Press Release from 4Kids Entertainment International
YU-GI-OH!, the smash hit kids franchise from 4Kids Entertainment International, is increasing its presence in Italy with a series of new deals.
After launching in Japan in 1999, YU-GI-OH! has captivated children across the globe. 17 million video games have been sold to date worldwide and over 18.1 billion YU-GI-OH! trading cards have been translated into seven languages and sold in 51 countries worldwide -- approximately six million 6-8 year olds collect and play the trading card game across the globe.
The franchise has proved extremely successful in the Italian market. On TV, YU-GI-OH! GX season 3 continues to air Saturday mornings on Mediaset's Italia 1, which has also acquired the first season of the new YU-GI-OH! 5D'S series. Set in Domino City, transformed into a futuristic metropolis, 5D'S feature duelists battling it out on motorcycles or 'Duel Runners', in a new form of dueling called 'Turbo Duels' -- hi-octane contests in which the winners and losers are no longer separated by skill and strength, but by speed.
The brand is equally popular with licensees and new deals include an apparel license with Linea D to include T-shirts, sweatshirts, underwear, jeans, towels, jackets, and shoes, whilst Giochi Preziosi has been signed up for back-to-school and stationery. A new toy line is due to launch in Fall '09 from Upper Deck, which will include a range of products guaranteed to delight YU-GI-OH! fans -- such as action figures, wrist card holders and Duel Runners.
"YU-GI-OH! is hugely popular in Italy and its success shows no signs of abating," said Sandra Vauthier-Cellier, Managing Director of 4Kids Entertainment International. "The brand is absolutely red hot at the moment and the arrival of 5D's is adding to the excitement surrounding it."