'Dora The Explorer' is the number one toy license in the US

MUMBAI: US kids brand Nickelodeon has announced that its lead licensed property and preschool character Dora the Explorer continues to make toy and licensing history.

According to industry experts, The NPD Group, holiday 2006 sales propelled Dora intothe number one slot as the year‘s top toy license. At Toy Fair in the US a number of key licensees including master toy partner Fisher-Price will showcase an expanded range of Dora the Explorer products that encompasses new play patterns and broader price points.

Nickelodeon welcomes to Toy Fair four new additions to its toy partner line-up with the introduction of new licensees CDI/Jakks, MegaBloks, RC2 and Imperial Toy. From construction toys to role play and novelty toys, these companies will introduce a wide range of toys entering more channels of distribution than ever before with brands like Go, Diego, Go!, SpongeBob SquarePants, Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Backyardigans leading the way.

These industry leaders join Nickelodeon‘s growing network of licensees committed to supporting the imagination and creativity of children worldwide.

Nickelodeon and Viacom Consumer Products president Leigh Anne Brodsky says, "Nickelodeon, with top-selling mega brands like Dora the Explorer, is the dominant force in pre-school licensed toys. With the highest ranked preschool shows on commercial television, we‘re expanding our properties in new directions and bringing kids more of the characters they love. Last year‘s launches of Go, Diego Go!, The Backyardigans and Avatar had great success and this year‘s Toy Fair will continue their momentum.

"The popularity for everyone‘s favorite, SpongeBob, is at an all-time high and we‘re excited about the launch of Hasbro‘s Operation SpongeBob SquarePants. It‘s a marriage of two classics that go together like peanut butter and jelly."

Dora the Explorer is in her fifth year of licensed product with more than $5.3 billion in retail sales under her belt. Dora has made the transition from top seller to global mega brand. Dora product will be making a big splash at this year‘s Toy Fair. The property led 2006 sales with Fisher-Price‘s Dora Talking Cash Register and Fairy Wishes Dora seen as two of the most popular toys of the season. This year‘s line-up is anticipated to be Dora‘s
biggest ever.

In 2007, the franchise is looking to hit new heights with added products and play patterns including make-believe dress-up, role play and building sets. New products include Dora Let‘s Get Ready Vanity. It features fiesta adventure
cards, bilingual interactive phrases and object recognition. Then there is Sparkle And Twirl Mermaid Dora. This toy looks to puts a new ‘spin‘ on the character. When kids put Dora into her special shell base, she magically starts to twirl around, her arms raise, her tail magically grows, and sound effects will play as she transforms into a magical mermaid.

The Talking Friendship Adventures Dora is a life-sized 34 inch tall doll who can speak 70 bilingual interactive phrases. Dora Friendship Adventure Game is a Dora focussed adventure and environment for Fisher-Price‘s new Smart Cycle, which encourages an active, healthy lifestyle for kids. Smart Cycle is an innovative plug-and-play toy that combines physical play with learning for preschoolers. The Dora Friendship Adventure Game lets kids pedal and steer their "on-screen vehicle" through both active and learning- focussed Dora play modes.

Meanwhile Nick says that Go, Diego, Go! toys launched in 2006 with success. Nickelodeon will expand the merchandising program greatly this year to include new die-cast vehicles, wood toys, building sets and water toys. In 2006 Diego‘s Talking Rescue Center became one of the most sought after holiday toys and earned ‘Best Toy‘ accolades from Parents Magazine, Family Fun Magazine and the New
York Daily News. The Go, Diego, Go! Live tour, which will visit 50 markets across the US.

SpongeBob SquarePants has made more than $6.3 billion in retail sales to date. SpongeBob SquarePants Nick says is the most-watched kids show in history. Nick says that the show‘s and merchandise success is largely due to appeal that cuts across gender and age groups. No competitive brand has the appeal and scope of the one and only SpongeBob SquarePants.

One product that will be launched is the Operation SpongeBob SquarePants. This is an updated version of the classic board game with a distinct Bikini Bottom twist -- and the original games signature lights and buzzers. Bringing the two hits together is a perfect fit.


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