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MALIBU, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–JAKKS Pacific, Inc. (Nasdaq: JAKK), Dentsu Entertainment USA and FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) announced today a global content distribution deal with leading children’s entertainment network Nickelodeon for worldwide broadcast rights to the new original animated entertainment franchise Monsuno™.
The Monsuno series (52 x 30 min) is an epic boys action adventure where kids discover, command and battle creatures with destructive potential. A race to harness the power of Monsuno ensues between a group of heroic kids and the evil forces focused on destroying the Earth. Built around powerful, action-driven animation, dynamic characters and a deeply woven original story mythology, Monsuno is anticipated to develop into a powerful force in the boys action arena for years to come. Targeting boys 6 – 11, the Monsuno series will be supported by a JAKKS Pacific toy line featuring innovative, kid-controlled action figures, accessories, playsets, collectables, electronics and integrated role play.
Nickelodeon will launch the series to audiences on owned channels in the United States, Latin America, the United Kingdom, key European and Eastern European territories, Australia and New Zealand, India, Southeast Asia, Russia and Africa. The Monsuno series will first launch in the U.S. on Nicktoons, the fast-growing kids’ network, and select English speaking countries.
“The Monsuno broadcast deal with Nickelodeon represents a critical milestone in our strategic plan to bring the Monsuno entertainment property to a global audience,” said Stephen Berman, President and CEO of JAKKS Pacific, Inc. “We greatly look forward to working with Nickelodeon and all of our partners to bring Monsuno to life and spark the vivid imaginations of boys around the world.”
FME’s Sander Schwartz, Head of Children’s & Family Entertainment, commented, “Monsuno is a truly epic entertainment project. With Nickelodeon on board as the international broadcaster, this will complete an already stellar line up of partners including JAKKS Pacific, Dentsu Entertainment USA and Topps. We believe that Monsuno has all of the ingredients to become a hugely successful multi-platform boys’ action adventure property.”
“The show’s action-adventure elements are an especially great fit for Nicktoons in the U.S. where the viewership skews towards boys,” said Keith Dawkins, Senior Vice President, General Manager, Nicktoons and TeenNick.
“With Nickelodeon driving content distribution and a network of merchants promoting the Monsuno franchise around the world, we have had a very receptive retail landscape,” said Jeremy Padawer, Executive Vice President of Marketing at JAKKS Pacific, Inc. “Monsuno is poised to be the next phenomenon for boys.”
The Monsuno™ series is being co-produced by Pacific Animation Partners LLC, a joint venture between JAKKS Pacific, Inc. & Dentsu Entertainment USA, Inc., with FremantleMedia Enterprises and The Topps Company, Inc. FME will be responsible for the exclusive worldwide distribution of MONSUNO™ TV programming except for Asia and act as the Master Licensing agent for the MONSUNO brand outside of Asia. JAKKS Pacific is the creator of the underlying Monsuno property and master toymaker for the Monsuno toy line, which is expected to hit U.S. retail shelves to coincide with the U.S. TV series premiere anticipated for Spring 2012. The Topps Company has signed on to produce Monsuno trading card games, confectioneries and related products.
ABOUT FREMANTLEMEDIA ENTERPRISES & FREMANTLEMEDIA
FremantleMedia is one of the leading creators and producers of entertainment brands in the world. FremantleMedia is part of the RTL Group, Europe’s largest television and radio broadcast company, which is in turn 90 percent owned by Bertelsmann AG, one of the world’s major media and entertainment companies. FremantleMedia’s worldwide production arm is responsible for many of the world’s highest rated prime time entertainment, drama, serial drama and factual entertainment programmes. FremantleMedia Enterprises is the brand extension arm of FremantleMedia, offering a one-stop-shop for all Licensing, Distribution and Home Entertainment around the world. The FremantleMedia Group (which includes FremantleMedia North America, UFA, talkbackTHAMES, FremantleMedia Australia and Original Productions amongst others) has operations in 22 countries, one of the most comprehensive global networks, creating nearly 10,000 hours of programming a year, rolling out more than 60 formats and managing over 300 individual titles. FremantleMedia has some of the world’s most sought after and long running formats in its catalogue, and globally, produces such programmes as: Idols (co-produced with 19 Productions in the US), Hole In The Wall, Got Talent (co-produced with Syco in the UK and the US), The X Factor (co-produced with Syco in the UK), Take Me Out, Family Feud, The Price is Right, Farmer Wants A Wife, Gute Zeiten Schlechte Zeiten, and Neighbours.
