Jeff Dronen from Funimation Productions, Ltd sends us this information on the future of the DragonBall Z license.
"Powerhouse properties from FUNimation to Strengthen JAKKS Boys Action Line-up
Today, JAKKS Pacific, Inc. and Funimation Productions, Ltd. have officially announced that the Master Toy License for Dragon Ball Z (r) has been awarded to JAKKS. Court proceedings in the United States and Canada concluded on Monday, December 23, and JAKKS is now the Master Toy Licensee for the collective Dragon Ball (r) toy line (Dragon ball(r), Dragon ball Z(r), & Dragon ball GT(r)).
What this means for JAKKS:
- JAKKS gains the collective power of the Dragon Ball (r) franchise to bolster its boy's action line-up.
- JAKKS has received a 3-year license for Dragon Ball(r), Dragon Ball Z(r) and Dragon Ball GT(r), and will develop, manufacture and distribute action figures, action figure accessories and vehicles based on these top-rated animated series.
What this means for Dragon Ball (r) fans:
- Fans of the very popular Dragon Ball (r) action figures gain the support and expertise of the number three player in the toy industry.
- Products for 2003 are expected to be shown as early as the New York International Toy Fair in February 2003.
This is a great opportunity for both companies and fans and retailers of action figures based on the Dragon Ball (r) phenomenon."
Full text of the press release is below.
MALIBU, Calif.--Dec. 24, 2002--JAKKS Pacific, Inc.
(Nasdaq NM:JAKK) has been awarded the Master Toy License for Dragon Ball(R), Dragon Ball Z(R) and the highly anticipated Dragon Ball GT(R), by Fort Worth, Texas-based FUNimation Productions, Ltd. JAKKS will develop, manufacture and distribute action figures, action figure accessories and vehicles based on these top-rated animated series.
"Dragon Ball(R) is an immensely powerful brand and we have admired the success of the Dragon Ball(R) franchise for many years. JAKKS is elated to add the properties, Dragon Ball(R), Dragon Ball Z(R) and Dragon Ball GT(R) to JAKKS' boys action division," said Jack Friedman, CEO, JAKKS Pacific, Inc. "The Dragon Ball(R) brand has tremendous toy merchandising potential and it has consistently maintained top ten status among action figure lines at retail."
JAKKS signed a 3-year license for Dragon Ball(R), Dragon Ball Z(R) and Dragon Ball GT(R), and expects to show products for 2003 as early as New York International Toy Fair in February 2003. Both parties anticipate a smooth transition and expect product to ship immediately.
"This is a perfect match for the collective Dragon Ball(R) toy line due to the momentum and experience JAKKS maintains in the toy market," said Gen Fukunaga, president and founder of FUNimation. "Dragon Ball Z continues to be a powerhouse in the industry and brings this support to the JAKKS boys action lineup."
Dragon Ball(R), the worldwide phenomenon, has spawned some 500 episodes that are produced and licensed for North America, Australia and New Zealand by FUNimation. The strength of the brand is very evident. Lycos just announced that "Dragon Ball" was the most searched for topic for 2002. After capturing the title last year, Dragon Ball(R) becomes the only topic to ever repeat on the top of the "Web's Most Wanted." Dragon Ball Z videos are consistently listed in the top-selling video charts, and over 15 million videos have been sold. Also, during the first week of the fall season push, Dragon Ball Z(R) was the #1 program of the week on all cable television with tweens 9-14, boys 9-14 and men 12-24.
About JAKKS Pacific, Inc.
JAKKS Pacific, Inc. is a multi-brand company that designs andmarkets a broad range of toys and leisure products. The product categories include: Action Figures, Arts & Crafts Activity Kits, Stationery, Writing Instruments, Performance Kites, Water Toys, Sports Activity Toys, Vehicles, Infant/Pre-School, Plush and Dolls. The products are sold under various brand names including Flying Colors(R), Road Champs(R), Remco(R), Child Guidance(R), Pentech(R), Trendmasters(R), Toymax(R), Funnoodle(R), Laser Challenge(TM) and Go Fly a Kite(TM). The Company also participates in a joint venture with THQ Inc. that has exclusive worldwide rights to publish and market World Wrestling Entertainment(TM) video games. For further
information, visit www.jakkspacific.com
FUNimation Productions, Ltd. is a powerhouse in the brand
management industry. The company has in-house production, licensing, Internet, and home video distribution. In addition to Dragon BallZ(R), FUNimation also produces Dragon Ball(R) and Yu Yu Hakusho(R), also airing on Cartoon Network; Movies for Lupin the 3rd(TM), one of the longest running anime classics; Fruits Basket(TM), based on the top selling comic book in Japan; and Blue Gender(TM), a sci-fi anime. For additional information on FUNimation and its properties, contact Jeff Dronen at 817/788-0627, ext. 251.
** "Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This press release contains forward-looking statements. Such statements reflect the current views of the Company with respect to future events and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual future results or events may vary materially from those described herein.