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Merchandise being developed on Jim Henson's early works

"Jim Henson Designs" to be licensed through 4kids Entertainment

Courtesy of The Jim Henson Company
June 20, 2006

Jim Henson's legacy is undeniable. His creations for television and film continue to dazzle and inspire the imaginations of both the young and old each day around the globe. Now, thanks to a new partnership between 4Kids Entertainment, Inc. and The Jim Henson Company, people will be able to see what inspired this exceptional artist and view the world from his unique perspective.

Concept art for a Jim Henson Designs cell phone.

Concept art for Jim Henson Designs underwear.

Concept art for a Jim Henson Designs rider.
4Kids and The Jim Henson Company are joining creative forces to launch Jim Henson Designs - a highly-artistic and innovative merchandise collection inspired by the rarely-seen works of the legendary puppeteer and filmmaker. For the first time ever, fans and newcomers alike have an opportunity to get to know and love Henson's earlier and most precious art creations through a comprehensive licensing program that exposes the more intimate and personal side of Henson's genius.

Henson began his career in graphic design and his lesser known works, often drawn on a variety of mediums from sketchpads to restaurant placemats to festival programs, consist of thousands of drawings (creatures of all shapes and sizes are ubiquitous in his sketchpads), landscapes (trees and farms were a favorite), and patterns (mazes full of goblins and monsters foreshadow his later fantasy projects).

In keeping with the integrity of these lesser-known pieces of art (currently housed in Henson's New York archives), Jim Henson Designs will imbue each product with the ideals and spirit of Jim Henson the Artist. The initial focus of the licensing program will be on creating captivating lines of apparel, accessories, and housewares to showcase these rarely-seen creations while carefully maintaining the creativity, joy and irreverence that have become synonymous with the Henson name.

"Jim Henson and his decades-worth of creations have been one of the most impactful and memorable forces in entertainment; he is a legend," said Alfred R. Kahn, Chairman and CEO of 4Kids Entertainment. "But what most fans don't know is that before we all fell in love with his life's work, Jim Henson was endlessly exploring new ideas -- sketching and drawing his thoughts for puppets, films, and television shows, to name just a few. His original artwork lends itself perfectly to an extraordinary collection of merchandise that is sure to be embraced by both kids and adults. In launching Jim Henson Designs, 4Kids and the Jim Henson company plan to reveal to the world these rare works of art and help further inspire the imagination and sense of wonder of generations to come."

Added Lisa Henson, co-CEO of The Jim Henson Company, "My father enjoyed celebrating life and with this positive energy and optimistic view, he tried to find joy in everything he did - adding a healthy dose of irreverence along the way. These earliest sketches reveal the very roots of his inspiration and, by working with 4Kids, we hope to introduce others to Jim Henson's 'mindstyle' - a way of seeing the world with wonder, laughter and infinite possibilities."

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