Press Release

                                 

PBS INTRODUCES FIRST PBS KIDS TOY LINE

Toys to extend learning premiere exclusively on newly launched PBS KIDS Shop Online

ARLINGTON, VA, MAY 24, 2011 – PBS today announces availability for the first-ever PBS KIDS toy line of preschool toys designed to extend off-screen learning. This move into the toy aisle furthers PBS’ transmedia mission, reaching children across all platforms – on-air, online, on mobile devices, in classrooms, and through creative play.  The toys will be exclusively available online at a newly launched PBS KIDS Shop, PBSKIDSshop.com, until early fall, when they will become available at additional online and in-store retailers as well.

“We’re excited to extend the educational benefits of PBS KIDS programming to a new platform,” commented Lesli Rotenberg, Senior Vice President, Children’s Media, PBS.   “Toys are a very natural extension of our ongoing mission to offer learning opportunities to children, and parents’ trust and familiarity with PBS KIDS will help foster valuable co-play opportunities. The toys facilitate hands-on learning and parent-child interaction through creative play, which we know can help kids build critical skills to prepare them for success in school and in life.”

The new toy line will initially consist of more than 20 individual wooden toys for preschoolers across key toy categories.  Highlights include:

• PBS KIDS Sounds of the World Rhythm Set, one of several musical toys designed to foster hand-eye coordination and children’s exploration of sound.

• PBS KIDS Puzzle Playset Safari, a themed playset that promotes imaginative play and encourages children to explore new words.  The playsets will also be offered in beach and playground themes.

• Building and construction toys, such as the PBS KIDS Exploration Blocks City.

• PBS KIDS 3-Layer Puzzles (in Barn, Camping and other themes) to promote problem-solving, letter recognition, number matching and other developing skills.

In addition to the new toy line, the first-of-its-kind PBS KIDS Shop is an online shop for parents to find educational books, games, toys, DVDs, customizable apparel and more based on the full range of PBS KIDS programs. PBS developed the PBS KIDS Shop with Brand-Xpand, a recognized leader in the successful design and management of eCommerce sites and services.

“Parents have repeatedly asked us for a ‘one-stop’ resource for everything PBS KIDS and we’ve created just that,” continued Rotenberg.  “The PBS KIDS Shop is an extension of our strategy to provide PBS KIDS educational programming and related tools and materials wherever kids are.  That means on-air, online and unplugged – on the playroom floor, reading a book, putting together a puzzle or playing a game.”

Parents will find all of their children’s favorite PBS KIDS programs represented at the PBS KIDS Shop, including:  SESAME STREET, CURIOUS GEORGE, SUPER WHY, DINOSAUR TRAIN, SID THE SCIENCE KID, MARTHA SPEAKS, THE CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT, ARTHUR, WORDGIRL, CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG, CAILLOU, BARNEY AND FRIENDS, and ANGELINA BALLERINA THE NEXT STEPS.

The PBS KIDS Shop will also feature exclusive items, including customizable backpacks, water bottles, room décor, apparel and birthday party supplies featuring children’s names and their favorite PBS KIDS programs and characters.  “This is the first time our producers have had this capability,” added Rotenberg. 

Proceeds from the PBS KIDS Shop will help fund free, educational PBS KIDS programming for all children.  Parents consistently rank PBS KIDS as the #1 trusted source of children’s programming.  PBS is also the #1 source of TV and online content used by pre-K teachers in the classroom.

Images and additional press materials related to the PBS KIDS toy line and the PBS KIDS Shop are available on PBS PressRoom.

About Brand-Xpand
Brand-Xpand is a leading provider of retail eCommerce strategy, solutions and services with extensive experience in the licensing industry.   With expert knowledge in character brands, Brand-Xpand focuses on value-added solutions to provide the most engaging shopping experiences that reflect the mission, values and energy of character shows.   For more, visit Brand-Xpand.com.

About PBS KIDS
PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for children, offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online and community-based programs.  Each quarter, more than 27 million viewers watch PBS KIDS on TV, and PBSKIDS.org, the number one kids’ entertainment site for free video streaming, attracts more than 9.5 million unique visitors per month (Nielsen, NTI Q42010; comScore Video Metrix; Google Analytics). For more information on specific PBS KIDS programs supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit PBS.org/pressroom, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter and Facebook.

Barney © 2011 Lyons Partnership, L.P. 
Angelina Ballerina © 2011 Hit Entertainment Limited


Contacts:
Maria Vera, PBS; 703.739.3225; mvera@pbs.org
Caitlin Melnick, 360 Public Relations; 617.585.5775; cmelnick@360publicrelations.com

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