Robot Comes To Life With New Toyline Based On Hit Animated Property
NEW YORK, February 11, 2004 – Blasting off from Bandai America Incorporated in 2004 are figures and accessories based on Astro Boy, the popular animated Japanese robot with electronic circuitry, super powers and a heart of gold. Astro Boy, the new animated series produced by Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan and Tezuka Productions, airs Saturday mornings on the #1 kid's network, Kids' WB! Bandai America's action-packed toyline is expected to hit shelves this summer.
"Astro Boy is that rare evergreen property that remains in the pop-culture consciousness and is passed down from generation to generation," said Michael Riley, vice president of marketing for Bandai America. "Through a licensing agreement with Sony Pictures Consumer Products, we have put together a line that is sure to delight Astro Boy fans of all ages and one that compliments the rich heritage of the property."
Bandai America has much in store for the Astro Boy toyline, with a wide assortment of action figures in a variety of sizes, playsets and a deluxe, 11-inch electronic interactive figure that sports features such as X-ray eyes, a glowing chest and more. The company also unveiled an electronic role-play accessory in the shape of Astro's arm to give children the ability to replicate the character's fist-punching action, with circuitry detail hidden in interior compartments.
"Hardcore collectors will be just as excited as kids for the product line-up," said Lori Moreno, senior marketing manager for Bandai America. "We wanted to make sure there was something for everyone, while remaining extremely faithful to the source material, and I believe we've done it."
Created over 50 years ago by the legendary Osamu Tezuka as a comic book character, Astro Boy was the first Japanese show imported to the U.S. in 1963 and quickly became one of the country's top-rated syndicated series. This beloved classic character has a rich history and worldwide following.
"We're very excited to have such a great partner in Bandai on board for Astro Boy," stated Al Ovadia, executive vice president, Sony Pictures Consumer Products. "We look forward to working with them to develop a line of fun and innovative products that will bring the excitement of Astro Boy into kids' homes."
Astro Boy tells the story of a youthful robot boy - Astro - modeled after the deceased son of a research scientist, Dr. Tenma. Originally intended to be kept a secret, the atomic-powered robot becomes a reluctant superhero who fights for justice and peace for humans and robots alike.
Astro possesses superb strength, including jet-powered feet and arms that allow him to fly at extreme speeds. However, the secret to his victories is not his super-powers; the quality that makes him superior to other robots is his artificial brain, the most advanced in the world. This unique quality, termed "kokoro" in Japanese, allows Astro to experience all of the same emotions as humans. He's clever, resourceful and has a strong sense of justice, always attempting to reason with his adversaries.
Mankind's only hope of surviving the onslaught of rebellious robots is a robot himself...the fearless, selfless, incorruptible champion known as Astro. With engaging electronics, transforming vehicles and unique playsets, Bandai America ensures Astro will charm a new generation of toy lovers.
About Sony Pictures Consumer Products
Sony Pictures Consumer Products (SPCP), a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), is based in Los Angeles and London. SPCP handles the merchandising and branding efforts for some of the most recognized properties in film and television and, through Spider-Man Merchandising, L.P., a limited partnership with Marvel Enterprises, the upcoming motion picture Spider-Man 2™ and the Spider-Man™ animated series. Additionally, SPCP properties include such titles as the gothic box office hit "Underworld", the Academy Award winning short, "The ChubbChubbs™", television properties such as "Astro Boy™", "Stuart Little™" animated," and "Jackie Chan Adventures™." SPE is a division of Sony Corporation of America (SCA), a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; digital content creation and distribution; worldwide channel investments; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of filmed entertainment in 67 countries. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.sonypictures.com