Sprout Signs Licensing Deals For Plush Toys, DVDs

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Sprout heads into Licensing Expo 2012 this week with deals for merchandise based on original series The Sunny Side Up Show and Noodle and Doodle.

"Chica," the puppet co-host of Sunny Side Up and star of the upcoming The Chica Show in November, will hatch a plush version in a pact with manufacturer Fiesta. Sprout, targeting pre-schoolers and their caregivers, said it had success with a limited-edition Chica plush on Amazon.com last holiday season.

Chica merchandise will be available beginning this month with a 13-inch plush, soon followed by a 6-inch plush. Other Chica products, including plush backpacks, will be available in early 2013.

Chica, the puppet.

The Noodle and Doodle DVD is available now through a deal with NCircle Entertainment, with an additional release launching in October, NBCUniversal outlet Sprout said.

The products will be available at specialty retailers and at ShopSprout.com, a destination launching this fall, according to a release citing Sprout marketing vice president Jim Multari. The network said it also is exploring categories such as e-books and apparel.

The licensing expo, in Las Vegas June 12-14, expects to draw attendees from more than 90 countries, with 600 licensing agents. The annual event typically has more than 500 exhibitors representing more than 7,000 brands and properties.

One growing category, according to the expo's producers, is television properties. Shows and brands like Swamp People, America's Next Top Model, Glee and CSI have enjoyed licensing success. 

"This is a dynamic time in TV licensing, with excitement focused on both emerging viral properties like Annoying Orange and refreshed classics like Ninja Turtles and Power Rangers," Debra Joester, CEO of Joester Loria Group, representing such TV brands as Annoying Orange, Deadliest Catch, Mythbusters and Animal Planet, said in a release from the expo promoters. "Annoying Orange established a huge following on YouTube that ultimately drove over a billion video downloads and those fans are now buying Annoying Orange merchandise and eagerly awaiting the [June 11] debut of the TV series on Cartoon Network."

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