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PBS KIDS AND HAPPY KID TOY GROUP, LTD. TO LAUNCH PRESCHOOL EDUCATIONAL TOYS

New Line to Help Children Explore the World through Play

America’s Top Educational Media Brand to Debut in the Toy Aisle, Spring 2011


Arlington, Va., and Chicago, Ill., March 23, 2010 – PBS KIDS, which was recently named America’s top educational media brand, has signed Happy Kid Toy Group, Ltd. as its master toy licensee to launch a new educational line to help preschoolers learn and grow through play, a key principle guiding PBS KIDS’ award-winning work in media.

The new PBS KIDS toys will draw on extensive academic research that confirms play is essential to building preschoolers’ cognitive, emotional and social skills, as well as their dexterity and physical strength1. This initiative will extend PBS’ pioneering work on television, the Internet and other digital platforms, which strives to nurture children’s curiosity and prepare them with the skills they need for the future. In a recent national poll, the public named PBS KIDS the most educational media brand for children and a leader in helping children realize their potential.

PBS has signed a multi-year licensing agreement with international toy maker Happy Kid Toy Group, Ltd. The toys, slated to debut in 2011, are to be sold by a range of retailers, including toy specialty, catalogue, Internet and department stores, and all major mass retailers. Each PBS KIDS item — such as craft and activity sets, science sets and role-playing games — will be packaged with information on the importance of child-driven play and ideas for parent or caregiver interaction. PBS will invest the revenue earned from the project into the creation of the next generation of educational content for children. Dawn Ciccone, PBS senior director for licensing, will lead the project, reporting to Lesli Rotenberg, PBS senior vice president for children’s media. In addition, the partnership engaged Big Boing to help create an innovative, educational experience and deliver on the PBS KIDS brand promise through toys.

“Exploration through play is integral to children’s healthy development, allowing them to interact with the world, practice problem-solving skills and discover their interests and passions,” said Ms. Rotenberg. “PBS is dedicated to helping guide preschoolers through the milestones of early childhood, ensuring every child has an opportunity to reach his or her full potential. Parents have told us that they expect to find PBS wherever there is a learning opportunity for their children, and we are pleased to have found the right partners to extend our mission.”

“We are thrilled to be able to work with PBS KIDS, the most trusted source for educational children’s media, to produce a line of preschool toys that inspire and encourage the little explorer in every family,” said Paul Koester, Happy Kid Toy Group, Ltd. president.

“We are truly honored to be partnering with PBS KIDS and to jointly develop a long-term preschool toy brand that will offer parents a wide selection of new, innovative, high-quality and accessibly priced items,” said Lloyd Mintz, of Nine Oaks Group, who brokered the license agreement on behalf of Happy Kid Toy Group, Ltd. and will help manage the partnership.


About PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO!
PBS KIDS, for preschoolers, and PBS KIDS GO!, for early elementary school kids, offer all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online and community-based programs. With positive role models and content designed to nurture a child’s total well-being, family and educator resources — including PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO! television series, PBSKIDS.ORG, PBSKIDSGO.ORG, PBS Parents ( PBSPARENTS.org), PBS Teachers (PBSTEACHERS.org). PBS is a nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation’s nearly 360 public television stations, serving more than 124 million people on-air and online each month. For more information on specific shows supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit PBS.org/pressroom.

About Happy Kid Toy Group, Ltd.
Happy Kid Toy Group, Ltd. is a 25-year-old Hong Kong-based toy manufacturer with a global reputation for innovation, quality, and safety. It recently opened a new, state-of-the-art 450,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Dong Guan, China. Happy Kid Toy Group, Ltd. sells a comprehensive range of toy products, including role play, pre-school toys, and robots that are sold worldwide. Happy Kid Toy Group, Ltd. is a fully vertically integrated company that handles all product and packaging design, mold-making, tooling, printing, manufacturing, assembly, and quality control. Its U.S. sales headquarters is located in Chicago, IL headed by Paul Koester.

About Nine Oaks Group
Nine Oaks Group is a brand management consulting firm that specializes in licensing, strategic marketing and new business development. The group works with manufacturers and intellectual property owners to help them leverage brand equity and develop profitable merchandising programs. Founded in 2000, its offices are located in Wellesley, MA, and headed up by Lloyd Mintz.

CONTACT
Sales and Marketing Contact:
Paul Koester, Happy Kid Toy Group, Ltd., 708-615-1700, pk@hktgltd.com

Media Contacts:
Jan McNamara, PBS KIDS, 703-739-5028, jmcnamara@pbs.org
Lloyd Mintz, Nine Oaks Group, 781-263-9922, lloydmintz@verizon.net

1Examples of this research include: Ginsburg, Kenneth and the Committee on Communications and the Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health. "The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds." Pediatrics. 119.1 (2007): 182-191 (online at http://www.aap.org/pressroom/playFINAL.pdf)

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