After successfully relaunching its Nancy Drew series with a new look and new formats, Simon & Schuster is using the property's 75th anniversary next year as an opportunity to expand the franchise's licensing program. Current licensees include Her Interactive for computer games, Listening Library for audiobooks, Running Press for mini and magnetic books, Gumshoe Girls for a limited apparel selection, and Paper Cutz for a new line of graphic novels. S&S is in talks with licensing agencies to represent Nancy Drew; stationery, additional apparel, home décor, bedding and limited-edition leather books are potential new categories.

Merchandise will target the girls who read the books today, as well as an avid group of adult collectors. After telling attendees about product plans at the recent Nancy Drew convention in New Orleans, Robb Pearlman, S&S subsidiary rights manager, domestic markets and brand licensing, said, "People were literally tearing at my clothes to find out more."

The expanded merchandise range will remain focused on appropriate products. "We sit and ask ourselves: Would Nancy do this? Would Nancy wear that?" said Bill Gaden, v-p sales and subsidiary rights. "We don't want to do anything that's not in keeping with the character and what she represents."