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Cable Spawns New Entries at Toy Fair

2/18/2003 9:17 AM Eastern

Some of the hot new-for-2003 toy products being touted at the American
International Toy Fair in New York this week are inspired by animated children's
series on cable and broadcast networks.

The Toy Fair, which opened Sunday, is scheduled to close Wednesday.

Mattel Inc.'s latest offerings due to hit retail later this year include
"Barbie Loves SpongeBob," with its popular fashion doll now sporting capri
pants, T-shirts and backpacks inspired by Nickelodeon's SpongeBob
SquarePants
series.

That series will also be featured in various other Mattel toys, dolls and
games.

So will Nick's Jimmy Neutron, action figures from which will be
joined by the "J-Bot" robot toy and vehicles and Dora the Explorer,
whose new products will include "Singing Dora" (in Spanish and English).

In addition, Mattel's Jakks Pacific division will be the master toy licensee
for Nick's The Fairly Odd Parents series, with that line encompassing
figures, play sets, plush dolls and handheld electronic games.

Jakks will also introduce Nickelodeon's "Nicktivities" line, including
"Splastic" bouncing putty compound and liquid-filled "Squishees" characters.

Cartoon Network has also been busy lining up toy licensees in time for the
Toy Fair. Its Baby Looney Tunes series has spawned a spinoff toy line
from Mattel, which will also introduce product linked to Looney Tunes: Back
in Action
, the live-action theatrical feature due in November.

Mattel has also licensed Cartoon's Justice League series for an
action-figure line.

Meanwhile, Bandai America Inc. will unveil Power Rangers and
Power Rangers Ninja Storm figures sparked by the animated series on ABC
and ABC Family.

Bandai will also market other action figures based on characters from
Gundam (part of Cartoon's "Toonami" action block) and Superior
Defender
, due soon on Cartoon.

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