Barnes & Noble has signed a three-year deal with itsy bitsy Entertainment and its Hooray! division to become the master publishing licensee for Huggy Buggy, Hooray!'s soft toy vehicle line. Four board books will debut in October, along with a board-book-and-toy set; they will be endcapped in-store in the fourth quarter and featured in the chain's holiday catalogue. While Barnes & Noble has licensed other properties for children's books, including Santa Mouse, Frosty the Snowman and Spookley the Square Pumpkin (the latter launching this Halloween), this is its first toy-based license, according to spokesperson Debra Williams, who added, "The Huggy Buggy really lends itself to books for preschoolers."
As part of the deal, Barnes & Noble will bring some licensed Huggy Buggy items into its stores, and will distribute Huggy Buggy soft toys in the specialty and gift market, according to Andrew Kerr, itsy bitsy's director of retail relations. All titles will be exclusive to B&N before rolling out to other retailers; some will remain exclusive.