Bakugan Battle Brawlers predicted to be THE hottest toy trend in boy's action for 2008
Spin Master's U.S. toy launch accompanied by debut of animé series on Cartoon Network
Bakugan Battle Brawlers, the new hit boy's action line from Spin Master Ltd. that has already taken Japan and Canada by storm, is launching this month in the U.S, and as the toy industry prepares to converge in New York for the American International Toy Fair is expected by retailers to be one of the hottest toy trends for boys in 2008.
Turning the page from older Japanese-based boys trends such as Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh, kids are going crazy over Bakugan's cool collectible characters and competitive action. As Spin Master heads into this year's Toy Fair retailers are lining up to get product that will meet the high demand. "Now that Bakugan is in the U.S., we are already producing at least 1500 Bakugan every hour to keep up with demand," says Donna MacNeil, Sr. Director Communications, Spin Master Ltd.
From the Japanese words "baku" meaning "to explode" and "gan" meaning "sphere," Bakugan Battle Brawlers are small spheres that POP open into battle action monsters when rolled onto the game's cards. Kids quickly learn to master battle by strategically selecting from over 100 Bakugan warriors and gamecards to beat their opponents. "The whole Bakugan experience is really entertaining and quite complex," says MacNeil. "We've even got a dedicated game strategist who's job it is to map out hundreds of different character and skill variations and make sure that kids get a great product mix at every retail store."
"Bakugan is on fire," says Anton Rabie, Co-CEO of Spin Master Ltd. "In Canada where it launched a few months ago, it was very quickly competing head-to-head with huge 2007 properties like Transformers. We can't believe how fast this thing's growing – it's the number one item in our company."
In addition to the television debut of the animé Series on Cartoon Network on Sunday, Feb. 24, at 9 p.m. (ET, PT), the U.S. launch of Bakugan Battle Brawlers will feature more than 1400 cross-country retail events through April, tournament play and rich game content online at www.bakugan.com
Spin Master's biggest launch in the company's 14-year history and its first foray into television, Bakugan Battle Brawlers is groundbreaking east-west collaboration between Spin Master Ltd., Sega Toys Ltd., Nelvana Enterprises, TMS Entertainment, Ltd., Japan Vistec Inc. and Sega Corporation.
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About Spin Master Ltd.
Spin Master™ is the 6th largest and fastest growing toy company in North America according to recent NPD reports. A multi-category children's entertainment company since 1994, Spin Master™ has been designing, developing, manufacturing and marketing consumer products for children around the world. With the launch of Bakugan Battle Brawlers, Spin Master™ has also marked its first foray into entertainment IP and television production. Spin Master™ is best known for such popular brands as Air Hogs®™, Aquadoodle™, Tech Deck, and Moon Sand. Spin Master™ employs over 500 people with offices in Toronto, Los Angeles, Paris, London, Hong Kong and China, and is proud to be recognized as one of Canada's 50 Best Managed companies. For additional information please visit: www.spinmaster.com.
SegaToys Co., Ltd. is a subsidiary of Sega Sammy Holdings Inc. and a toy company of design, manufacture, marketing and selling of edutainment toys, character licensed toys and interactive electronics products including POO-CHI™, Advanced PICO Beena™, O-CHA KEN™(Tea Dog), idog™ series, Brain Trainer™, HOME STAR™ and Grand Pianist™. The company was founded in 1991 and is based in Tokyo, Japan. More information about SegaToys can be found at www.segatoys.co.jp.
About Nelvana Enterprises
With a focus on delivering quality branded entertainment as well as providing distribution and merchandise licensing opportunities on multiple platforms, Nelvana Enterprises oversees new media partnerships, global broadcast, DVD and video-on-demand sales, and consumer products licensing internationally for animated properties from Nelvana Studios and select production partners. Nelvana Enterprises stable of award-winning and globally renowned brands include literary classics Babar and Franklin as well as new shows such as Ruby Gloom and Di-Gata Defenders. Nelvana Enterprises is owned by Corus Entertainment Inc., a Canadian-based media and entertainment company. Corus is a market leader in specialty television and radio with additional assets in pay television, advertising and digital audio services, television broadcasting, children's book publishing and children's animation. The company's multimedia entertainment brands include YTV, Treehouse, W Network, Movie Central, Nelvana, Kids Can Press and radio stations including CKNW, CKOI and Q107. Corus creates engaging branded entertainment experiences for its audiences across multiple platforms. A publicly traded company, Corus is listed on the Toronto (CJR.B) and New York (CJR) exchanges. Experience Corus on the web at www.corusent.com.
About TMS Entertainment
TMS Entertainment, Ltd. (better known as TMS), one of the world's largest and most distinguished animation studios, has rapidly won recognition from the international filmmaking community for its highly acclaimed animation, pioneering techniques and proud commitment to quality. With its headquarters situated in Tokyo under the supervision of the world's dedicated team of top development, production and design executives, TMS's growing reputation is reflected by the versatility, artistry and originality of the remarkable volume of programs the company has produced for the international markets worldwide. Established in the year 1964, TMS has produced more than 90 features, and over 100 TV programming series, in total of 8,000 half hours, for global distribution. TMS also proceeds restoration projects of the titles to keep its highest quality for next generation. TMS is proud to uphold our tradition of presenting to you unforgettable images from the finest animation produced anywhere in the world. TMS's programs have attained the worldwide recognition and we continue to strive for excellence and lead the animation world throughout the century. For more information, please visit www.tms-e.co.jp/english.
About Japan Vistec
Japan Vistec Inc. is an image production company established in 1990. From production of television programs to production of animation, videogame software, websites and mobile sites, Japan Vistec is engaged in planning and development services for an array of visual software. With the arrival of a full-scale digital media age, demands for visual software contents are increasing more than ever. Meanwhile, development of a variety of contents matching the characteristics of various visual media is also necessary, and potential of the software contents business is expanding infinitely. Under these circumstances, Japan Vistec, as creators of software, is aiming to deploy a new business model targeting the market in Japan, North America and Asia as a producer group of "contents business" including secondary use of our software and characters, in addition to conducting various creative activities.
About SEGA Corporation
SEGA® Corporation is a worldwide leader in interactive entertainment both inside and outside the home, encompassing consumer business, amusement machine sales and amusement center operations. The company develops, publishes and distributes interactive entertainment software products for a variety of hardware platforms including PC, wireless devices, and those manufactured by Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. SEGA® Corporation's Web site is located at http://sega.jp.