Disney's 'Handy Manny' Measures Up

Disney's 'Handy Manny' Measures Up

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Global Hit TV Series for Preschoolers Climbs Ratings Ladder, Adds 20-Part Short-Form Series, Builds Consumer Products Franchise Handy Manny and Wilmer Valderrama Make Appearance at Licensing International Expo 2009

(June 1, 2009) Disney Channel's hit "Handy Manny" character and Wilmer Valderrama, the talented actor who helps bring him to life, will unveil the new Disney Consumer Products booth at Licensing International Expo 2009 tomorrow, TUESDAY, JUNE 2, in Las Vegas.  Seen daily during Playhouse Disney programming block, the hit series and its high affinity among preschoolers and parents has inspired Disney Consumer Products to expand its offering in multiple categories including books, toys, apparel, accessories, home furnishings, food, stationary, books and more.

In addition to 29 brand new episodes for its third season, today Disney Channel announced a new short-form series and two primetime specials.   "Handy Manny's School for Tools," 20 animated shorts, will begin production this year for a 2010 premiere.  In Fall 2009, Disney Channel will present the first of two primetime specials, "Handy Manny's Motorcycle Adventure," which takes viewers along on Manny's exciting and unexpected road trip to his family reunion.  The special features four new songs including "Rolling" performed by renowned East Los Angeles rockers Los Lobos.  The second primetime special will debut in 2010.  The daily series will also introduce 10 new tools: a jackhammer, a power screwdriver, a power socket wrench, a shop vac, a pair of needle nose pliers, a deluxe tool box, a laser level and a trio of crescent wrenches.

A Top 10 player among all series geared towards preschoolers age 2-5, "Handy Manny" is set in a multi-cultural, multi-generational community and follows a curriculum that models problem solving.  The Emmy and Imagen Award-nominated series can be seen in over 135 countries and in 23 languages with title translations including "Manny et ses Outils" (France), "Meister Manny's Werkzeugkiste" (Germany), "Manny Tuttofare" (Italy), "Händige Manny" (Sweden), "Manny Manitas" (Spain) and "Otasuke Manii" (Japan).  In the fourth quarter of 2008, the series reached over 75 million unduplicated viewers worldwide.  Rick Gitelson is executive producer and story editor of "Handy Manny."  "Handy Manny" is a production of Nelvana Limited in association with Disney Channel.

Disney Consumer Products and Fisher Price debuted a "Handy Manny" toy line at mass retailers in Fall 2008 and it became a runaway success, winning several prominent awards for the popular Fix-It-Right Tool Truck and the Talkin' Toolbox.  New toys for fall 2009 include the Fix-It-Right Manny's Motorcycle and Manny's Workbench.

Beginning this year, Disney Consumer Products is expanding the "Handy Manny" product line with action figures, puzzles, playsets and plush, all new apparel, footwear and sleepwear, home furnishings and décor, bedding, backpacks, party patterns, stationery, greeting cards and new book titles and DVDs.

"Handy Manny" is a featured character at Disney's California Adventure and Disney's Hollywood Studios and appears in the daily "Playhouse Disney Live on Stage!" show at Disney Parks and Resorts around the world.  The popular character also stars in "Playhouse Disney Live! On Tour" in two productions touring around the world.

-- Posted June 1, 2009)