New children’s properties, “Power Rangers Megaforce,” “Julius Jr.” and “Digimon Fusion,” continue to grow the company’s brand portfolio.
LOS ANGELES –
In preparation for Brand Licensing Europe this month, Saban Brands has announced the expanse of brands that it will be presenting to potential European partners, including the phenomenal Power Rangers brand which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2013 with the new series Power Rangers Megaforce; the iconic Paul Frank lifestyle brand and a new animated preschool series based on characters developed under the Paul Frank brand, Julius Jr.; Saban Brands’ recently acquired Digimon brand which launches a newseries titled Digimon Fusion, and the reintroduction of the ‘80s hit Popples, furry little transformable creatures. The announcement was made today by Kirk Bloomgarden, SVP, International Licensing, Saban Brands.
The Power Rangers brand builds momentum around the globe in anticipation of its 20th anniversary celebration in 2013, with the debut of the latest installment of the brand, Power Rangers Megaforce.
“Our licensees are very excited about the latest Power Rangers installment and the fact that kids around the world continue to clamor for this property in all its forms. Regardless of where they live or what language they speak, kids embrace the positive role models, and our creative team is committed to constantly re-energizing the brand. That’s the secret to our 20 years of success with this phenomenal property,” said Bloomgarden.
The original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series, created and produced by Haim Saban in 1993, quickly became the most watched children’s television program in the United States. Emphasizing the importance of teamwork, responsibility and helping others by following the adventures of a group of ordinary young people who “morphed” into superheroes. As the #1 boys brand in the world from 1993-97, based on toy sales and television ratings, Power Rangers licensed products and promotions have generated billions of dollars in retail sales worldwide.
Saban Brands also continues the expansion of the iconic Paul Frank lifestyle brand including the addition of newly announced licensing agents across Europe. Well-represented by a roster of global licensing agents who manage over 150 licensees worldwide, Saban Brands has added new licensing agents to the Paul Frank team, including Team Licensing in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, J&M Brands in the Benelux and, Plus Licens in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with some of the best licensing agents in the business. With their vast experience and knowledge in the market, these new partners will help us to grow our Paul Frank business in key markets across Europe,” said Bloomgarden.
Saban Brands has also appointed new Paul Frank worldwide licensees, including Play Imaginative (vinyl figures); Pan Am (travel-inspired bags with special edition linings); Spidi (high end camera accessories); Najarian Furniture Company (furniture line); and Ethos (sporting goods).
In Europe, Saban Brands has partnered with TV Mania as its Paul Frank master apparel partner for teens and adults in the UK, France, Germany, & Austria; TWC (watches pan-European)) and Sky Brands, (bedding and home accessories for Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland)
Acquired in 2010 by Saban Brands, Paul Frank also continues to expand its retail store presence across the globe with a focus on China where there will be over 100 dedicated Paul Frank Stores by the end of 2013.. New Paul Frank stores have also recently opened in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Bogota and there are plans to open stores in South Africa in the near future.
Saban Brands will also introduce a new 2D animated preschool series, Julius Jr., starring Paul Frank’s iconicmonkey and a multitude of other characters based on the Paul Frank brand. Saban Brands is partnering with Brain Power Studio to produce 26 half-hour episodes (or 52 11-minute episodes) of the new series. In the animated series, Julius Jr. is a monkey with a penchant for invention and a dream, a team and a scheme to make all his wildest imaginings come true. When Julius Jr. saw “The Box” he knew right away what it was – a playhouse, perfect for himself and his very best friends. But inside “The Box” something magical happens. Everyday items come to life with quirky characteristics and unexpected results! The company has also named MarVista Entertainment as the program’s international television distributor. Saban Brands will be supporting Julius Jr. with a global consumer products program.
As recently announced, Saban Brands acquired the global rights (excluding Asia) to long-running Japanese anime Digimon franchise and will be introducing a the next series, Digimon Fusion, to audiences across the world. The series continues to explore the digital world where powerful creatures known as Digimon, or digital monsters, battle for supremacy. With the help of their young human partners, the Digimon defend their world and ours from evil forces. Saban Brands will work with MarVista Entertainment for distribution of the television series. The Digimon franchise was first brought to the U.S. in 1999 by Saban’s Fox Family Worldwide.
Saban Brands is also reintroducing consumers to the Popples franchise. Originally introduced in 1985, Popples made their debut in the U.S. with a Saturday morning television show, followed by a successful toy line in 1986 that generated several hundred million dollars in retail sales. As the world’s first feature plush toy, the soft, lovable Popples creatures could transform from fluffy balls to furry friends and back again, making them an instant hit among fans of all ages. Saban will introduce a limited retro line based on the 80’s look and feel for a young adult audience in 2013, and will follow in 2014 with an all new Popples brand with a fresh new look and new characters. The re-imagined Popples will also be supported by shortform content.
Source: Saban Brands
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.