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Shuriken School Proves A-grade Licensing Property for Xilam & Zinkia

The animated, comedy-action series, SHURIKEN SCHOOL, ahs racked up a host of licensing deals for producers Xilam Animation (France) and Zinkia Ent. (Spain), including a pan-European contract with Copyright Promotions Licensing Group (CPLG), as well as Kidz Ent. for Scandinavia and EEMC for eastern Europe.

CPLG, which represents such high profile properties as BRATZ, CARE BEARS and THE SIMPSONS, will handle licensing for SHURIKEN SCHOOL in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Belgium, Holland, Benelux, UK, Eire, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Katarina Dietrich, md, entertainment, CPLG, said, " SHURIKEN SCHOOL is a standout property, which has great potential on the licensing front, particularly for 6- to 11-year-old boys. We have mapped out a comprehensive licensing strategy including master toy, publishing and all other categories on a pan-European or local basis. CPLG is greatly looking forward to negotiating deals very shortly."

The licensing deal with Copenhagen-based Kidz Ent. covers Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Iceland. Kidz Ent., which works with an extensive network of partners in the Nordic markets, has an impressive client roster, including BRATZ, CARE BEARS, MY LITTLE PONY, TRANSFORMERS, FIREMAN SAM and LAZYTOWN.

Finally, east European licensing specialist EEMC has been appointed to handle SHURIKEN SCHOOL. EEMCs KJ Istok said, "It's hard to find a property these days that blends action with a good storyline and strong, positive messages, as well as appealing to both boys and girls. EEMC is thrilled to have the opportunity of launching SHURIKEN SCHOOL across eastern Europe and Russia/CIS."

Marc du Pontavice, president Xilam, said, "Were delighted that SHURIKEN SCHOOL has attracted so much interest from licensing agents and look forward to seeing the multi-platform property develop further. In addition to these major European deals, we are looking to close further international deals at the New York Licensing Fair this week in June. With the series slated to air in more than 90 countries in 2006/2007, timing is perfect to lock down further licensing contracts."

Set in a ninja school in a fictional town called Tokirohama, the action-based series follows the zany adventures of 10-year-old Eizan Kaburagi and his gang of friends. In many ways Shuriken School is like any other school the kids study math, do their homework, get detention and so on. However, this is also a place of secret passages, tunnels, hiding places and legends a place where imagination and creativity reign. Weapons are invented, teaching methods are unorthodox and absurd things can and do happen.

SHURIKEN SCHOOL broadcasters signed up include: CiTV which launched the series in January 2006 and is set to re-run the series in July; France 3, which is to debut the series in July; Nickelodeon (U.S.), which is scheduled to launch the series late summer, followed by Nicktoons (U.S.); Jetix Europe, which has all pay-TV rights for Europe, the Middle East and Latin America; Mediaset (Italy); TV2 (Denmark); Disney Asia and Nickelodeon Australia.

SHURIKEN SCHOOL (26x30), based on a concept from Zinkia, is currently in production at Xilams animation studio in Paris. Distribution is split by the co-production partners, with Xilam handling worldwide sales, excluding Spain, Portugal, Italy and South America, which are handled by Zinkia.

Xilam Animation (www.xilam.com) is a French, independent audiovisual and multimedia production company that creates, produces and distributes worldwide, top-quality animated content both 2D and 3D CGI for TV, film and videogame formats. Xilam has produced internationally successful animated series for TV, including OGGY AND THE COCKROACHES, RATZ, THE NEW ADVENTURES OF LUCKY LUKE and SPACE GOOFS (aka HOME TO RENT) and as well as KAENA THE PROPHECY, the first European feature-length computer-animated 3D film.

Madrid-based Zinkia Ent. (www.zinkia.com), a multi-platform production company creates quality entertainment, animation, commercials, IDs, graphics and music, as well as the award-winning POCOYO series.

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Rick DeMott
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