SpongeBob is turning 10!

I think he doesn’t look a day over 8, myself, but 2009 marks the 10-year anniversary of SpongeBob SquarePants, and Nickelodeon has plans to celebrate all year long.

I suppose the “biggest” news is the new and improved Official SpongeBob site, which includes links to things like the backstage blog and various other goodies. But frankly, one item from the press release really grabbed me:

Also to mark the anniversary, Nickelodeon has commissioned the first full-length original TV documentary which will chronicle the beloved character’s evolution to international pop culture icon status. The documentary will be telecast across MTV Networks’ various TV platforms to commemorate the anniversary of the series’ first episode. Over the last 10 years, the porous brainchild of creator Steve Hillenburg has grown from a single Saturday morning kids’ show to a certified pop culture maverick that has inspired nothing less than fun and frenzy around the world. Soaking up everything from clothing to controversy, the show has inspired people to deeply identify with the characters, to adorn themselves with SpongeBob tattoos, to use SpongeBob products to save lives and even, occasionally, to vandalize and politicize the character; but most of all, to kick back, laugh and relax.

It’ll be all “SpongeBob: Behind the Pineapple” or something. I’m sure of it. And I can’t wait.

Don’t forget to check out the SpongeBob SquarePants Store at Ty’s for all your SpongeBob needs!

A giant dose of SpongeBob tonight on Nick

If you’re a SpongeBob Squarepants fan, chances are you’ve already cleared your schedule or set your DVR for tonight’s extravaganza: In honor of the premier of WhoBob WhatPants? tonight at 8:00 p.m., they’re having a 4-hour block of SpongeBob episodes beforehand, just to get you in the mood.

I, um, enjoy the yellow guy as much as anyone (more than I’ll usually admit, actually), and I’m thinking that four-and-a-half hours is… well… kind of a lot. Really. but recording it means that then you can later pick out the best episodes, so I’m not complaining.

And the new episode sounds as kooky as ever:

In the half-hour special “WhoBob WhatPants?,” Bikini Bottom’s most beloved sponge goes missing and his distraught friends set out to search the ocean for him. Unaware of his true identity, SpongeBob wanders into rough New Kelp City where he encounters and inadvertently defeats the leader of the ruthless Bubble Poppin’ Gang (voiced by Ray Liotta). Relieved and grateful that they no longer have to live in fear, the New Kelp residents appoint SpongeBob their new Mayor. Will SpongeBob remember who he really is and return to Bikini Bottom with his friends, or will he stay to enjoy his newfound celebrity in New Kelp City forever?

Ray Liotta! That’s enough intrigue for me, right there. Ahem.

Hey, Mondays can be difficult, sometimes. I, for one, am glad to know that if life gets me too down today, I can drown my sorrows in some SpongeBob, later on.

Don’t forget to check out the SpongeBob Store here at Ty’s!

Wii-mania at Ty’s Toy Box

To hear my children tell it, we are living in the only household in America that still (insert loud child sighing, right here) doesn’t own a Nintendo Wii. I am a monster, I tell you.

Unfortunately, as an employee of Ty’s, I’m thinking that I’m probably not eligible to enter this awesome drawing for a complete Wii system that they’re holding. Darn it. But probably you could enter, and then, if you win? Please invite my family over. Because we are deprived, y’all.

The contest will be taking entries through October 15th, 2008, so you have plenty of time to enter. Then again, why wait?

If you’re a hipper and nicer mom than I am, you probably already have a Nintendo Wii. And if you do, did you know that Ty’s carries plenty of popular Wii games? If we actually owned a Wii, my son would be demanding the Code Lyoko game and (of course!) Pokemon Battle Revolution. And my daughter would want Hannah Montana’s Spotlight World Tour, of course.

Me, I’m sort of eying the High School Musical Sing It! game. Stop looking at me like that—it’s purely for the opportunity to embarrass my children, of course. The fact that the music is incredibly catchy isn’t part of the equation at all. Probably.

Anyway, there you go. Whether you’re looking to shop or win, Ty’s has you covered.

Sail away with Nickelodeon

Ever seen those commercials for various cruises where they promise that Junior will have just as much fun as Mom and Dad, thanks to the special activities they have on board for kids? Has anyone besides me ever regarded such ads with a bit of disbelief? I mean, sure, in the commercial the kids are hanging out at the “Kids Klub” and having a blast, but we all know that in reality, little Jimmy clings to Mom’s leg and sobs while the disinterested teen in charge cracks her gum and checks her watch.

