Cartoon Network Enterprises Awards Bandai America Inc. the Master Toy License for the Network’s First Action-Adventure Origina
(NEW YORK, NY, February 13, 2006) – Cartoon Network Enterprises has awarded Bandai America Incorporated the master toy license for Ben 10, a new original animated action-adventure series from Cartoon Network Studios that launched January 14th and ranks #1 in its time period on basic cable for delivery with boys 6-11 and 9-14. Bandai America is a global leader in the boys’ action figure category and is the toy licensee for some of the most popular children’s entertainment properties on the market today.
Ben 10 follows the exciting adventures of 10-year-old Ben Tennyson who discovers a strange alien device resembling a wristwatch called the Omnitrix inside a crashed meteorite. Once “the watch” permanently locks itself on his wrist, Ben soon discovers that he can transform into 10 different fantastic alien beings, each with unique powers and abilities—but only for 10 minutes at a time and all the while retaining his 10-year-old mind and personality. As Ben learns to control these new powers, he decides to use them to right wrongs and fight evil. Once in a while, however, he cannot resist being a kid and using his new abilities to satisfy his curiosity, or sneak into a movie without an adult—which sometimes gets him into some major kid-style trouble. Fortunately his grandfather Max and cousin Gwen are there to keep him in check and bail him out of trouble when he needs it.
“When our development team at Cartoon Network Studios showed us their plans for this exciting new series, we immediately thought to share the concept and characters with Bandai America, one of the world’s top makers of action figure brands for boys,” said John Friend, senior vice president of Cartoon Network Enterprises. “They’ve got a proven track record with some of the most popular boys’ properties, including the perennial favorite Power Rangers and our own recent hit, Teen Titans. The collaborative relationship we’ve built with Bandai should serve to make Ben 10 a formidable new property within the merchandising arena.”
“With transforming aliens, gross-out humor and the crazy misadventures of a 10-year old, Bandai America is thrilled to be partnering with Cartoon Network on this amazing original series,” said Michael Riley, vice president of marketing, Bandai America Inc. “Ben 10 is one of the most innovative toy lines ever created by Bandai America. Not only are we leveraging our past successes in the boys’ action figure aisle, we’re taking traditional product categories and adding lots of new and interesting play patterns, to make this dynamic lineup unlike anything out there today.”
Debuting in July, Bandai America’s Ben 10 lineup includes a variety of action figures, vehicles, a playset, role-play and other toys. Key products include:
- Collectible 4” figures of all the 10 aliens that Ben can initially transform into, including Heatblast, Fourarms and Ghostfreak. Each comes with a cool lenticular card that depicts Ben transforming into one of the aliens, as well as an exclusive animation disk of 8 cels that can only be viewed with other toys in the lineup.
- 6” figures with cool action features, including oozing DNA slime bubbles that appear on the body when squeezed.
- 8” transforming figures that change from their alien forms into unique role-play toys, including a working flashlight, binoculars and water gun.
- Alien space vehicles that are inspired by the home planets of the aliens and are unique to each of the characters.
- Role-play, including the realistic Animating Omnitrix wristwatch that comes with 3 exclusive animation disks featuring different alien characters. Collect all the disks and insert one into the watch’s face to see Ben transform right before your eyes.
- Deluxe playset, an exact replica of the RV that Ben is traveling in, transforms into an alien laboratory where kids can view the exclusive animation disks that come within the 4” figures and the Omnitrix.
Bandai America will support the launch of the property in July with a comprehensive marketing program, including national advertising, promotions and public relations. Cartoon Network is also pursuing a multi-faceted licensing program that will extend the brand into additional categories such as apparel; interactive; publishing and video.
“What kid doesn’t want to be a superhero? And wouldn’t being 10 superheroes be 10 times as cool?” said Jim Samples, executive vice president and general manager of Cartoon Network. “Ben 10 will continue in the tradition that Cartoon Network has established of creating a new generation of superhero shows, like Teen Titans, for a new generation of kids. It’s an undeniably original premise with amazing alien heroes and incredible villains.”
Ben 10, created by Man Of Action (Joe Casey, Joe Kelly, Duncan Rouleau, Steve Seagle), launched Jan 14th with 26 original episodes. The series is being produced at Cartoon Network Studios in Burbank, Calif.
A leader in introducing Japanese toy trends to the United States, Bandai America Incorporated is a subsidiary of NAMCO BANDAI Holdings (USA) Inc., a newly formed joint entity that resulted from the integration of Namco Ltd. and Bandai Co. Ltd. of Japan. Global interests now encompass five strategic business units: toys and hobby (toys, models, apparel and sundries), amusement facilities, game content (home and arcade console gaming), mobile content, and visual and music content (including home entertainment). Bandai America is the manufacturer and master toy licensee of some of the most popular brands in children’s toys and entertainment today, including Power Rangers, Teen Titans, Firehouse Tales, Tamagotchi and Magical DoReMi. The company is headquartered in Cypress, California and information is available at www.Bandai.com.
Cartoon Network (CartoonNetwork.com), currently seen in more than 88 million U.S. homes and 160 countries around the world, is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.’s ad-supported cable service offering the best in original, acquired and classic animated entertainment for kids and families. Overnight from 11 p.m.-6 a.m. (ET, PT), Cartoon Network shares its channel space with Adult Swim, a late-night destination showcasing original and acquired animation for young adults 18-34.
Cartoon Network Enterprises (CNE), the global branding and merchandising arm of Cartoon Network, is charged with licensing brands and characters from the channel's growing library of original programming properties. CNE works to secure and support long-term licensee partnerships across such key merchandising categories as apparel, accessories, toys and games, interactive, publishing, stationery and paper, sporting goods, branded foods and personal care. The group currently offers consumer product programs for an array of marquee animation franchises, including Codename: Kids Next Door, Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi, Adult Swim, Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends and more.
|Posted 14 February, 2006 - 11:06 by JoshB|