Strum along with SpongeBob

If music be the food of love, then SpongeBob SquarePants fans are going to adore his latest incarnation. Nickelodeon UK has awarded a licence to John Hornby Skewes & Co. Ltd, (JHS), to produce SpongeBob-branded electric guitars, ukuleles, and other real musical instruments.

JHS, a leader in the worldwide distribution of musical merchandise, instrument amplification and pro-audio equipment, which already has a SpongeBob Uke, and Junior acoustic guitar in the market, will be expanding its SpongeBob range during 2008, with a Junior electric guitar, a full size electric guitar outfit, and two cool new SpongeBob ukes, all decorated with colourful images of our undersea hero.

One ukulele and one of the guitars will be adorned with images of the character’s face showing the many moods of SpongeBob. The other ukulele shows our smiling hero with his friends in his undersea habitat. The second guitar will show SpongeBob in guitar-hero pose alongside the words “Make it loud” and “Screamin’ SpongeBob”.

The market for the instruments is expected to be a large one, including both girls and boys with ages ranging from four years to at least 16. The instruments are also likely to be hugely attractive to SpongeBob’s grown-up fans, especially now that they have a SpongeBob electric guitar to go out and gig with!

The first two instruments, initially launched in November 2007 to JHS’s retail music store trade customers, will be supplemented by the launch of the new products in June 2008, and will appear in music retail stores throughout the UK and Eire, and online at the Nick Shop, in July.

This licensing partnership continues the extraordinary growth of the SpongeBob brand in the UK, where it is one of the top-selling properties for kids aged six to 12 years. There are more than 88 licensees producing SpongeBob products in the UK; 20 new licensees were contracted in 2007 alone.

SpongeBob’s licensing success reflects his enormous popularity on screen. SpongeBob SquarePants is the number one downloaded kids TV episode on Sky TV mobile in the UK and one of the UK’s most downloaded shows on iTunes Store. In addition, SpongeBob the video game has sold over one million units in Europe

Dennis Drumm, MD of JHS says: “SpongeBob is a funny, quirky and very cool character – with a strong appeal to a market that loves music and musical instruments. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such an iconic brand. Creating these instruments has been the most fun thing we’ve done in 45 years, and our customers just can’t get enough!”

Nickelodeon’s UK Licensing Manager Ashley Holman says: “JHS has combined the quality for which it is rightly known with some wonderful designs that perfectly capture the appeal of SpongeBob. We’re sure that SpongeBob’s legion of fans will be delighted with these marvellous instruments.”