EMI CMG Distribution, a division of EMI CMG and the market leader in the distribution of Christian audio and video music recordings, has signed a long-term retail distribution agreement with Wacky World Studios to market and distribute its new Roach Approach animated series as well as other Wacky World children’s products, announced Rich Peluso, president of EMI CMG Distribution, and Bruce E. Barry, president and director of Wacky World Studios.
“EMI CMG Distribution has made a commitment to expanding our involvement in the children’s marketplace and this new relationship with Wacky World Studios is another big step. Bruce Barry and his company are producing some of the most creative and innovative products for children, and I am thrilled that they have entrusted us to market and distribute their product,” said Peluso.
The new agreement includes Christian and general market retail distribution for all new and future Wacky World products. The first release, The Roach Approach Don’t Miss the Boat DVD, and full music soundtrack CD featuring Michael McDonald, Natalie Grant and others, are set to release on July 27. On October 5, EMI CMG Distribution and Wacky World will then release a Roach Approach story time book and CD/Cassette read-along product.
Wacky World Studios has become known worldwide for creating children’s ministries and themed environments. The Roach Approach is the company’s first venture into children’s animation and other products. That product line will be the foundation of the partnership with EMI CMG Distribution. The Roach Approach Don’t Miss the Boat is the first in a series of animated video adventures starring a six-legged family, featuring character voices and original music performed by McDonald, Kirk Whalum, Grant, Tommy Sims and Gab Patillo. Produced by Dove Award winners Glenn Wagner, Sims and Bryan Lennox, The Roach Approach will allow children to experience classic Bible stories from a new perspective…through the eyes of a bug named Squiggz!
EMI CMG Distribution and Wacky World plan a focused marketing and sales effort to launch the new products. Distribution will introduce The Roach Approach for two full sales solicitation cycles and Wacky World has scheduled premiers in ten mega churches during July. Barry will also be presenting at several key pastors conferences this spring. He just completed conferences in Atlanta and Dallas, attended by more than 3,000 pastors.
The exclusive distribution agreement includes previously released recorded products and games: Noah’s Journey of Faith (read-al-long cassette, CD and book pack, DVD story time & more) and The Biblical Quizzical Game (an interactive Bible knowledge game for PC/Mac computers). The Roach Approach picture book and coloring/activity products distribution will be announced later.
“We are thrilled to establish this new alliance with EMI CMG Distribution. We know they believe in our products as much as we do and feel confident of their ability to help us grow The Roach Approach and other Wacky World products in the market,” said Barry. “We are so hopeful that our approach to children’s projects will truly reach children with the message of the Gospel in a new and cool way. With The Roach Approach, we have created a world that children will have fun with, not one that adults think kids will like!”
One of the secrets behind Wacky World Studios’ kid-centered approach is found in the story of its main creator, Bruce Barry. After building a successful business developing and building themed environments such as The Rain Forest Café’s and the ET ride at Universal Studios, Barry, who had never been exposed to Christianity, was enlisted by the First Baptist Church of Springdale, Arkansas to build an animated environment for the church’s children’s program. In the process of building and installing “Toon Town” and “Planet 45” for the church, Barry discovered many of the Bible stories for the first time. That, coupled with the kindness and love poured out to him by the church’s staff and members, led Barry to becoming a Christian in 1999. Building children’s scenes from Bible stories inspired his desire to expand his business to include Christian products for children, starting with The Roach Approach.
Barry continues to design themed environments and recently signed on to build a new 100,000 square-foot children’s facility for Christ Church in Nashville.
“EMI CMG Distribution first became acquainted with Wacky World at the 2003 CBA International Convention where the company wowed everyone with their exhibitor booth (which won a CBA Impact Award for New Exhibitor) and the incredibly creative work they were doing. It was obvious to us right away that we wanted to work with Bruce Barry and his team. Bruce brings a unique and fresh understanding of kids and what they will respond to,” said Peluso. “EMI CMG Distribution is dedicated to providing Wacky World with outstanding sales and service as well as participating in their strategic planning and marketing development. We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship.”
EMI CMG Distribution is quickly becoming a leader in the marketing and distribution of children’s product. In addition to the new relationship with Wacky World Studios, EMI CMG Distribution distributed last year’s Veggie Tales Jonah video, the number one selling children’s product in CBA. EMI CMG Distribution began to distribute Veggie Tunes, which was named by Billboard Magazine as the number one children’s audio series last year, to the general market in 2003. EMI CMG Distribution also distributed the number five general market children’s audio series, “Songs Kids Love to Sing.” This year, EMI CMG Distribution has introduced the Big House Kids brand, featuring “Praise Baby” video products.
Billboard Magazine’s annual Top Christian Music Distributor since 1995, EMI CMG Distribution Group was founded in 1994 to serve as the main distribution outlet for EMI CMG’s wholly owned and distributed labels to the US Christian and general retail marketplace, and the international Christian marketplace. In addition to distributing EMI CMG labels (Sparrow, ForeFront, EMI Gospel and Worship Together) EMI CMG Distribution has exclusive distribution agreements with Spring House, Gotee, Vineyard, BEC Recordings, Tooth and Nail, Spring Hill, Aleho International Music, Ardent, Crystal Rose and Troubadour. Awards given to EMI CMG Distribution include CBA Telesales Team of 2003, Supplier of the Year 1998 & 1999, CBA Customer Service & Distribution Award 1998-2001 and CBA Impact Award 1998 & 1999. EMI CMG Distribution is a division of EMI CMG, which is a unit of EMI Music, the third largest recorded music company in the world.