Entertainment Rights has sold its hot property for boys, DUEL MASTERS, to Turner Broadcasting System Europe, which will see the cartoon airing on screens in the U.K., Ireland, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia, Central and Eastern Europe, reaching 30+ million households via Cartoon Network and Toonami in the U.K.
DUEL MASTERS started life as a Manga comic, which gained a huge following in Japan. The television series is a combination of 2D animation with CGI effects done by Shogakukan's famous production arm, Shopro, who also produced the hit shows POKÉMON and HAMTARO.
A sneak preview of the DUEL MASTERS series launched on Cartoon Network USA on Feb. 27, 2004 with a special 90-minute preview event in its top-rated Toonami block.
The series centers on Shobu Kirifuda, who loves to play the special trading card game DUEL MASTERS. A few elite players can actually bring the card creatures to life. Doing so requires passion and discipline, as well as a type of martial art, Kaijudo, "the art of battling with giant monsters," which helps develop and strengthen this ability. Shobu is a good and passionate duelist who learns to tap into the power of an alternate dimension where creatures and the magic in the game actually exist. Shobu must go into the game to find his father, a Kaijudo master. As Shobu searches for his missing father, who has vanished into the card dimension, he gains notoriety and skill as a duelist, and is often guided by memories of his father.
"With its excellent battling scenes and amazing monsters, the DUEL MASTERS show has got everything that eight year old boys love," said Finn Arnesen, vp of programming, acquisitions and development for Cartoon Network, Europe and head of program production for Cartoon Network International.
"This deal is testament to the truly global appeal of DUEL MASTERS, commented Jane Smith, ER group commercial director. This sensational new television show is causing a stir amongst international broadcasters and is set to be the most talked about kids TV show of 2004." ER (www.entertainmentrights.com) considers this sale a major coup in securing the best possible broadcast platform for launching this show to its target demographic.