THE MANY ADVENTURES
OF BUSTER THE BUS
In the months prior
to the untimely passing of Shari Lewis, the creator of Lamb Chop, Charlie Horse and Hush Puppy hand puppets, Romm and Elaine
began working with Shari and her husband, Jeremy Tarcher, in devising a unique franchise concept to leverage one of her least
exploited characters, Buster The Bus.
As one of America’s
most trusted icons, Shari was aware of her recognition value with children and their parents, and sought ways to play a positive
role in the lives of the millions of children who loved her. She wanted her influence
to go beyond her TV role as Lamb Chop's mom and as operator of the “Music Pizza Factory”. Therefore, we conceived and developed a concept for her that would benefit children and parents which employed
the character of Buster, as a safe and reliable children’s transportation
The underlying concept
of the “Many Adventures of Buster the Bus” is:
- Sixty five million American kids are pre-teens.
- Twenty six million of those come from homes where both parents work.
- Seventy six percent of the mothers of school age kids work outside the home.
- Schools are offering less and less after-school activities.
- After-school schedules off-campus have become more complex
- Being a latchkey kid is no longer an acceptable, safe option
- A major question exists as to whether a mom should work or stay at home
Under the direction
of one of America’s most trusted names the Buster the Bus franchise opportunity
was available to married couples (only) who passed in-depth background checks and who could demonstrate that they had successfully
raised their own families. In other words, they were custodians cum surrogate
grandparent figures in good standing.
Buster would pick up school-age children from home, bring them to school, and deliver them back again, and also
would take kids to the dentist, ballet lessons, baseball practice and other destinations that moms and dads would do if earning
a living was not a requirement.
Buster is more than any old bright yellow bus. Buster the Bus is a state-of-the-art machine designed to ensure the safety of his charges in every respect, from
secure well engineered seating and seat restraints, to mobile communication with GPS positioning. An onboard database holds pictures of each child and the child’s authorized guardian. Each child’s medical history and important medical contacts are recorded. Buster’s one-way, mirrored windows keep its prized occupants
away from casual observers.
Buster is also fun to ride. An on-board video with the latest kid-rated
films and games makes travel time an adventure. Buster is stocked with bottled
water, healthy treats, plus books and magazines worth reading.
To be a Buster the Bus driver/guardian you have a ready smile, first aid qualifications, and are astute in handling extraordinary
situations. The well-being of Buster’s
charges is your center of attention, at all times.
Schgools have since
adapted a safety program using the Buster the Bus character to teach young children how to use a public bus as safely
The table of contents
below provides an outline of the report.
THE MANY ADVENTURES OF BUSTER THE BUS
BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY EVALUATION
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Current Opportunity Background
Children’s Industry Background
The Franchising Industry
What makes Franchising and Shari a Match
How it Works
Buster is Fun and Safe to Ride
Buster is an Exciting, Interactive, and Teaching Tool
The Nation’s Future On-Board
B.B. Phone Home
Other Income Potential
Key Financial Assumptions
Preliminary Financial Analysis
The Way Forward
Phasing and Tasks