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Entertainment/Character

Guess Who’s Back

By: Karina Masolova, karina@plainlanguagemedia.com

Nostalgia remains strong for retro brands—and it’s not just ’50s and ’60s-inspired designs, icons, and goods. The ’90s counts, too. We review the top retro announcements this week.

Epic Rights signs *NSYNC, one the bestselling bands of all-time with over 70 million records sold, in time for the 20th anniversary of the pop group’s first studio album in 2018. Epic plans to develop a new line of retro 90’s pop culture-inspired fashion apparel and accessories, electronics, seasonal and home décor, games, collectible figures, slot machines, and more. The agency is also managing the group’s online presence and official website promotions.

Nickelodeon announces that its ’90s horror TV series, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, is getting the movie treatment. Paramount Players will produce, with Gary Dauberman (It: Chapter Two, Annabelle: Creation) on board to handle scripting duties. Nick recently revived Hey Arnold and Rocko’s Modern Life with special TV movies.

And Nick’s Dora the Explorer series is getting a live action, big screen project (also with Paramount Players) aimed to hit theaters in 2019. Nick Stoller (The Muppets, Neighbors) will work on the script. The film features Dora as a teenager who moves to the city to live with her cousin Diego.

Warner Bros. Consumer Products partners with California streetwear brand The Hundreds for the launch of “The Hundreds X Animaniacs” apparel collection. Animaniacs ran for 99 episodes from 1993 to 1998, and was the launching point for central characters from Pinky and the Brain and the Goodfeathers. The collection pays tribute to the dynamic, titular trio of Yakko, Wakko, and Dot, as well as Pinky and the Brain.

Nintendo is in talks with Illumination Studios to produce an animated Super Mario Bros. film. The video game company will be involved in the creative process, with series’ creator Shigeru Miyamoto likely to serve as a producer. Nintendo was also in talks with Sony, but it’s assumed it will go with Illumination—parentco Universal is currently working on Super Nintendo World, expected to launch in time for the Tokyo Olympics at Universal Studios Japan in 2020.

The Smiley Co. brokers a deal between its Rubik’s toy brand and Paragon Creative in which Paragon is named official design & build partner for the themed attractions category. Paragon is seeking partners in the mall and themed attractions space for a range of concepts which include escape rooms with a VR element and a range of family activities including soft play, climbing, crazy golf, and logic based mazes.

Funko announces new figures for Kurt Cobain, Elton John, and Jerry Garcia. They join a current lineup that includes Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, Jimi Hendrix, Lemmy, Ozzy Osbourne, and KISS.

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