Nicktoons is the fastest growing kids’ network and offers programming such as Voltron Force, NFL’s Rush Zone: Guardians of the Core, Dragon Ball Z Kai, Iron Man: Armored Adventures and Speed Racer: The Next Generation, as well as a roster of hits that have defined kids’ and animation lovers’ TV, including Avatar: The Last Airbender, Invader Zim, Danny Phantom, SpongeBob SquarePants, The Fairly OddParents and The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius. Nicktoons currently reaches almost 58 million homes via cable, digital cable and satellite, and can be seen on Cablevision, Charter Communications, Comcast Cable, Cox Communications, DirecTV, DISH Network and Time Warner Cable. Nicktoons and all related titles and logos are property of Viacom, Inc. For more information or artwork, visit http://www.nickpress.com.
ABOUT JAKKS PACIFIC, INC.
JAKKS Pacific, Inc. (NASDAQ: JAKK) is a leading designer and marketer of toys and consumer products, with a wide range of products that feature some of the most popular brands and children’s toy licenses in the world. JAKKS’ diverse portfolio includes Action Figures, Electronics, Dolls, Dress-Up, Role Play, Halloween Costumes, Kids Furniture, Vehicles, Plush, Art Activity Kits, Seasonal Products, Infant/Pre-School, Construction Toys and Pet Toys sold under various proprietary brands including JAKKS Pacific®, Creative Designs International™, Road Champs®, Funnoodle®, JAKKS Pets™, Plug It In & Play TV Games™, Girl Gourmet™, Kids Only!™, Tollytots® and Disguise™. JAKKS is an award-winning licensee of several hundred nationally and internationally known trademarks including Disney®, Nickelodeon®, Warner Bros.®, Ultimate Fighting Championship®, Hello Kitty®, Graco® and Cabbage Patch Kids®. www.jakks.com
ABOUT DENTSU ENTERTAINMENT USA, INC.
Headquartered in Santa Monica, CA, Dentsu Entertainment USA, Inc. was formed in April 2010 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Dentsu Inc. (Tokyo Stock Exchange, Code 4324), the world’s largest advertising agency brand and a leading producer of Japanese animation, with over 18,000 full-time employees and close to 100 offices worldwide. Dentsu Entertainment USA develops original animation programming and media content for markets worldwide, and manages licensing programs for existing and new properties. Current projects include Chub City®, a toy based property featuring street-savvy characters and vehicles, currently in development as an animated series, Deltora Quest®, a 52-episode animated series based on the international top-selling fantasy-adventure book series of the same name already airing in multiple markets worldwide, and Mameshiba™, a collection of animated shorts and character licensing program with over $100 million in product sales since 2008.
ABOUT THE TOPPS COMPANY, INC.
Founded in 1938, Topps (www.topps.com ) is a leading creator and marketer of sports and entertainment cards, related collectibles, and popular confectionery brands. Topps products include Major League Baseball, NFL, WWE, UFC, Star Wars, Club Penguin, and other trading cards, sticker album collections, and collectible games. The Company’s confectionery portfolio includes “Bazooka” bubble gum, “Ring Pop”, “Push Pop”, “Baby Bottle Pop” and “Juicy Drop Pop” lollipops. Topps was acquired in October 2007 by Madison Dearborn Partners, a private equity group, and Michael Eisner, former CEO of Disney. Headquartered in New York City, Topps also maintains offices in Pennsylvania, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, and Argentina.