Speed Racer Teams Up With Art Asylum

by Jay Cochran
November 20, 2005

Speed Racer Enterprises has announced it has awarded a major Classic Speed Racer license to New York based, Art Asylum, Inc., in order to create an updated version of the classic franchise for toys, collectibles, animated promos and music. Initially, Art Asylum will create all new, animated, promotional webisodes that will be launched this summer on the web and also come packed with the new toy line hitting retail stores in the Fall of ’06. This launch will be followed by a soundtrack with all new music hitting stores in the 4th quarter of ’06.

“We’ve known Adam Unger and the group at Art Asylum for a long time,” noted Speed Racer Enterprises, EVP, James Rocknowski, “Their work certainly speaks for itself and we’re thrilled to get started with them on this new journey for Speed Racer. We feel this will be something our fans are really going to get into and continue to spark interest worldwide for the property overall.”

The official debut will be at the New York Toyfair in February of 2006 where they will screening the first promotional episode of the animation and the new toy line followed by a major launch party in New York City during the week of the toy show.

“It’s nothing short of an honor to be working with our friends John and Jim Rocknowski on their beloved franchise, Speed Racer,” said Art Asylum’s Adam Unger. “This property holds a major place in the history of animation and we will take extreme care in holding up the integrity of the brand. All the great characters, vehicles and storylines will be there as so much of the series still holds up some forty years later. It’s really remarkable.”

Art Asylum has brought on board a myriad of new partners in order to facilitate the new brand strategy under Art Asylum Productions, LLC. They include Jeff Nodleman and Creative Group for animation production, Joeseph “Tramp” Daley and Newton Cohen to oversee the music and production efforts, Casey Lau and his company, Hyperchild for character development and online strategies and adds NBA star and Philadelphia 76er, Samuel Dalembert and his manager, Teddy Pendergrass Jr., as lead investors into the project via their company, Synergy Enterprises, LLC.

“This is a major licensing deal for us and we needed to bring in a few friends to the party,” notes Art Asylum’s, Adam Unger. “In order to deliver on all the key elements for creating this new brand strategy for the successful launch of our new Speed Racer toy line, all the pieces need to be in place. Creating a new look and style based on the famed franchise while still keeping the feel of the original storylines is the goal. And bringing a more viral approach to the launch and marketing efforts will be critical to reach all the millions of fans out there who love this property. It’s a challenge the entire group is excited about.”

About Speed Racer Enterprises
Based in Santa Monica, California, Speed Racer Enterprises was formed in 1991 and owns the worldwide rights to the Classic Speed Racer animated television property. The company also manages all television distribution, merchandising, licensing and promotional activities for the property. For more information visit www.speedracer.com

About Art Asylum
Manhattan, New York based Art Asylum was founded by Digger and Donna Soldano in 1996 as a creative, design studio providing premier work service to the toy industry. In 2001, the company partnered with Adam Unger and the founders of Play Along Toys, Inc., to launch a successful boy’s action toy company that created products for major brands like Star Trek, Tony Hawk, Bruce Lee, Kiss and built the MiniMates toy brand that continues on to this day. In 2005, after Play Along’s successful sale to Jakks Pacific (JAKK) the company continued it’s progress and has moved on as a fully integrated toy manufacture. In 2006, Art Asylum will be launching with several new licenses including Speed Racer, Madballs from American Greetings, Battlestar Galactica, Clive Barker’s Jump Tribe and Advanced Play System’s Arc Tiles. Visit www.artasylum.com for more information.


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