LOS ANGELES, Oct. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- World-renowned family entertainment producer and distributor The Jim Henson Company has appointed TOMY International (formerly RC2/Learning Curve Brands) www.tomy.com, a leader in creating innovative toys for children of all ages, as the master toy licensee in the U.S. for its PAJANIMALS' brand and characters. The announcement was made today by Melissa Segal, Senior Vice President of Global Consumer Products for The Jim Henson Company, and Peter Henseler, President of TOMY International.
Under the terms of the multi-year agreement, TOMY International will develop an assortment of innovative and comforting toys and juvenile products for the U.S. market. Among the PAJANIMALS' products and merchandise to be developed are plush, nighttime projectors, monitors, nightlights, nap mats, and playmats for an anticipated delivery date of spring, 2013.
"We were very impressed with TOMY International's strategy for PAJANIMALS and their understanding of the marketplace and believe that the company shares our vision and commitment for bringing these characters to young children and their parents as both entertainment and developmental tools," said Segal.
"We look forward to our continued partnership with The Jim Henson Company on PAJANIMALS and plan to provide appropriate parenting and play solutions that address everyday learning experiences for parents and their children," added Henseler.
The PAJANIMALS series follows the amazing adventures of four sweet and gentle characters—Sweetpea Sue the pony, the excitable duck Squacky, the creative cow CowBella and the optimistic puppy Apollo—who were designed and built by the world-famous Oscar® and Emmy® Award-winning Jim Henson's Creature Shop™ from original concepts by Los Angeles-based toy and clothing designer, artist Jeff Muncy. Through their imaginary journeys, these cuddly musical puppets venture out on amazing journey of discovery, modeling the skills preschoolers need to move through their days successfully.
Produced in Northern Ireland as a co-production between The Jim Henson Company, 24-hour preschool television channel Sprout® and Northern Ireland's Sixteen South Television, production on the PAJANIMALS series has obtained funding assistance from Northern Ireland Screen. The Jim Henson Company's CEO Lisa Henson and Executive Vice President of Children's Entertainment Halle Stanford serve as Executive Producers for the series, along with long-time Henson producer, Alex Rockwell (Bear in the Big Blue House, Elmo in Grouchland) and Jeff Muncy. Serving as Executive Producer for Sprout are Senior Vice President of Programming Andrew Beecham, while Lisa O'Brien, Sprout's Vice President of Original Programming and Development, serves as Executive in Charge of Production. Sixteen South's Colin Williams (Big and Small, Sesame Tree) serves as producer for the series, with Michael and Patty Silversher (Winnie the Pooh, Animal Jam, Dinosaur Train) composing the music. PAJANIMALS was created by Jeff Muncy and Alex Rockwell. The series airs exclusively in the U.S. on Sprout. The Jim Henson Company is handling all ancillary use of the property including licensing, video and merchandising.
About The Jim Henson Company
The Jim Henson Company has remained an established leader in family entertainment for over 50 years and is recognized worldwide as an innovator in puppetry, animatronics and digital animation. Best known as creators of the world famous Muppets, Henson has received over 50 Emmy Awards and nine Grammy Awards. Recent credits include the Emmy® nominated "Sid the Science Kid," "Dinosaur Train," "Wilson & Ditch: Digging America" and "Pajanimals." Features include "The Dark Crystal," "Labyrinth," "MirrorMask," and "Unstable Fables" and television productions include "Fraggle Rock" and the sci-fi cult series "Farscape."
With additional locations in New York and London, The Jim Henson Company is headquartered in Los Angeles on the historic Charlie Chaplin lot, complete with soundstage and postproduction facilities. Independently owned and operated by the five adult children of founder Jim Henson, the Company is also home to Jim Henson's Creature Shop™, a pre-eminent character-building and visual effects group with international film, television and advertising clients, as well as Henson Recording Studios, one of the music industry's top recording facilities known for its world-class blend of state-of-the-art and vintage equipment. The Company's Henson Alternative brand has recently launched the national tour of "Stuffed and Unstrung," a live puppet improvisational show named one of the top 10 "Best Stage Shows of 2010" by Entertainment Weekly. www.henson.com; www.facebook.com/hensoncompany; www.twitter.com/hensonparents
About TOMY International
TOMY International (www.tomy.com) is a leading global designer, producer and marketer of a broad range of innovative, high-quality toys sold to preschoolers, youths and adults under the TOMY®, Ertl®, Johnny Lightning® and Tomica® brands as well as products for mothers, infants and toddlers marketed under its The First Years®, Lamaze, JJ Cole® Collections and Boon® brands. TOMY International also markets its products under popular and classic licensed properties such as Thomas & Friends, Special Agent Oso, Chuggington, Dinosaur Train, John Deere, Disney's Winnie the Pooh, Princesses, Cars, Fairies and Toy Story, and other well-known properties. TOMY International's mission is to inspire and fulfill the dreams of children and parents worldwide. TOMY International reaches its target consumers through multiple channels of distribution supporting more than 25,000 retail outlets throughout North and South America, Europe and Australia. TOMY International is a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan-based TOMY Company, Ltd. (Tokyo Stock Exchange Code No. 7867). © TOMY
SOURCE The Jim Henson Company