The Topps Company Joins JAKKS Pacific, Dentsu and FME on MONSUNO Project
Malibu, CA — Pacific Animation Partners (the Joint Venture formed by JAKKS Pacific, Inc. (NASDAQ: JAKK) and Dentsu Entertainment USA, Inc. to produce and distribute original new animation entertainment) and FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) announce that The Topps Company, Inc., a leading creator and marketer of sports and entertainment cards, related collectibles and best-selling confectionery brands, has signed on for the new animated entertainment project, MONSUNO™. Topps will be an investor in the production of the MONSUNO animated TV series, as well as a licensee and partner on trading card games, confectioneries and related products.
JAKKS Pacific is the primary owner of the intellectual property and will be the master toymaker for the MONSUNO toy line, which is expected to hit retail shelves to coincide with the TV show launch slated for late Fall 2011 or Spring 2012, pending finalization of a US network broadcast deal. The MONSUNO TV series will be co-produced by Pacific Animation Partners in conjunction with Dentsu’s Tokyo-based subsidiary animation production arm, Dentsu Tec. FME will be responsible for the exclusive worldwide distribution of MONSUNO programming, and act as the Master Licensing Agent for the MONSUNO brand worldwide, with the exception of Asia where Dentsu shall serve as the distributor and Master Licensing Agent.
“Topps has far reaching retail presence and significant expertise in building large and tremendously loyal networks of kids, tweens and young adults who become heavily invested in collector card brands,” commented JAKKS CEO Stephen Berman. “We believe Topps will be integral in helping to foster a deep and engaged following for the MONSUNO TV series and products. We expect to work closely with them to build experiential campaigns that strongly synchronize the animation content, the JAKKS toys and the Topps card games for MONSUNO fans.
“Topps is proud to partner with JAKKS, Dentsu and Fremantle, who are among the best at what they do, to present this fresh, bold and exciting concept,” said Ryan O’Hara, CEO & President of The Topps Company. “Given our rich history in creating some of the world’s most memorable and iconic card collectibles, and our interest in the emerging media space, we are thrilled to be involved in MONSUNO and to help it realize its full potential.”
Sander Schwartz, Executive Vice President and Head of FME’s Children and Family Entertainment division said, “The number of top tier partners involved in MONSUNO is a great indication of the quality of the property and the brand we are building. We’re delighted to have Topps on board and we look forward to their participation in making MONSUNO a global entertainment success across multiple platforms.”
Yuma Sakata, President & CEO of Dentsu Entertainment USA, said “Topps has an amazing presence and heritage in cards and candy. We are very pleased that we have the opportunity to work with them on MONSUNO.”
The MONSUNO animated TV series (52 episodes of 30 minutes each) is an epic boys action adventure where kids are imbued with the power to command and battle creatures with amazing destructive potential and use them to protect the Earth against those who would tear it apart. Built around powerful, action-based episodic animation with a compelling base of dynamic, relatable characters, and deeply woven original story mythology, the MONSUNO TV series provides a completely original entertainment experience. Targeted to boys 6 – 11, the TV series will be supported by a demonstrable, innovative, feature-driven JAKKS Pacific® toy line of action figures, gadgets, collectibles and integrated role play.
To hear more about MONSUNO schedule an appointment with JAKKS Pacific at 310-455-6283.
