MOVE OVER, BARNEY LICENSING CONVENTION SEARCHES FOR NEW GIANTS

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This summer's movie season has just begun, but Hollywood is already planning adventure flicks and animated heroes for the next two summers.

Studios, licensing agents and independent artists gathered in New York recently to tout projects and properties at the Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association convention.

One hot property noticeably absent was Barney the dinosaur, which the group honored with its license of the year award. Show director Susan Reuter said the Lyons Group, which licenses Barney, didn't request a booth.

"Right now, we're very happy and comfortable with the family of licensees we have," a Lyons Group spokeswoman said.

Paramount Licensing hawked "Congo," a movie slated for summer 1995 based on a Michael Crichton novel.

One of the more unusual properties was Kung Fu Kangaroos from I.J.L. Creations, Littleton, Colo. Titled "Warriors of Virtue, an Epic Tale of the Kung Fu Kangaroos," the movie planned for 1996 will combine Confucian virtues with ecology and martial arts. A TV series and books are slated, too.

Teddy Sidekick, Holliston, Mass., is marketing a soccer playing bear of the same name. Soccer equipment, plush toys and sleepwear featuring the character will be in stores in time for the holidays. An animated TV show is in the works for early 1995.

Saban Entertainment, Burbank, Calif., is promoting several new properties, including the TV series "V.R. Troopers" and "Creepy Crawlers," plus the "Sweet Valley High" book series. The marquee name at Saban remains Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, one of the hottest children's entertainment properties. The Rangers will make the leap from TV to the stage this fall, when a tour kicks off. A feature film is slated for next year.

Meanwhile, Turner Home Entertainment, Atlanta, is still promoting its current properties, including "The Flintstones." Lois Sloane, Turner exec VP-worldwide licensing and merchandising, and president of LIMA, said Turner is working with Frito-Lay on a joint Lay's potato chip-Flintstones promotion plus new marketing concepts for Hollywood's best-known Stone Age family.

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