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Thursday, February 01 2018 23:00

My Nemesis, SpongeBob SquarePants, is Getting a New Toy Line for his 20th Anniversary...

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I've mentioned this before (just ask my friends at The Toy Insider), but I need to make something very clear: I cannot find one thing that I like about SpongeBob SquarePants. Not a single thing. In fact, I'd call him my nemesis, but since I have a few, let's just say that SpongeBob is one of my  nemeses. Perhaps it's because his whole existence is a "Millennial" thing (his show debuted in 1999 - the year I got married), or maybe I'm still bent out of shape that I actually rented 2004's The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, only to be disappointed to find out that the legendary David Hasselhoff was given just a small (yet still heroic!) role in said film. Even when we took The Rock Daughters™ to visit Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America, I had to play nice as the girls just loved meeting Mr. Squarepants. That said, next year is the 20th Anniversary of SpongeBob SquarePants, and the cool folks at The Alpha Group (Super Wings, Screechers Wild!) are picking up the torch as master toy licensee for SpongeBob. The brand-new product line, which will include toys, collectibles, plush and novelties, is expected to debut worldwide in 2019.

From the Official Announcement: “It’s an honor for Alpha to partner with Nickelodeon for a new SpongeBob product line that will excite and unite a full spectrum of kids, teens and millennials,” said Brehan Maul, Vice President Marketing, The Alpha Group LLC. “Kids all around the world have grown up with this beloved, iconic character. This is an amazing opportunity and we are planning a full range of SpongeBob collectibles, plush, novelties and playthings. Stay tuned for what’s in store.”

“SpongeBob SquarePants is a timeless, iconic character whose humor and optimism resonates with fans of all ages around the world,” said Jon Roman, Senior Vice President, Toys, Nickelodeon. “Nickelodeon is thrilled to be working with The Alpha Group on a brand-new global line of products as SpongeBob’s 20th anniversary approaches in 2019.”

In the coming months, Alpha Group will introduce a SpongeBob SquarePants product program that will engage today’s kids, and the millennials who grew up with him.

SpongeBob SquarePants has emerged as a global pop culture phenomenon since first premiering on Nickelodeon in July 1999. The series has been the most-watched animated program for more than 15 consecutive years and is seen in over 208 countries and translated in more than 55 languages.

James Zahn

James Zahn is not a journalist, nor a blogger, though he may be credited as such by others, or even accept the title... depending on the circumstance.  Instead, he considers himself largely to be an "entertainment and lifestyle writer," bringing 25+ years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries into the family realm as THE ROCK FATHER™.

As a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur, James now finds himself raising a pair young girls - The Rock Daughters™ - along with his wife from their Illinois home.

He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, has contributed to The Toy Book and regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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