aNb Media News, September 9, 2010

TRU Pops Up Near You

Toys “R” Us (TRU) announced plans to operate approximately 600 Toys “R” Us Express stores in malls and shopping centers nationwide during the 2010 Christmas season, in addition to its 587 full-size TRU stores in the United States. This rollout of pop-up stores, which are approximately 4,000 square feet each, represents an additional 2.4 million square feet of toy-selling space for the holiday season.

Last year, TRU operated its first pop-up stores with nearly 90 Toys “R” Us Express locations across the country, many of which have remained open through 2010. New Toys “R” Us Express locations began opening in June in malls and shopping centers nationwide, and will continue to open through early November, according to the company.

TRU is hiring approximately 10,000 associates nationwide to staff these stores. These employees are in addition to the company’s traditional holiday workforce expansion for its full-size stores.

Customers taking part in the Christmas Savers Club can utilize it in the permanent stores as well as these Express locations.

Classic Media Secures Life with Boys Rights

Classic Media announced that it has secured worldwide distribution and licensing and merchandising rights for the new live-action tween series Life with Boys. The all-new show is from Michael Poryes, co-creator and executive producer of Hannah Montana and That’s So Raven.

Life with Boys will be produced by Corus Entertainment, the Nelvana Studio, and family network YTV. Casting is currently underway with production of 26 half-hour episodes scheduled to begin in February 2011.

Classic Media will manage TV distribution in all territories worldwide excluding Canada, Latin America, and Asia (excluding Japan), which will be handled by Nelvana Enterprises, and Australia, France, and the United Kingdom, which will be covered by Helion Pictures. Classic Media will also manage the global merchandising program in all handled distribution territories with the inclusion of the UK.

The series is scheduled to premiere in Canada on YTV in September 2011 and Helion has secured pre-sales across Canal J (France), Nickelodeon (United Kingdom) and ABC (Australia). Classic Media will present the show to buyers at MIPCOM next month.

It’s Total Drama for JTMG

Joy Tashjian Marketing Group (JTMG) has signed a representation agreement with Toronto’s Fresh TV, Inc., and Cake Entertainment to handle the licensing and merchandising campaign in the U.S. and Canada for the Total Drama series. JTMG will be the exclusive licensing agent for Total Drama Island and Total Drama Action, which air in the U.S. on Cartoon Network and Teletoon in Canada, as well as Total Drama Reloaded, which is slated to debut on the network in 2011.

Total Drama is the first ever tween-targeted animated comedy reality series that parodies reality television formats. Total Drama Island and Total Drama Action, the first and second season of the series, feature a group of teenage contestants who enter into a “Survivor-style” show to win prize money.

Fresh TV created, developed, and produced the Total Drama series. Cake Entertainment handles the worldwide distribution and global merchandising for the series.