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Dora the Explorer

2007 Hot Property

Principals: Leigh Anne Brodsky, president, Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products; Tanya Haider, senior VP, international, NVCP

Licensees include: Fisher-Price (master toy licensee), Hasbro (co-branded games and toys), CDI/Jakks, Simon & Schuster (publishing), American Greetings, General Mills’ Green Giant (canned and frozen veggies), Crocs (footwear), Wilson (tennis racquets)

The story: In the summer of 2000, Nick Jr. introduced “Dora the Explorer” to preschool viewers, complemented with a traditionally cautious foray into licensing and retail. Since then, Nickelodeon has presented some other formidable properties to the category, but “Dora’s” popularity continues to grow — as does her presence on store shelves. From potty seats to party supplies, the girl-power icon has generated more than $5.3 billion in retail sales; in 2006, with more than 200 domestic licencees, “Dora” was the No. 1 preschool license in the U.S.

Globally, too, she’s among the top preschool licenses, and Nick recently launched “Dora” books in China, among other emerging-market initiatives.

Dora toys are “really breaking the mold of certain play patterns” with their kid-empowering, bilingual features, Brodsky says. Merchandise offerings include Dora’s Talking House and Sparkle and Twirl Mermaid Dora by master toy licensee Fisher-Price; co-branded games by Hasbro; and tennis racquets from Wilson.

This fall, Nick is launching a line of electronics with Memcorp, and it recently announced an alignment with Crocs for a line of “Dora” footwear. Nick also is increasing its focus on the health and wellness category: It’s already partnered with licensees including Seapoint Farms on branded organic edamame, and it just entered a deal with Green Giant for frozen and canned vegetables.

POV: “Dora is a character so many little girls can relate to because she has very contemporary but also has universal appeal,” Brodsky says. “She really reflects the spirit that has come from the show. We really look at the show as our bible.”

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