(Not that I’ve ever been on a cruise. I am just a pessimist like that.)

Anyway, who knows—maybe regular cruises really are loads of fun for little kids… but I doubt it. The Disney Cruise, sure, that makes sense as a family option that will be a big hit with kids. I get that. And now there’s another contender: Nickelodeon is hitting the high seas:

Taking place on Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas, the largest ship in the cruise industry with a capacity of more than 4,000 passengers, the “Nickelodeon Family Cruise with Royal Caribbean” will match the family-friendly amenities of Freedom of the Seas with a packed schedule of Nickelodeon activities and entertainment. The cruise will visit four exotic Western Caribbean destinations including: Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; and a special stop at Royal Caribbean’s private beach destination, Labadee, which will be Nickelodeon-themed.

In some ways, I could see “selling” your kids on the idea of Nickelodeon Island almost easier than Disney. Think about it—it can’t possibly be as crowded as visiting the Magic Kingdom. And the entertainment roster looks like a little kid’s delight:

The “Nickelodeon Family Cruise by Royal Caribbean” will offer an experience complete with Nick-themed on-board activities such as live game shows featuring the trademark Nickelodeon slime; visits with kids’ favorite Nick characters like Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants; appearances by the network’s live-action stars; and much more. In addition, Freedom of the Seas offers a multitude of activities, including the FlowRider surf simulator, the H2O Zone water park, an ice skating rink, a nine-hole mini-golf course, 10-route rock-climbing wall, and full-size basketball court.

You know, I’ve always wanted to meet SpongeBob….

Reservations opened up yesterday; see the August itinerary here and start thinking about whether or not you have a suitable bathing suit, and if a life-size Dora will make your kid cry. Not necessarily in that order.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year (at Nickelodeon)

As if it isn’t enough that this is the season when all of the old favorite holiday specials are on television, the regular programming schedule is getting a little jolt of the holiday spirit, as well. I am especially loving this on account of my family’s recent relocation to warmer climes.

(Those of you who’ve always lived where it’s still arcing into the 70s in December may be used to this, but we aren’t. A few holiday television shows featuring plenty of yuletide glee along with some snow are just what the doctor ordered.)

Anyway, Nickelodeon is running all sorts of great stuff this month. Tomorrow (that’s Friday, December 14th, 2007) your preschooler can get into the spirit all afternoon long:

December 14 (12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.)

12:00 p.m. The Wonder Pets! “Save the Reindeer”
12:30 p.m. Blue’s Clues “Blue’s First Holiday”
1:00 p.m. Go, Diego, Go! “Diego Saves Christmas”
1:30 p.m. Wow Wow Wubbzy! “O Figgity-Fig Tree/Snow Day” (PREMIERE)

The winter holidays are here, and the kids are building a winter festival, Madame Zabinga is rehearsing the Nutty-Nutcracker, and Walden is waiting for the arrival of blue snow. Best of all is the lighting of the Figgity-Fig Tree, and this year Wubbzy wants to make it the best tree ever! But as usual, he overdoes it by adding too many lights and blows out the generator. Without any lights, the Wuzzleburg townspeople must come up with novel ways of decorating the tree. In “Snow Day,” Wubbzy goes sledding and Widget brings out his snow-shoveling machine. Walden begins building a snow sculpture of a Woly-Polar Bear, but soon Wubbzy sleds right into it, knocks it down and buries Widget’s machine in the snow. Now Wubbzy and Widget scramble frantically to fix the sculpture before Walden finds out.

Later on in the day, Christmas comes to the Wayside School:

Friday, December 14 – Wayside “Sideways Christmas” (PREMIERE)

“Extra-Curricular Ridicular”
All the kids are forming bizarre after-school clubs, except for Todd, who creates a plain old “Science Club.” Myron laughs at him, believing his club will be better, until he sees Todd’s club has managed to build a functioning rocket. Jealous Myron tries to form a “Science Club” and build a rocket of his own.

“Sideways Christmas”
A series of haphazard events confuse Myron into thinking he’s actually stuck in his own version of “The Christmas Carol.” The other kids are baffled as he mistakes them for Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, and in the end, Myron learns his lesson.

On Sunday you’ll find a holiday-themed marathon taking place on Nick in the afternoon (featuring Spongebob, Jimmy Neutron, Danny Phantom, and others), and of course there’s plenty more holiday cartoon goodness as we move closer in towards Christmas. See the entire schedule here if you need to plan around your favorite shows.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.