TOKYOPOP Inc. Awards Hasbro Master Toy License For Rave Master

by Jay Cochran
January 15, 2004

Exciting Boys Action Toy Line to Revolve Around Highly Anticipated Cartoon Network Anime Series

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 13 -- TOKYOPOP Inc. has chosen a "toy master" for Rave Master-its animated boys action/adventure series set to debut on Cartoon Network in 2004. Hasbro (NYSE:HAS) plans to draw on its 80 years of experience to develop a comprehensive line of Rave Master themed action figures, games and accessories. The first toys are expected to hit store shelves in the fall of 2004. Hasbro and TOKYOPOP plan a multi-tiered rollout over the ensuing months that encapsulates elements of the series' dynamic plotline as it builds.

Three heroes. Two quests. One destiny ... Rave Master is one ordinary boy's epic story as he discovers he is destined to save the world from evil. Young Haru -- joined by two very unique companions -- must travel the globe to retrieve a collection of powerful Rave stones necessary for him to defeat the malevolent Shadow Guard. His journey is one of both incredible adventure and self-discovery. A mega-hit in Japan, the Rave Master property spawned 21 graphic novel volumes, a successful animated TV series, two console games for PlayStation 2 and Game Cube and a plethora of related toys and merchandise.

"With Rave Master's epic storyline and colorful cast of characters, we knew we had the makings of a merchandising hit. We also knew we needed a manufacturer with the means to expand this property into toys," said Kathryn Klingler, TOKYOPOP's Licensing & Merchandising Sales Director. "Hasbro's mass market appeal and expertise in boys action/adventure toys made them the perfect choice."

"Rave Master is a very cool lifestyle property from Japan, and we are looking forward to working with TOKYOPOP on its U.S. launch this fall," said Samantha Lomow, Vice President of Marketing for Hasbro. "The variety of characters and unique quest that they take provides rich content with which to develop our product line."

TOKYOPOP also publishes the Rave Master manga (graphic novel) series -- currently a top performer in BookScan's weekly graphic novel bestseller charts. The Hasbro deal marks the first of several such merchandising relationships expected to take shape when the series debuts on Cartoon Network.

The parties expect to complete a license agreement regarding the property soon.

TOKYOPOP Inc. is the leading North American publisher of manga, the fastest growing segment within the publishing industry. With exclusive rights to hundreds of licensed and original book, video and music properties, the company has rapidly become a media convergence leader. TOKYOPOP has millions of books in print and publishes many hit manga series, including Love Hina, Chobits, Rave Master, Initial D, GTO, Battle Royale and Cowboy Bebop. The company pioneered Cine-Manga(TM), releasing such titles as Finding Nemo, SpongeBob SquarePants, Lizzie McGuire and Transformers Armada. TOKYOPOP television properties include Rave Master, GTO and Reign: The Conqueror. The company has also expanded its presence as a licensor, representing merchandising rights for Rave Master, Initial D, Stray Sheep and others. Visit for additional information.

About Hasbro
Hasbro (NYSE: HAS) is a worldwide leader in children's and family leisure time entertainment products and services, including the design, manufacture and marketing of games and toys ranging from traditional to high-tech. Both internationally and in the U.S., its PLAYSKOOL, TONKA, MILTON BRADLEY, PARKER BROTHERS, TIGER and WIZARDS OF THE COAST brands and products provide the highest quality and most recognizable play experiences in the world.


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