NEW YORK/MONTREAL, December 4, 2006 –MEGA Brands Inc announced today that it has entered into a multi-year international licensing partnership with Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products (NVCP) to develop construction toys based on Nick Jr.’s leading preschool character brands. The deal was announced by Vic Bertrand, Executive Vice President of MEGA Brands, Sherice Torres, Senior Vice President/Hard Goods of Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products and Tanya Haider, Senior Vice President/International of Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products.
Under the multi-year deal, MEGA Brands obtains the rights to develop an assortment of construction toys including buildable playsets and vehicles based on the highly successful Nickelodeon preschool brands, including Go Diego Go!, The Backyardigans and Dora the Explorer. The new licensed product offerings will launch in 2007 beginning with the United States and Canada with an expansion to additional markets including the United Kingdom, France, Australia, and Latin America later in the year and others in 2008.
“Nickelodeon and MEGA Brands share a common commitment to providing families with programming and products that foster imagination, education and social development,” said Vic Bertrand. “We are excited to help bring Nickelodeon’s loveable characters to life for children across the globe through the power of block building. These are tremendous properties for expanding our system of blocks as Dora, Diego, and The Backyardigans characters open up new play patterns of building activities for children.”
“MEGA Brands brings exceptional innovation and creativity to their preschool construction toys, making them the perfect partner to develop exciting products tied to Nicklelodeon’s top-rated preschool properties,” said Sherice Torres. “We’re excited to have these new products make their debut in the United States and Canada this spring.”
“As NVCP builds on the tremendous success of Dora the Explorer internationally and rolls out Nick Jr.’s hit properties, Go, Diego, Go! and The Backyardigans to new markets in 2007, it is the perfect time to extend our preschool portfolio into the construction toy category by partnering worldwide with MEGA Brands,” added Tanya Haider.
Dora the Explorer is among the top-rated preschool television shows around the world and, as the number one preschool license in North America, is considered a licensing phenomenon. The hundreds of products bearing the Dora name are consistently top sellers at major retailers worldwide. Dora is currently the number one overall toy license in France and Canada, the number one girls’ license in the United Kingdom and the fastest-growing Fisher-Price license ever in Latin America.
On the heels of its hugely successful cousin Dora the Explorer, Go, Diego, Go! made its Nick Jr. debut in September 2005, and has quickly become one of the top three preschool shows on commercial television in the US. As television’s only bilingual boy action hero, Go, Diego, Go! has already been syndicated into 78 markets and is securing top three ratings in major markets in Europe, Asia and Latin America. A full consumer products program launched in the United States in Fall 2006 to great fanfare and success. Diego’s first DVD was a Parents Choice Award recipient and key toys were selected as top holiday toy selections in a variety of national media. Driven by intense consumer demand, Go, Diego, Go! consumer products launched this month in France to be followed by multiple markets in 2007. MEGA Brand’s products will be among the first to appear internationally.
The Backyardigans inspire kids to dance, sing and create their own imaginative adventures. This half-hour CGI animated series is one of the top five preschool shows on commercial television in the United States and distributed internationally by Corus Entertainment. Consumer products launched globally in Fall 2006 across all categories and channels of distribution.
About MEGA Brands
MEGA Brands Inc. provides stimulating creative experiences for children and families through innovative, well-designed, affordable and high quality products that are marketed worldwide under the leading brands MEGA BLOKS®, ROSE ART®, MAGNETIX® and BOARD DUDES®.
We design, manufacture and market high quality construction and magnetic toy sets, games and puzzles, craft and activity sets, art materials, boards, writing instruments, school supplies and stationery. MEGA Brands is headquartered in Montreal and present in 14 countries with sales in over one hundred. For more information: please visit www.megabrands.com
About Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products
Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products manages the third largest licensing business in the world and represents such properties as SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer. The department handles the merchandising for Nick Jr., Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, Comedy Central, MTVN International, and Spike TV.
Nickelodeon, in its 27th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books, magazines and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in almost 92 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for eleven consecutive years. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom International Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B)