The first licensed merchandise tied to The World Almanac started reaching bookstores and other retail channels this summer. Products so far include atlases and maps, curriculum products, computer software, videos, soft novelty globes, board games and PDA content.

The World Almanac, distributed by St. Martin's, has been published since the 1860s and continues to appear on bestseller lists each October with the release of annual editions, according to Craig Kalter, president of Marathon Projects, The World Almanac's licensing agent. The book commands an 80% share of the almanac market, as does a children's edition within the juvenile market. Future extensions will include children's products and additional branded and content-driven items for adults.