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DIC, Bandai & ADV Films Coverge On Zodiac Retail Launch

DIC Entertainment (DIC), Bandai America Inc. (Bandai) and ADV Films (ADV) navigating a course for the 2004 U.S. retail launch of the anime property, KNIGHTS OF THE ZODIAC, across all platforms with a comprehensive marketing and promotional campaign supporting the rollout.

KNIGHTS OF THE ZODIAC is a fast-paced, futuristic action-adventure series, which pits the forces of good against evil as the Knights of Athena battle the Knights of Aries for control of the sacred Golden Armor of Sagittarius and the world.

DIC has retained an extensive roster of key U.S. licensees in all major categories to launch merchandise throughout 2004 with many additional licensees currently negotiating for rights. In,

Master Toy Licensee Bandai will lead the merchandise rollout in January 2004, introducing a product line of action figures, role-playing toys and collectible card games. VIZ Publications, a leading U.S. publisher of Japanese animation and comics, will launch a series of graphic novels based on KNIGHTS OF THE ZODIAC following a featured preview of excerpts in the January issue of popular anime magazine, SHONEN JUMP.

Coinciding with the Bandai toy release in January 2004, leading North American anime distributor ADV Fims ( begins releasing 13 volumes (totaling 40 episodes) of KNIGHTS OF THE ZODIAC on DVD and VHS. The DVD packaging will include collectible trading card inserts from Bandai.

In June 2004, KNIGHTS OF THE ZODIAC will be featured in a six-week packaging promotion with a major consumer brand, which will be announced in first quarter 2004, according to Nancy Bassett, svp, worldwide consumer products. National television, print and radio advertising will support the upcoming promotional campaign.

In August 2003, DIC launched the interactive Website, supporting the television series debut on Cartoon Networks Saturday night action block. The site includes online gaming competitions, promotional sweepstakes and tie-ins with other boy-targeted sites.

With KNIGHTS OF THE ZODIAC already an international success, Bandai is thrilled to exclusively introduce the toy line in the U.S, said Beebe. We anticipate KNIGHTS OF THE ZODIAC to be the next boys action brand to take the country by storm.

After its broadcast debut in 1986, KNIGHTS OF THE ZODIAC has been among the top-rated series for boys since its debut in 1986 in Japan, Latin America and Europe where it became the second highest-rated show in France. In addition to 114 television episodes, four KNIGHTS OF THE ZODIAC feature films have collectively topped the box office charts in Brazil.