NBA star Carmelo Anthony teams with Nickelodeon for 'Ninja Turtles' products

In unexpected merchandising news: NBA superstar Carmelo Anthony has partnered with Nickelodeon to develop a line of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" consumer products. Announced Tuesday at the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas, Anthony will act as creative director of "Turtles by Melo" and oversee a variety of Turtle-inspired products ranging from video games, publishing, home furnishings, lifestyle items and more.

Scheduled to debut in spring 2016, just ahead of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2," "Turtles by Melo" is the culmination of a burgeoning relationship between the NBA player and Nickelodeon.

"I am so excited about the opportunity to work with the Nickelodeon team on this new 'Turtles' ‎venture," Anthony said in a press release. "The Turtles were such a huge part of my childhood, so to now be partnering with Nickelodeon on 'Turtles by Melo' is honestly something I never could have imagined."

Nickelodeon called it an opportunity for the franchise to branch out into new territory. "We are so happy for Carmelo Anthony to join the Nickelodeon family for 'Turtles by Melo.' A product line created and curated by a superstar—and super-fan—like Carmelo is testament to the Turtles' ever-growing appeal, and it's a huge part of the drumbeat beginning for new seasons of the TV show and the theatrical sequel from Paramount Pictures next summer," Pam Kaufman, Chief Marketing Officer and President Consumer Products for Nickelodeon, said in a statement.

The NBA All-Star will also make a cameo in Paramount's "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2" film. Re-launched in 2012, Nickelodeon's current "Turtles" series is currently in its third season and has helped keep the long-running franchise alive. "Turtles" action figures were the number one selling toys in the U.S. for 2014, icing out "Frozen" for the top spot in sales.

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