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Spin Master gets it right with action-hungry boys aged 6-11 as Bakugan Battle Brawlers becomes the new must-have toy for spring

March 10, 2008 - TORONTO and LOS ANGELES - Boys are a tough crowd to please with the right balance of action, strategy, entertainment and cool factor; so creating new entertainment products for boys, especially ones that aren’t video game-based, is tough. But as Pokémon moves into its second decade, and leading action franchises such as Transformers, Spider Man and Star Wars all become old news; it is time for some new and original boys’ action for kids aged 6-11.

Enter Bakugan Battle Brawlers, the new collectible action and strategy game and Cartoon Network animated television series, which since it’s US launch in January is driving retailers crazy with excitement as sales increase at a lightning-fast pace of up to 400% a week.

“This is the biggest thing we’ve done in the 14 years since we started the company,” says Anton Rabie, President and Co-CEO of Spin Master. “The most amazing thing is how fast the Bakugan trend has erupted in the U.S. It’s on complete fire at every single level and the show has only been on TV for three weeks.”

From the Japanese words “baku” meaning “to explode” and “gan” meaning “sphere,” Bakugan are small spheres that pop open into powerful Bakugan monster action figures when skillfully rolled onto the game’s cards. Each player must strategically choose their Bakugan and cards to play which affect the battle differently, and when two opposing Bakugan land on the same card, they do battle. Once the points are added up, the winner is determined. There are currently over 100 Bakugan monsters available with more to be rolled out this year, each with different attributes and values to take into battle.
Spin Master will produce over 25 million Bakugan monsters in 2008 to meet the growing demand that has seen product sales lift as high as 400% a week since the television series debut on Cartoon Network on February 24th.

Originally released in Japan in April 2007, Bakugan also caught on like wildfire when released in Canada in August, where it has become the most in-demand toy in the country prompting per-customer limits at stores nationwide, bidding wars, bribery of retail employees and even trips to US stores with new stock so kids can get their Bakugan fix. Even in the post-holiday period where toy sales can quiet significantly, Canadian Bakugan sales have outpaced other Spin Master best-sellers by a record of 10 to 1.

“Bakugan is fast-paced gaming action that boys love,” says Matt Wexler, Executive Producer of the television series. “Boys want to throw things, collect things, trade things, battle, and of course win. The timing of Bakugan has worked really well for us because it’s the only thing out right now that’s offering that combination of what boys want.”

To support the spread of Bakugan fever, Spin Master is rolling out a cross-country Bakugan Battle Training tour this spring, hitting 1,200 stores in April with game training by battle masters, demo battles, and giveaways. The Battle Training Tour kicks off with a ribbon cutting ceremony of a special Toys R’ Us Times Square Bakugan Battle Zone in New York City on April 4, 2008.

Available at all major retailers, Bakugan Battle Brawlers come in a variety pack sizes, with accessories including a Wrist Launcher, Battle Arena, and 2” Action Figures, all ranging from $4.99-$29.99.
Spin Master’s partners on Bakugan Battle Brawlers are SegaToys, SEGA Corporation, Nelvana Enterprises, TMS Entertainment and Japan Vistec.

About Spin Master Ltd.

Spin Master™ is the 6th largest and fastest growing toy company in North America. A multi-category children’s entertainment company since 1994, Spin Master™ has been designing, developing, manufacturing and marketing consumer products for children around the world. With the launch of Bakugan Battle Brawlers, Spin Master™ has also marked its first foray into entertainment IP and television production. Spin Master™ is best known for such popular brands as Air Hogs®™, Aquadoodle™, Tech Deck, and Moon Sand. Spin Master™ employs over 500 people with offices in Toronto, Los Angeles, Paris, London, Hong Kong and China, and is proud to be recognized as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed companies. For additional information please visit: www.spinmaster.com

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Posted 10 March, 2008 - 14:00 by JoshB
 
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