US: Casper racing towards 60th birthday

Expanded licensing push across categories like apparel and entertainment planned for 2009.
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Entertainment Rights subsidairy Classic Media is busy working towards the 60th anniversary of Casper in 2009, with a new TV show in the pipeline, plus an extended licensing programme.

According to World Screen, Casper branded products will roll out at retail in time for the key Halloween period across sectors such as apparel, DVDs, music, digital content, games and social expressions.

Classic Media has renewed agreements with American Greetings (social expressions), MJC (men's loungewear) and Logotel (t-shirts), while Madacy Entertainment is planning to offer Halloween songs and sounds inspired by Casper in Q3 and Mello Smello will expand its product to include novelty items like stickers, temporary tattoos and wall décor.

Casper-branded mobile content is available through MobiTV, with the classic cartoons also recently launching on several online video sites, including YouTube, Joost and Babelgum.

Meanwhile, Compedia has developed a line of Casper CD-ROM kids games which will be available in over 31 countries and in 14 launches. Product will debut in North America later on this year.

Finally, the new TV series is currently in production and slated to premiere in over 60 territories next year. It is being co-produced by Classic Media, MoonScoop and DQ Entertainment. Broadcast partners include TF1 (France), Cartoon Network (UK, Asia and Latin America), YTV (Canada) and Jetix (Europe).

"Casper is a true entertainment franchise that has generated more than $1 billion in sales worldwide," said Nicole Blake, senior VP of marketing at Classic Media. "With Halloween consumer spending at an all-time high, we are perfectly poised to solidify Casper's position as the season's most popular icon leading up to the 60th anniversary next year."

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