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Entertainment Rights finds ‘Waldo’

Media group also nabs Postman Pat, Lassie, Casper

British media group Entertainment Rights Plc has acquired rights to the “Where’s Waldo?” brand from series creator Martin Hanford.

Entertainment Rights announced Monday that it has purchased the worldwide right in perpetuity to audio visual, licensing and merchandising, publishing, live events and digital rights to the Waldo brand. Handford will continue to create and publish the picture books in their original format.

Paramount began developing a feature version of “Where’s Waldo?” through Nickelodeon Films in 2001 and signed John Schultz (“The Honeymooners”) to direct but that project’s gone into turnaround. Entertainment Rights said Monday it plans to create new animated and live-action content that will launch worldwide in 2008 and 2009 but it wasn’t clear if that would include a feature film.

The 60 Waldo books and collectable artworks have generated sales in excess of $159 million.

Enetertainment Rights recently completed purchase of Classic Media and now holds rights to Postman Pat, Lassie, Rupert Bear, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Basil Brush, Gerald McBoing Boing and the Little Golden Books brand.

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