ECPA's Rush To Press

MARKET LEADERS UNITE ON MAJOR NEW CHILDREN’S CO-BRAND
Send The Light Distribution announces ‘groundbreaking’
VeggieTales Line from Melissa & Doug 

CONTACT:
Michael Turner
615-218-8222
michael.turner@stl-distribution.com

Bristol, Tenn.:  Who says two isn’t better than one?! A major partnership will bring together two market leaders for a new line of faith-based toys, games, and arts & crafts that is expected to significantly expand the children’s department in Christian retail.

Send The Light Distribution (STL) will debut an all-new VeggieTales line of interactive toys, games and immersive arts & crafts in time for Easter 2016, manufactured by Melissa & Doug, a leading producer of high-quality toys and educational products.

STL will be the exclusive distributor of the line to both Christian and general market retail channels. The arrangement is the latest in a series of strategic moves by STL to expand its selection of “pray and play” products that encourage children’s educational and spiritual development at the same time.

“We’re thrilled to announce this new groundbreaking initiative,” said Michael Turner, STL’s Director of Product Development. “There’s no question that faith-based resources for children is a growth area in the marketplace, and there is no better way to maximize that potential than by bringing together two of the undisputed leaders in the area.”

VeggieTales has long been a Christian retail favorite, claiming the largest share of the children’s market for many years and supporting the channel with DVD releases ahead of the general market and other exclusive product lines. The popular brand has further extended its audience in the last year with the launch of VeggieTales’ In the House, an original Netflix series.

With a solid reputation for creating classic-style toys and puzzles, Melissa & Doug was warmly welcomed when it came to Christian retail several years ago. Its emphasis on quality products that nurture children’s development has been appreciated by Christian parents looking for suitable resources for their children.

STL’s VeggieTales line from Melissa & Doug will debut with six items for the Easter 2016 selling season and expand in time for Christmas.

Greg Fritz, senior vice president for home entertainment and consumer products for VeggieTales’ Big Idea Entertainment, said the company was excited to be part of an unprecedented partnership of this kind, having long wanted to work with Melissa & Doug in some way. “It really is a perfect combination, with each company bringing to the table what they do best: Big Idea’s content creation, Melissa & Doug’s product development and STL’s sales and distribution,” he said.

At Melissa & Doug, major accounts executive Allison Narins said that the company was “delighted” to be part of the initiative. Since beginning to distribute to Christian retail, the company had seen how its vintage-style toys appealed to consumers appreciative of tradition and a family emphasis.

Send The Light Distribution was founded in 1974 as Appalachian Bible Company, since then it has grown into the largest Christian distributor in the United States. The company recently moved its large distribution center from Elizabethton, Tennessee to Bristol, Tennessee.

For more information contact Michael Turner at Michael.Turner@stl-distribution.com or 615-218-8222.