Spud stud goes H’wood

Hasbro setting eyes on television

Mr. Potato Head is looking to break into TV. So are the formats and characters of such enduring board games as Clue, Monopoly and Candyland.

That’s the word from Sally Claster Bell, the newly appointed president of Claster Television, the Baltimore-based TV distribution unit of toy giant Hasbro. Claster is known primarily as a children’s syndication outfit, but Bell says she’s looking to expand Claster’s TV development activities outside of the syndication and kidvid arena.

“We’ve done a lot of re-engineering of our company and we’re working very closely with Hasbro on pursuing development deals (with outside partners) for our best-known properties,” Bell said.

Monopoly had a short-lived run as a primetime gameshow on ABC in 1990, but the oh-so-versatile Mr. Potato Head has yet to make his small-screen debut.

After a 25-year tenure as president of the company founded by his father in 1949, John Claster said Friday he has decided to step down in December to pursue new opportunities. Bell, who is John Claster’s sister, also has logged 25 years with the company, most recently serving as executive VP.

“I felt it was time for a change, but I also felt it was inappropriate for me to look for new opportunities while I was still running the company,” Claster said.

Claster’s present slate of syndie children’s fare includes the animated series “All Dogs Go to Heaven,” “Beast Wars” and the upcoming strip “Mummies Alive!”

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