Michael Wermuth – Ever since Sesame Street’s 20th anniversary in 1989, the show has celebrated its anniversary every five years. There have often been big celebrations, with specials, books, videos, albums, exhibits, and more. This year marks the 45th anniversary, and with that in mind there should be a lot to celebrate. But what has there been so far? Just a big exhibit at the New York Public Library and a rerelease of the Music Player Storybook, an existing children’s book with a 45th anniversary logo put on. How can this anniversary be given such little celebration? Could there be a big surprise in store for fans that we simply don’t know about? And how should the anniversary be celebrated? Well, this article is about what I think Sesame Workshop needs to do to celebrate.
So far, every anniversary has been celebrated with an anniversary special and/or video. The 25th and 35th anniversaries were honored with two specials each (one made-for-video, one broadcast on TV), so by that logic, this year’s anniversary should get both. For the 40th Anniversary, we got the release of the “40 Years of Sunny Days” DVD box set. Hopefully we’ll be seeing some sort of anniversary promotional release soon.
It would also be great if there was an anniversary toy line. Funko recently announced that there will be a collection of Sesame Street POP! vinyl toys, but as far as I know, it’s not to promote the 45th anniversary. There have also recently been Sesame Street toys you can download and print out with a 3D printer, but that doesn’t seem to be for the anniversary, either. That being said, it would be great if there were a special line of PVCs or plush, maybe even action figures.
The 30th anniversary was honored with a collection of bean bag toys and PVCs featuring not just the usual characters but also many minor characters not normally featured in merchandise. Hasbro, the current toy company that makes Sesame Street toys, has been putting out two-packs of characters, it would be great if they could do something for the anniversary to include one character today’s kids are familiar with and one that the parents grew up with. Like a two-pack of Elmo and Don Music, or Murray Monster and Roosevelt Franklin, or Oscar and Bruno. In fact, an ideal four-pack would include Bert and Ernie with Biff and Sully.
And I would like to see a collection of 45th anniversary trading cards, maybe with 45 cards total. Each card could either represent a character (it would be cool to have an official trading card of Don Music or Simon Soundman) or of a specific moment from the show, with information on the other side. Hmm, I wonder if a Kermit the Frog card could legally be included in a line of official Sesame Street trading cards.
It’s been a few years since sesamestreet.org last added any classic clips. Maybe add 45 (or more!) classic clips to the website. Recently somebody posted a Muppet Mindset article listing classic clips that should be added to the website, and I agree. I would also like to see some clips added featuring Buddy and Jim, Deena and Pearl, Leslie Mostly, and Dr. Nobel Price.
And finally, I’d like to see a big official episode guide, either a book or digital download. It could list every episode, with descriptions for each segment. To save on writing space, each segment could only be described the first time it appears, and any additional appearance could just have a note to look at the guide for that episode. If it was a digital download, or app of some kind, it could have an index for every insert (maybe even an index for every recurring character and a guide to every recurring segment). But then again, this idea sounds like it would be better for the 50th anniversary.
Hopefully we’ll see something fun for this anniversary soon!
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, firstname.lastname@example.org