Nick preps pair for Licensing Show

Vidgames 'Juju,' 'everGirl' to be unveiled

Nickelodeon will unveil two properties at this year’s Licensing Show, neither based on current programming. It will be the first time Nick’s offerings have deviated from its TV titles.

Besides merchandise for evergreen “SpongeBob SquarePants,” top-rated Nick will introduce videogame “Tak and the Power of Juju” and lifestyle brand “everGirl” characters at the show, which begins Tuesday.

Roaring stream

Last year, net’s domestic licensed products racked up $2.6 billion in retail sales. And while Nick’s share was not divulged, nett sees growth of almost 20% each year, according to Jeff Dunne, prexy of enterprises.

“The licensing business is the fastest growing for Nick,” said Dunne.

Based on a new character, “Tak” is the story of a young apprentice shaman who has to save his village. Videogame was well received at recent Electronic Entertainment Expo confab in Los Angeles. It is also in development as a possible series for the channel.

‘Ever’ green?

Tween-targeting “everGirl,” about four schoolgirls, is being developed off-network via books and Webisodes. Characters, to be introduced by fall of next year, will be positive role models for tween girls.

There are no immediate plans to turn characters into a series for the net, and Nick will remain quietly in the background as product is rolled out. Merchandise will be ready for start of the 2004 school year.

Net also is excited about strength of “Dora the Explorer” products. Preschool hit has emerged as the second-most-popular licensing character for Nick. “SpongeBob” raked in $800 million last year in retail sales; 3-year old Dora is already at $500 million.

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