Beyond Books: A Richard Scarry Revival

Maybe you can't really have a revival if your popularity hasn't waned much over time, but we've noticed that it's been really busy in Busytown lately! Or at least from a licensing standpoint. Based on the much-loved books of the anthropomorphic animals who live and work in Busytown, you can now find fabric, plush toys, plastic toys, bags, pillows, an app and more.

Busytown and its characters have been licensed many times over the years including Happy Meal toys for McDonalds, a 1994 Sega game and a 1990s animated series The Busy World of Richard Scarry. But here are some more recent ways your kids can enjoy Busytown beyond the books:

• Plush characters of Busytown characters and plastic figurines, silly cars and playsets are for sale at Toys R Us and FAO Schwarz.

• Busytown apparel, bags, pillows, toy caddies and more are sold online at Ty's Toy Box, many of which can be customized with your child's name.

• Night & Day Studios has a knack for smart licensing for many of their apps (like Ed Emberley and Charley Harper) and has recently released Richard Scarry's Busytown app for iPad, iPhone and (soon) Android.

Quilting Treasures recently released the Busytown on the Move fabric collection which includes a quilt panel and fabric yardage. Look for it in fabric shops including Fat Quarter Shop.

Wonder Forge has licensed Scarry for several games including Eye Found It and Busy, Busy Airport as well as matching cards and more.

• There are other miscellaneous products that we came across including a wall calendar, puzzle and sticker and activity book.

• A Busytime live stage show by Koba Entertainment is beginning soon. So far tour dates in Canada beginning February 2012 have been announced.

• A second animated series, "Busytown Mysteries", has been running in Canada and many other countries for a few years. In the U.S. it airs on CBS and is available through Netflix.

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Family, Stuffed Animals & Dolls, Toys & Gear

As Apartment Therapy's Family Editor, Carrie covers design and modern homelife with children. A lapsed librarian, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two kids and is in contention to break the record for most hours spent at the playground.

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