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Nickelodeon Restructures Consumer Products Division

Nickelodeon has restructured its consumer products business to closely align with its core business, with global, cross-platform property plans as the driving force behind the new organizational model. The new structure emphasizes toys and apparel, and retail marketing becomes integral to Nickelodeon’s overall marketing organization.

The strategic business operations, headed by Nickelodeon Group COO Sarah Kirshbaum Levy, will oversee the toys, interactive and consumer electronics, and soft goods, headed by Manuel Torres and Hal Snik. The Nickelodeon digital team—led by Steve Youngwood, executive vice president, digital, Nickelodeon Group—will manage Nick’s U.S. publishing and home entertainment businesses, headed by Paula Allen and Sherice Torres.

Retail marketing, which is overseen by Ron Johnson, will now report to Pam Kaufman, chief marketing officer, Nickelodeon Group. Packaged goods will report to advertising sales partnerships, led by Sharon Cohen, senior vice president of integrated marketing and ad sales, Nickelodeon Group. All international consumer products operations will continue to be led by Michael Connolly and report to Pierluigi Gazzolo, COO of Viacom International Media Networks. Manuel Torres and Paula Allen will have a dual report into Connolly for all international aspects of their businesses. Nickelodeon Creative Resources will continue to lead all creative components, managed by Russell Hicks, executive vice president and executive creative director, Nickelodeon Group.

Zinkia Entertainment Names Random House Children’s Books as Publishing Partner in U.S. and Canada for Pocoyo

Zinkia Entertainment has entered into an agreement with Random House Children’s Books to develop a broad range of books for the U.S. and Canadian markets for its award-winning children’s brand Pocoyo.

Under the terms of the multiyear agreement, Random House will publish Pocoyo storybooks, leveled reader books, coloring and activity books, board/novelty books, and e-books (based on the published books in the referenced formats) in the English language. The first three books, to be published and available at retail this summer, include a Pocoyo storybook, coloring book, and board/novelty book.

Singer Cody Simpson Debuts Dolls at Toys “R” Us

Teen pop singer Cody Simpson and The Wish Factory, Inc. unveiled two Cody Simpson dolls at Toys “R” Us Times Square today. I headed over to Toys “R” Us this afternoon to learn more about the dolls and meet Cody Simpson.

The collection consists of two dolls, both 11.5 inches, featuring the Australian singer’s side-swept surfer-styled hair and clothes Simpson wears. One doll is dressed in a Gold Coast T-shirt and khakis, and the other doll wears a denim jacket and black pants. Both dolls include a pair of shoes, sunglasses, a microphone, a guitar pick, and lanyard. The guitar pick included varies from box to box, some with angel wings and the word “Angel,” and others with an emoticon smiley face and the numbers “143” to mean “I love you.”

Scott Bachrach, president of The Wish Factory, which designed the dolls, said the guitar picks’ designs came from the fans, who call themselves Cody’s angels, and can become collectible items used as key chains and more. Simpson told us that he was involved throughout the doll-making process to give feedback on the look of the doll and its clothes.

The dolls, completed from start to finish in 106 days, are available exclusively at Toys “R” Us stores nationwide and online for $16.99 each.

Melissa Tinklepaugh

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