The Sesame Street
license was signed a few months ago. The length of the contract is not
something I am really willing to discuss, but suffice it to say that
we have it for a nice chunk of time. It does NOT include any international
characters nor is it likely to in the future.
The contract covers
all the Muppet characters that appeared on the television show Sesame
Street except any of those characters that are owned by other companies,
such as Kermit, who is owned now by Disney. The license does not cover
human actors and actresses nor is it likely to in the future.
won't really speak about Fun 4 All...I don't know what happened to them
and it really doesn't matter to me. All I know for sure is that we have
wanted to make Sesame Street stuff for a LONG time and an opportunity
presented itself to do so.
The license allows
us to create action figures, Palz block figures and collectible display
environments. Size or scale is not an issue so we would be allowed to
make larger scale items if we wish, whether it be an in scale larger
character like Big Bird or a MEGA-sized version of one of the action
figures. As it stands right now, there are no plans for MEGA figures
in the style of the Muppets MEGA figures. But larger characters in scale
with the smaller figures are something that will be considered.
These products are
NOT being targeted or marketed to the pre-school age buyer. They are
being designed and marketed and created as adult style collectibles.
They will be in the same scale as the Muppets line from Palisades and
similar in nature. By that I mean lots of detail, lots of articulation
and lots of fun.
They will not be
available in the same areas of any store as other lower aged Sesame
Street merchandise. In the event that they DO go into a larger store,
they would only be found where the other adult style collectible action
figures are located. The product will be labeled Ages 8 and Up.
Grover is set to be the first figure to debut in the line. It features
interchangeable heads, a trench coat and cape and a telephone booth.
The body underneath the coat is not a naked Grover body. It has a "G"
logo molded to the chest. The hats and helmets on the heads are not
removable. It is probably going to debut as a Palisades Tour figure
at Mega Con or Wizard World LA.
Since it is a Tour
Figure, which means it will only be available at one of our events or
through the Palisades
Collectors Club, just like the Adventure Kermit. We will offer it
outside the U.S. as we have done before, but ONLY if the international
rights for selling are worked out. As of this writing they are not,
so I have no info about what countries are covered right now and I do
not have information about what stores will be carrying the line overall
because the sales cycle for Series 1 is still a long way off. Promise
you, as always, that as soon as there is any new news on any of that
I will let you guys know.
Series 1 is set
for a summer release, and that is as specific as it is going to get
right now. Sculpting has begun on Series 1 and so far the sculpting
looks great. I do not have a complete accessory list at this time nor
do I have any suggested retail pricing at this time.
will be two versions of the figure available to the market. One of those
versions, dubbed "specialty market" version, will contain
parts to make up a small section of the Sesame Street set. So for example,
in Series 1, which includes Ernie, Oscar, Two-Headed Monster and Guy
Smiley, if you buy the "specialty market' versions of all of those
four figures, you will be able to build the area of Sesame Street located
near Oscar's can, which has the doors and essentially is the front area
of Big Bird's nest.
These display environments
are facades, not fully functional playsets, but when all is said and
done you will see the same level of detail and attention to these facades
you have come to expect from other traditional "playsets"
we have done. From that point we will go from right to left to complete
the street. Scale will be cheated somewhat on these, but the intent
is to have as much of a visual impact as the Backstage playset which
had dramatically cheated scale but still pull off the "look".
mass-market versions, if there are any, will be the figure and perhaps
an accessory or two, but nothing more in the way of the parts of the
street. These will be available for a lower cost.
I say IF there are
any, because as much as we would love to be the ones making final decisions
about stores taking merchandise, it will simply be up to the stores
if they do or do not. The thinking is that a larger chain may want these,
but not the higher priced "specialty" version so a more mass
friendly price, smaller package, etc. will be an attractive alternative
The figure will
probably be the same, and it will ultimately come down to choice for
the consumer. You want the full display environment or for a few less
bucks do you just want the figures? I say probably because as you know
things are always subject to change, and none of this is set in stone
until the sales cycle officially begins.
You can certainly
expect to know a LOT more come Toy Fair about all of that. But right
now the Series 1stuff is in its infancy. Sculpts are still in progress,
so I don't know how certain aspects of it are going to be handled. Packaging
is still being worked out, so I don't know how that is going to look
yet. I do know they are being designed with Muppets in mind as far as
scale is concerned. We will try to make the two lines look very natural
next to each other on the shelf.