Mattel Inc. signed a multi-year licensing agreement to serve as master toy licensee for ONE PIECE, a popular animated series airing on 4Kids TV, 4Kids Entertainment's Saturday morning children's programming block on FOX, as well as on Cartoon Network's Tonami block on Saturday evenings.
The master toy license grants Mattel the exclusive rights for a full range of products including action figures, play sets, role-play items, games and puzzles. ONE PIECE toys are anticipated to be available at retail in the U.S. and Canada by December 2005.
"Mattel is thrilled to extend its relationship with 4Kids Ent. and help bring the adventures of ONE PIECE featuring Monkey D. Luffy and his friends to life with exciting and innovative toys," said Matt Bousquette, president of Mattel Brands.
"Mattel continues to be a great partner for our company," said Alfred R. Kahn, chairman/ceo of 4Kids Ent. "They understand how to take the essence of this brand, which includes action and humor, and create toys that truly engage kids and allow them to re-enact storylines or develop their own adventures for Luffy and his friends."
4Kids Ent. and Toei Animation recently awarded Bandai rights to create ONE PIECE videogames for the Sony PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance and Nintendo GameCube platforms and collectible card games.
Bandai videogames and the trading card game are anticipated to debut at retail in fall 2005.
Headquartered in New York City with international offices in London, 4Kids Ent. Inc. (www.4kidsentertainment.com) is a global provider of children's entertainment and merchandise licensing. 4Kids, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, provides domestic and international merchandise licensing; television, film, music and home video production and distribution; media planning and buying; product development; and website development.
Toei Animation Co., Ltd. (www.toei-anim.co.jp or www.toei-anim.co.jp/english/index.html) is Japan's largest animation production company since 1956 It has produced many celebrated works, ranging from feature films such as THE WHITE SNAKE AND PUSS 'N BOOTS to TV series starting from KEN, THE WILD BOY ON TO DRAGON BALL, SAILOR MOON, DIGIMON ADVENTURE and ONE PIECE. Its library totals approximately 8,500 episodes, which accounts for about 4,200 hours. Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, its affiliate company is registered as Toei Animation Inc. in Century City, California.
Mattel Inc. (www.mattel.com) is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products, including Barbie, the most popular fashion doll ever created. With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, California, Mattel employs more than 25,000 people in 42 countries and sells products in more than 150 nations throughout the world.