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Hasbro gadget to show downloaded Nick toons

Hasbro partners with Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon to provide downloads of TV shows via the VuGo toy.

Culture
Hasbro announced on Monday a distribution deal to provide downloads of Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon TV shows via the toy maker's VuGo portable digital media player.

The distribution deal with Hasbro's Tiger Electronics division marks the latest effort to push television shows outside the TV box and give studios another source of revenue.

Time Warner's America Online and Warner Bros., for example, also announced a deal on Monday to offer select classic shows to AOL users early next year. And television networks NBC, CBS and ABC have announced deals to offer commercial-free downloads of their hottest shows for a nominal fee.

Under Hasbro's deal with the Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon, children can download a cartoon episode onto the VuGo Multimedia System for approximately $1.99 to $2.99. The cartoon offerings range from SpongeBob SquarePants to The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy.

The VuGo is also designed to record TV shows and download music and photos for later playback.

This portable device is among the latest digital media players to come to market with an eye toward capturing young viewers on the go. Apple Computer recently announced that its iTunes store had sold a million video downloads for its video iPod, which was released in October.

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