of new I SPY releases across multiple categories and platforms, a new signature MY I SPY online game, a live promotional event and coordinated brand promotion across all of Scholastic Inc. Since the first I SPY book was published in 1991, the program has expanded to include 42 million books in print and an Emmy Award-winning television series that currently airs on HBO Family in the US and has been sold to more than 20 countries in 12 languages worldwide.
"For twenty years, I SPY has engaged, educated and entertained children and families around the world with its uniquely brilliant approach to seek-and-find," said Deborah Forte, President of Scholastic Media and Executive Vice President of Scholastic Inc. "The brand is as vibrant and relevant as ever, as kids experience I SPY products on all of the platforms that they love."
"The I SPY books will always be a staple in children's language and learning development because they help children look at words more carefully, use language more vividly and think more creatively," says Francie Alexander, Senior Vice President of Scholastic Education and Chief Academic Officer of Scholastic Inc.
The best-selling and award-winning I SPY interactive franchise will see two new releases later this anniversary year: I SPY SUPER CHALLENGER for Leapster™ Explorer this summer and I SPY CASTLE for Nintendo DS™ this fall. These titles will add to the highly successful library of I SPY interactive releases currently available on platforms such as the Wii™ system and the Nintendo DS™ hand-held system, LeapFrog's Tag™ Reading System and Leapster ® in addition to the I SPY apps available for iPod Touch ®, iPhone™ and iPad ®.
Briarpatch, Inc., Scholastic's exclusive licensee for board games, puzzles and card games for the past seventeen years, will release five new titles in 2011. The new game honoring the 20th anniversary, I SPY SPECTACULAR, will be released this spring to coincide with Scholastic's book of the same name. To date, Briarpatch has sold over 10 million copies of more than 50 branded I SPY board games, card games, toys and puzzles, and has recently been granted rights for worldwide distribution.
Beginning April 11th, the new products will be supported by the I SPY A CELEBRATION campaign that will include, among other initiatives, a national advertising campaign that will invite audiences to participate in the largest game of I SPY by playing and personalizing their own "MY I SPY" at www.scholastic.com/ispy. In New York City, Scholastic will host a live I SPY event called "I SPY A CELEBRATION! 20 Years; 20 Kids; 20 Riddles" in Times Square on April 12th and The Scholastic Store in SoHo will host Jean Marzollo at an event on April 9th featuring an I SPY scavenger hunt, raffle, and product demonstrations in addition to a month-long I SPY window display at the company's New York City headquarters. Currently, Scholastic is hosting two I SPY anniversary sweepstakes: one at www.snackpicks.com/ISpy in conjunction with the recent launch of I SPY branded fruit snacks and another through Scholastic Book Clubs.
Even though I SPY was conceived with children age 4-8 in mind, it became apparent soon after the original publication that the books appeal to all ages—toddlers, preschoolers, elementary school children, teenagers, parents and grandparents. Readers of all ages respond to the verbal and visual challenge of the books, delighting both in friendly competition and cooperative teamwork as they work to solve the riddles. The brand features beautiful graphics, a rhythmic rhyming text, and thought-provoking seek-and-find games that enable children of all ages to feel like heroes.
SOURCE Scholastic Corporation