Nuts About: When the endearing, bulbous-headed gang known as Peanuts sadly retired from comic sections in February, there was certainly no fear of their popularity waning. With past strips still running and a 50th anniversary on the horizon, these American pop icons will endure in popularity and celebrate their golden anniversary in style, thanks to the multitude of promotional categories in store. Syndicator United Media has introduced a "Baby Snoopy" infant apparel and accessories line as well as countless commemorative and collector's items, ranging from computer accessories to golf equipment. For licensing information, contact United Media at (212) 293-8500. . . .
Tooning Japanese: With Pokemon's immense success, more Japanese productions--specifically the manga-derived anime--are achieving a presence in America. Atlanta-based Cartoon Network was one of the first to give anime a conducive afternoon slot back in 1996, and, as of press time, had revealed intentions to expand their "Toonami" block by an hour. With negotiations in place to buy several more series, Cartoon Network's senior writer and director Sean Akins bills the production value of anime as "a little beyond traditional American animations." What makes anime so hot is their complex story lines, he explains. "You can really see the attention to detail and the work put into these projects, and there are a million characters--that's half the appeal." Last season, Japanese hits like Sailor Moon, Dragonball Z and Ronin Warriors were all part of the action-packed lineup, achieving the network's second-strongest viewership next to its prime-time segment. With plans to pick up more anime for the new season, the infinite anime universe will surely capture wider American audiences.