JAKKS Pacific, Inc. (NASDAQ:JAKK) today announced that it signed an exclusive worldwide Master Toy License with MGM Consumer Products for American Gladiators®, the hit competition-based television program that airs on NBC. JAKKS® expects to launch a line of American Gladiators toys and related products in Spring 2009, based on the characters and challenges seen on the show. American Gladiators is produced by MGM Television and Reveille in association with Flor-Jon Films, Inc.
The comprehensive American Gladiators Master Toy license agreement, brokered through licensing agent JTMG LLC, on behalf of MGM Consumer Products includes action figures, accessories, as well as outdoor sports and seasonal products, and role play toys, all based on the new American Gladiators live action series and the classic television series.
American Gladiators is a televised tournament-style competition that pits amateur athletes against each other and the show’s own “Gladiators” in contests of strength, agility and will, in events such as the “Power Ball,” “Hang Tough” and “The Gauntlet.” American Gladiators premiered on Sunday, January 6, 2008 to an average of 12 million viewers. Hosted by world renowned wrestler, Hulk Hogan and women’s boxing champion, Laila Ali, American Gladiators has been picked up for a second season by NBC and will be part of the network’s “All-American Summer” special promotion celebrating the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. The network will air all new episodes of American Gladiators beginning on May 12 with a special two hour premiere (8-10 p.m. ET). The show will then settle into its regular day and time on Monday, May 19 (8-9:30 p.m. ET).
“American Gladiators has all the qualities to make an exciting action figure and sports activity product line,” said Jennifer Richmond, Senior Vice-President of Licensing and Media, JAKKS Pacific®. “JAKKS plans on capitalizing on the brands high energy, extreme action and electrifying line-up of talent to create a toy line to encapsulate the exciting American Gladiators experience for kids and adults at home.”
“As one of the very first reality television shows, American Gladiators spanned a decade of exhilarating entertainment, and with the successful return of the new series, our multimedia campaign and the new consumer products launch, the Gladiators franchise is definitely thriving,” said Travis J. Rutherford, Executive Vice President, Consumer Products & Location Based Entertainment, MGM. “We are excited to introduce a new generation to the action-packed thrills and intense competition of American Gladiators and JAKKS Pacific is the perfect partner to bring all the glory of the Gladiators to the toy aisle.”
“We are excited for the return of American Gladiators for a second season and this new line of great toys and other Gladiators products will only enhance our audience’s enjoyment of this fantastic property,” said Lee Rierson, Managing Director, Reveille. “JAKKS Pacific is the perfect consumer products partner to bring all the glory of the Gladiators to the toy aisle.”
“We’re delighted to bring together American Gladiators and JAKKS Pacific – two powerful forces – as they combine for one of today’s most exciting entertainment franchises,” said Joy Tashjian, principal of Joy Tashjian Marketing Group.