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Harvey’s toon tunes bound for boxed set

Edel America Records and Harvey Entertainment have pacted to release a boxed set of the theme songs of the cartoon creator’s popular characters.

The first of its kind boxed set includes two CDs which will boast all of the original music from the classic cartoons. Comic book reprints of select issues will also be included.

The set, which will be backed with a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign and positioned as a timely collectible gift set for the holidays, will also feature a glossy book chronicling the history of Harvey Entertainment.

The themes behind such well-known Harvey characters as Casper the Friendly Ghost, Richie Rich and Baby Huey, will comprise the discs, which will also be enhanced to enable users to watch the original films while listening to the themes.

Never been done before

“Something like this has never been done before,” Jonathan First, prexy of Edel America Records, North America told Daily Variety. “Usually,sets like this are audio only or are nothing more than clips from old shows. We believe this is something more creative and that has great gift potential.”

EAR,as it is known, has had a number of recent soundtrack successes with discs to “The Birdcage,” “Mulholland Falls” and “Hackers,” helping to put the company on the industry map. The label boasts $200 million in worldwide sales.

Upcoming “Hackers 2” and “Red Corner” discs will add to the company’s eclectic — and successful — lineup of albums such as the entrance themes to World Wrestling Federation athletes and a disc sanctioned by the National Professional Rodeo Cowboy Assn., which features tracks by Willie Nelson, Toby Keith and Chris Ledoux.

“We’re a full-service label, but we don’t sign a lot of artists,” said First. “We want to be known as being a different kind of record company; one that creates unusual (albums) and doesn’t always accept the music industry’s conventional wisdom. I believe the Harvey (discs) are a good example of that philosophy.”

First said the sets, which are already being ordered by a wide cross-section of retail, will be heavily promoted with an aggressive campaign of print, Web and cable TV ads.

Cablers Nick at Night and Comedy Central will also be tapped, with viewers being given opportunities to buy the discs direct through commercial spots boasting toll-free numbers.

Harvey is presently experiencing a resurgence, and is riding high with the direct-to-video pic “Casper: A Spirited Beginning.” It also has a number of TV and film productions in the hopper.

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