Humphrey Headed for FAO
British author Sally Hunter's Humphrey's Corner, published in June in the U.S. by Henry Holt, is already expanding into nonbook categories through licensing. FAO Schwarz will be the retail launch partner, carrying plush (exclusively) and books (non-exclusively) in its FAO Baby department in the fall. Other licensees, including C.R. Gibson, Michel & Co., Wonderful Wishes Card Co. and Gund, will introduce products in the spring, according to the property's agent, Charles Day of The Sharpe Co.
Humphrey originated as a British greeting card property. In 2000, Penguin published the first hardcover picture storybook in the U.K., where it has sold 35,000 copies. Another picture storybook and two paperback concept books were published by Penguin earlier this year, with a Christmas title due out in the fall (Holt will publish the second picture book, Humphrey's Bedtime, in October). A broad licensing program is in place in the U.K., including infant products distributed in 500 Mothercare stores.
More than 5,400 Wendy's restaurants will publicize Scholastic's Clifford with a Kids' Meal tie-in in February 2002 featuring premiums and Clifford merchandise coupons.... Scholastic will take over publishing for Suzy Spafford's Suzy's Zoo, releasing six titles this fall. Former licensee Lyrick, which had printed 500,000 copies of five titles last year, discontinued its publishing unit after being purchased by HIT Entertainment.... Scholastic will publish digest-size chapter books, picture books and novelty titles tied to Butt-Ugly Martians starting in spring 2002. The U.K.-originated TV series, licensed by The Just Group, premieres on U.S. television this fall.... DK will distribute five Biography-branded books, packaged by Balliett & Fitzgerald and licensed from A&E Television Networks.... Scholastic is releasing 27 new Powerpuff Girls titles in 2001 and launching a book club in the fall, while Golden adds eight titles. Over 10 million Powerpuff Girls books were sold in the U.S. last year, according to Cartoon Network.... Elvis Presley Enterprises has licensed packager becker&mayer! for an interactive 25th-anniversary book containing removable reproductions of archival documents. Random House will distribute in spring 2002.... HarperCollins is publishing 13 books tied to Sullivan Entertainment's Anne: The Animated Series, debuting in September on public television.... CDG Books Canada, which publishes original Canadian editions under the ...For Dummies brand, is releasing LaCrosse for Dummies under license from the National LaCrosse League, represented by Stone America Marketing.... Curious George, celebrating its 60th birthday, is featured on products from 118 licensees, according to licensor Universal Studios Consumer Products. Vivendi Universal's acquisition of Houghton Mifflin brings Curious George licensing and publishing rights into the same corporate family.... Gund will introduce Pat the Bunny plush toys, collectible figures, gifts and playsets this December under license from Golden Books. The license was previously held by the now-defunct Eden Toys.