The Bear Comes Out

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The Bear is coming out of his big, blue house this year. The Henson Productions show will get an exclusive promo at Target Stores in the first quarter, as well as a live three-month mall tour.

Bear in the Big Blue House is a preschool show hosted by a seven-foot bear who invites children into his house to play and learn. The show airs daily on theDisney Channel.

The Target deal runs in all 850 of the chain’s stores from February to April. The program includes toys that hit the market last year, and Happy Kids apparel that will be exclusive to the chain. Target will highlight music, home videos, and a book in addition to the apparel and toys.

The show’s star will make in-store appearances, and customers who make a Bear purchase will get a free magnetic frame featuring the character.

“The active role that Target Stores plays in each community fits well with the sensibility of Bear,” says Betts FitzGerald, vp- licensing for Henson.

The 10-week mall show will extend through March, with a 15-minute show performed three times daily on weekends. Bear activity booklets will be handed out.

Each event will be co-sponsored by the Disney Channel and local cable operators. Disney will promo the events through on-air and Web site mentions.

“The tour allows some of our most popular characters the opportunity to jump out of the TV set and into the communities of our kid and family viewers,” says Disney Channel vp-marketing Adam Sanderson.

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