PARKS HIT BEDROCK WITH MOVIE RELEASE

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WILLIAMS, Ariz.-If things rock in Bedrock this summer, "The Flintstones" movie will get part of the credit.

Located amid scrub desert 26 miles south of the Grand Canyon, Flintstone's Prehistoric Park has been luring travelers for 22 years like tar pits draw dinosaurs. The 40-acre park is one of four in North America, with others in South Dakota and British Columbia.

Linda Speckels, whose family owns the parks here and in South Dakota, said it's hard to gauge the movie's impact since the tourist season is just beginning. No average summer attendance figures were available, but Ms. Speckels said she expects visitors to have great interest in Flintstone merchandise this season.

The park is a campground, with a theme park featuring Fred and Barney's homes, life-size figures of the characters and a theater showing Flintstones cartoons.

In the gift shop, some curios such as shellacked scorpion paperweights and rattlesnake-skin belts have been cleared out in favor of Flintstones bric-a-brac.

"I would like to dedicate 50% of my shelf space to Flintstones items, but I haven't had time to contact all the merchandising people," Ms. Speckels said.

Before the Universal Studios movie, few Flintstones items were available, such as T-shirts and pewter figurines. This year, watches, boxer shorts, ties, jewelry and dolls have been added.

The South Dakota and two Canadian parks combined spend about $130,000 annually on their separate efforts, including brochures, and outdoor, newspaper and radio ads, all handled in-house. The Arizona park is also planning brochures, done in-house.

The parks' owners pay a licensing fee to Hanna-Barbera Productions, which took over licensing duties from a third party in 1991.

The Flintstones got particular attention, said Tom Barrecka, VP-classic characters at Hanna-Barbera Cartoons.

"When the current management team at the studio realized the potential with the Flintstones...We decided A, we needed to get a handle on where all of our licenses were ... and B, if we wanted them to put out great product, we had to provide them with great materials," Mr. Barrecka said.

The previous licensing company "really didn't enforce things creatively ... You'll see Barney Rubble with green hair and you'll see Fred with a red tunic," he said.

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