Playhut Co., a toy designer and manufacturer, launched its own production and distribution company, Playhut Entertainment, to produce anime and childrens programming for home video and broadcast.
Headquartered in Cityof Industry, California, Playhut also has an office in New York City in the International Toy Building on Broadway and 23rd streets. Playhut also has offices in Asia and worked with several companies to acquire more than 25 anime series consisting of 52 episodes each never before seen in the U.S. These include BIRD ISLAND, WARRIORS OF THE TANG DYNASTY, DI QING, LITTLE MONK, WAY OF THE WARRIOR and MUSIC UP. The first two properties Playhut is prepping for the U.S. market are BIRD ISLAND, a sci-fi adventures series, and LITTLE MONK, a pre-school property featuring a "Dennis the Menace" type of little Chinese monk.
Playhut Entertainment (www.playhutentertainment) is also creating new series for preschool called LITTLE SIGNZ. Created by Playhut president/artist Brian Zheng, LITTLE SIGNZ features common street signs that come to life to entertainment children and teach important safety lessons. John Anello Jr., director of entertainment and media, said Playhut will be subcontracting the show in the U.S. and Asia, as well as doing internal production, as well as licensing the show.
While there are many anime distributors/producers doing business in the U.S. Anello said he thought they were uniquely posed to make this move with the backing of a successful and well-respected children's toy company like Playhut. Zheng felt that diversifying and also using the experience and connections in the toy world would help Playhut Entertainment gain a speedy start. In addition to cel animation, Anello said the company plans to produce live-action features. "We will also have animation content we will license out to other studios for their own development work, and production companies for TV, commercial and other uses. Another part of our plan is to develop Playhut Press for comic books and graphic novels to support our properties, as well as a music label," he added.