Founded in 1938, Topps is a leading creator and marketer of sports and entertainment cards, related collectibles, and popular confectionery brands. Topps products include Major League Baseball, NFL, WWE, UFC, Star Wars, Club Penguin, and other trading cards, sticker album collections, and collectible games. The Company’s confectionery portfolio includes “Bazooka” bubble gum, “Ring Pop”, “Push Pop”, “Baby Bottle Pop” and “Juicy Drop Pop” lollipops. Topps was acquired in October 2007 by Madison Dearborn Partners, a private equity group, and Michael Eisner, former CEO of Disney. Headquartered in New York City, Topps also maintains offices in Pennsylvania, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, and Argentina. For additional information, visit www.topps.com
About FREMANTLEMEDIA ENTERPRISES & FREMANTLEMEDIA
FremantleMedia is one of the leading creators and producers of entertainment brands in the world. FremantleMedia is part of the RTL Group, Europe’s largest television and radio broadcast company, which is in turn 90 percent owned by Bertelsmann AG, one of the world’s major media and entertainment companies. FremantleMedia’s worldwide production arm is responsible for many of the world’s highest rated prime time entertainment, drama, serial drama and factual entertainment programmes. FremantleMedia Enterprises is the brand extension arm of FremantleMedia, offering a one-stop-shop for all Licensing, Distribution and Home Entertainment around the world. The FremantleMedia Group (which includes talkbackTHAMES, UFA and Grundy amongst others) has operations in 22 countries, one of the most comprehensive global networks, creating nearly 10,000 hours of programming a year, rolling out more than 60 formats and managing over 300 individual titles. FremantleMedia has some of the world’s most sought after and long running formats in its catalogue, and globally, produces such programmes as: Idols (co-produced with 19 Productions in the US), The X Factor (co-produced with Syco in the UK), Got Talent (co-produced with Syco in the UK and the US), Neighbours, Family Feud, The Price is Right, Farmer Wants A Wife and Hole In The Wall.
About JAKKS Pacific, Inc.
JAKKS Pacific, Inc. (NASDAQ: JAKK) is a leading designer and marketer of toys and consumer products, with a wide range of products that feature some of the most popular brands and children’s toy licenses in the world. JAKKS’ diverse portfolio includes Action Figures, Electronics, Dolls, Dress-Up, Role Play, Halloween Costumes, Kids Furniture, Vehicles, Plush, Art Activity Kits, Seasonal Products, Infant/Pre-School, Construction Toys and Pet Toys sold under various proprietary brands including JAKKS Pacific®, Creative Designs International™, Road Champs®, Funnoodle®, JAKKS Pets™, Plug It In & Play TV Games™, Girl Gourmet™, Kids Only!™, Tollytots® and Disguise™. JAKKS is an award-winning licensee of several hundred nationally and internationally known trademarks including Disney®, Nickelodeon®, Warner Bros.®, Ultimate Fighting Championship®, Hello Kitty®, Graco® and Cabbage Patch Kids®. www.jakks.com
About Dentsu Entertainment USA, Inc.
Headquartered in Santa Monica, CA, Dentsu Entertainment USA, Inc. (dentsuentertainment.com), previously known as DCI Los Angeles (DCI-LA), was formed in April 2010 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Dentsu Inc. (Tokyo Stock Exchange, Code 4324), the world’s largest advertising agency brand and a leading producer of Japanese animation, with over 18,000 full-time employees and close to 100 offices worldwide. Dentsu Entertainment USA develops original animation programming and media content for markets worldwide, and manages licensing programs for existing and new properties. Current projects include: “Chub City,” a toy based property featuring street-savvy characters and vehicles, currently in development as an animated series; “Deltora Quest,” a 52 episode animated series based on the international top-selling fantasy-adventure book series of the same name already airing in multiple markets worldwide; “Mameshiba,” a collection of animation shorts, and character licensing program with over $55 million in product sales in 2009; and “Monsuno,” an animated children’s series co-produced with JAKKS Pacific, slated to debut in 2011.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements (within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) that are based on current expectations, estimates and projections about JAKKS Pacific’s business based partly on assumptions made by its management. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Therefore, actual outcomes and results may differ materially from what is expressed or forecasted in such statements due to numerous factors, including, but not limited to, those described above, changes in demand for JAKKS’ products, product mix, the timing of customer orders and deliveries, the impact of competitive products and pricing, and difficulties with integrating acquired businesses. The forward-looking statements contained herein speak only as of the date on which they are made, and JAKKS undertakes no obligation to update any of them to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this release.
© 2010 JAKKS Pacific, Inc. All rights reserved.
JAKKS Pacific, Inc.
Genna Rosenberg, 310-455-6235
Anne-Marie Feliciano, 310-455-6245