Scholastic Entertainment Joins Forces With Industry Leaders to Launch Major Licensing and Merchandising Invasion for Animorphs


NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 9, 1998--

Hasbro Inc. and Columbia TriStar Home Video Join Scholastic Entertainment to Support The Animorphs Invasion

Scholastic Entertainment, one of the leading children's entertainment and consumer products companies, unveils an impressive licensing and merchandising program for its Animorphs property with the announcements of strategic partnerships with industry heavyweights Hasbro Inc. and Columbia TriStar Home Video. These master toy and home video deals align Scholastic Entertainment with industry leaders in their respective categories -- providing a strong foundation of support for the property based on Scholastic's No. 1 best-selling children's book series. Animorphs will invade toy and video stores throughout 1999.

According to Deborah Forte, executive vice president of Scholastic Inc., and division head of Scholastic Entertainment, "Amimorphs is our major new introduction for 1999. We are happy to have Hasbro and Columbia TriStar as partners who share our commitment to quality products that will delight and excite children. As leaders in their industries, these partners have the marketing and distribution strength to have a major impact in the marketplace."

Animorphs, written by K.A. Applegate, highlights the adventures of five teenagers who use their unique ability to change into any animal they touch to help save the world from an alien invasion. First published in 1996, the series has become a phenomenon in the children's literary world -- selling more than 10 million copies worldwide and remaining a top performer on the Publishers Weekly and USA Today best-seller lists since its debut. The highly anticipated live-action Animorphs television series, produced by Scholastic Productions, will premiere on Nickelodeon in primetime this Fall, supported by a multi-million dollar marketing campaign.


The Hasbro master toy agreement represents an extensive worldwide deal across many of the industry's key categories. The initial Animorphs product line will be released as a new line for the incredibly popular Hasbro Transformers(TM) brand. The Hasbro toys, featuring unique Transformers(TM) capabilities that capture the magical Animorphs fantasy of changing from kid to animal, will be available in toy and mass market stores beginning the first quarter of 1999. Additionally, Hasbro Games and the Tiger Electronics division are creating board games and Giga Pet products respectively. Other Hasbro divisions will also support Animorphs.

"Animorphs is a wonderful fantasy that is already extremely popular with kids," said Chris Connolly, Hasbro Boys Toys vice president of marketing. "The storyline lends itself to toys and games and we feel this partnership with Scholastic is a natural one."


Through its deal with Scholastic Entertainment, Columbia TriStar Home Video has acquired U.S. and Canadian video distribution rights to the Animorphs live-action television series. The partnership extends Columbia TriStar Home Video's relationship with Scholastic Productions, which began with the successful home video releases of The Indian In The Cupboard and The Baby-sitters Club. Columbia TriStar Home Video plans an extensive video launch for the Animorphs series, working closely with Scholastic Entertainment to take advantage of cross-promotional and licensing opportunities. The video line will be launched in 1999.

Benjamin S. Feingold, president of Columbia TriStar Home Video stated, "Scholastic Entertainment is known as one of the most innovative and imaginative creators of multi-media entertainment in the world. Animorphs possesses these hallmarks and is an exciting franchise which should prove as desirable on video as it already has been in the book publishing world."

Continued Mr. Feingold, "Producing a consistent flow of quality product for the children's market is one of our most important strategies, and this ongoing relationship with Scholastic Entertainment is an invaluable asset in meeting that objective."

Scholastic Entertainment (SE) is a leading producer of quality, family-oriented television programming, feature films and video, and a major licensor and marketer of children's properties worldwide. Scholastic Productions, a division of Scholastic Entertainment, produces: Goosebumps, the award-winning, No. 1 rated children's TV show (Fox Kids Network); Scholastic's The Magic School Bus, the top-rated Emmy-award winning series starring Lily Tomlin (PBS); Clifford the Big Red Dog (in development); and critically-acclaimed feature films, The Baby-sitters Club and The Indian in the Cupboard. SE is the entertainment and media division of Scholastic Inc., the leading publisher and distributor of children's instructional materials in the world. Animorphs can be found on the World Wide Web at

Hasbro Inc. is a worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys, games, puzzles, software and infant care products. Both internationally and domestically, its Playskool(R), Kenner(R), Tonka(R), Milton Bradley(R), Parker Brothers(R), Super Soakers(R), OddzOn(R), Hasbro Interactive(TM) and Tiger(TM) products provide children and families with the highest quality and most recognizable toys and games in the world. Visit Hasbro on the World Wide Web at

Columbia TriStar Home Video is a Sony Pictures Entertainment company. Sony Pictures' global operation encompasses motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home video acquisition and distribution, operation of studio facilities, development of new entertainment technologies and distribution of filmed entertainment in 67 countries worldwide. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found on the World Wide Web at


For Scholastic Entertainment:
Bender, Goldman & Vickers
Jeffrey Klein/Tiffany Vickers


Holly Ingram, 513/579-4055


Columbia TriStar Home Video
Fritz Friedman, 310/244-7799

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