|FOX BOX Debuts a New Look, a New Host and a New Programming Lineup for Boys and Girls - Highlighted by the U.S. Premiere of Japanese Series ONE PIECE|
This fall, FOX BOX is bigger than ever when the Saturday morning kids broadcast network from 4Kids Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: KDE) unveils a new look, an exciting host and its most awesome lineup ever - including the U.S. launch of one of the hottest children's animated series in Japan, ONE PIECE, from Toei Animation Co., Ltd.
While FOX BOX will shortly announce the identity of its hip new host, the network's fall programming is ready to rock: A billion-dollar franchise in Japan, ONE PIECE ranks as one of Japan's most successful properties in the past few years. Beginning this fall, FOX BOX is the exclusive home for this exciting series. The FOX BOX fall '04 excitement continues with the television premiere of Nintendo(R)'s F-ZERO GP LEGEND, based on the high-speed, high-performance video game. FOX BOX also is proud to air two back-to-back, all-action animated series that feature girls as the lead heroes ... direct from Italy - the fashion, fun and magic of the WINX CLUB and the Japanese animated hit TOKYO MEW MEW. The WINX CLUB is set to launch June 19, 2004.
Returning FOX BOX favorites include TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, SHAMAN KING, KIRBY: RIGHT BACK AT YA! and SONIC X, featuring all-new adventures starring the high-energy characters kids love. Plus, appearing throughout the four-hour block are THE INCREDIBLE CRASH DUMMIES, back from their successful run in the early 1990s to star in a new series of fast-paced, tongue-in-cheek animated interstitials.
"This fall, FOX BOX has the look, the attitude and the programming that is sure to capture kids' imaginations," said Alfred R. Kahn, Chairman and CEO of 4Kids Entertainment. "We are delighted to bring ONE PIECE to the U.S. and make FOX BOX the network for this popular property. ONE PIECE features a rich storyline with well-developed characters and takes place on the high seas, which gives the property a unique look and feel."
4Kids has been named the agent for ONE PIECE, representing merchandise licensing rights and television distribution rights in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.
ONE PIECE - As a young boy in a small port village, Monkey D. Luffy was inspired to become a pirate by his childhood hero "Red-Haired" Shanks. But when he accidentally ate the cursed Gum-Gum Fruit, he gained the power to stretch like rubber ... at the cost of never being able to swim again! Despite this limitation, Luffy vowed to grow up to become the king of the pirates, and find the greatest pirate treasure of all - the pirate Gold Roger's legendary "One Piece." Created by Eiichiro Oda, ONE PIECE was introduced in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump, which has a weekly circulation of three million, in 1997. ONE PIECE graphic novels in Japan have sold more than 100 million copies in 33 volumes. It has already gained a wide fan base in the U.S. through the monthly Shonen Jump magazine, as well as the four graphic novels that have been released to date by VIZ, LLC. The property also boasts five theatrical releases, eight video games and more than $1 billion in retail sales in Japan since 1999, with more than 70 licensees producing toys, games, apparel, stationery, home furnishings, collectibles and more.
F-ZERO GP LEGEND - Introducing the race to end all races: Nintendo's F-ZERO GP LEGEND. The year is 2201 and across the universe rabid fans flock to F-Zero tracks everywhere. The prizes are enormous and the stakes grow even higher when the outlaws compete to win ... at any cost! But the Elite Mobile Task Force, a team of high-risk racers, stands at the ready. Driven by a need for speed and a thirst for victory, the Task Force is determined to keep the prize money out of evil hands by defeating the menacing Black Shadow and bringing peace to the entire galaxy. The licensing campaign is expected to launch in 2004/2005.
THE WINX CLUB - The WINX CLUB tells the story of five fantastically fashionable teenage girls who use special powers to transform into magical fairies and save the day. Influenced by top Italian designers, the series ties together key girls topics of love, friendship, magic, music and fashion. Master toy licensee Mattel is scheduled to debut its magical line of dolls and accessories this fall. The toy line is expected to be complimented by video games and trading cards specifically designed and engineered for girls, as well as exciting fashion, apparel, shoes, accessories, stationery and jewelry to debut in Spring '05.
TOKYO MEW MEW - This Japanese animated property follows the adventures of five girls who possess the powers of endangered animals. They must battle aliens who want to destroy mankind -- when they're not busy with homework and boyfriends, that is. Fifty-two half hour episodes are now in production and a licensing program is planned to launch in 2005.
FOX BOX airs at 8:00 AM ET / 7:00 AM CT/PT to NOON ET / 11:00 AM CT/PT.
About 4Kids Entertainment
Headquartered in New York City with international offices in London, 4Kids Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: KDE) 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 Web site development. For further information, visit the Company's Web site at www.4KidsEntertainment.com.
The information contained in this press release, other than historical information, consists of forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Exchange Act. These statements may involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in such statements. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to have been correct. Important factors beyond the Company's control, including general economic conditions, consumer spending levels, competition from toy companies, motion picture studios and other licensing companies, the uncertainty of public response to the Company's properties and other factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company's expectations.