SANTA MONICA, Calif., TOKYO & PAWTUCKET, R.I.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dentsu Entertainment USA, Inc. and TV TOKYO Corporation have announced they have teamed up with leading global play company Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) to bring the hugely popular multimedia franchise YO-KAI WATCH to new markets. In 2016, Hasbro will introduce an innovative toy line for the franchise. The YO-KAI WATCH cross-platform experience will also include additional broadcasting, video game and merchandising relationships to be announced later this year.
YO-KAI WATCH is an original concept created by renowned Japanese game company LEVEL-5, Inc. and the Nintendo 3DS video games have sold 6.5 million units in Japan. With an imaginative plot, great characters, comedy and adventure, YO-KAI WATCH has become one of the most popular franchises of all time in Japan. The story centers around a young boy who gets a special watch empowering him to discover and summon mysterious Yo-kai that help him solve problems in his daily life usually caused by other trouble-making Yo-kai. The YO-KAI WATCH animated series, a joint production effort of LEVEL-5, Inc., Dentsu Inc., and TV TOKYO Corporation, is the top-rated show for kids 4-12 across all genres on TV TOKYO and has the highest average household ratings among all regularly scheduled animated programs on the network.
In addition to the TV series, the YO-KAI WATCH franchise has enjoyed tremendous success across several product categories since it began in Japan including selling millions of copies of YO-KAI WATCH manga and related books and generating hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars in retail sales of toys and other merchandise, not including games, music CDs, and publishing.
“The YO-KAI WATCH franchise has been hugely successful and we are ready to bring the brand to new markets across multiple platforms,” said Mr. Akihiro Hino, President of LEVEL-5, Inc.
“We have seen the massive success of the YO-KAI WATCH franchise in Japan and are thrilled to be chosen to help expand the property to new markets,” said President of Hasbro Brands John Frascotti. “We look forward to creating exciting and innovative play experiences with this amazing property for kids to enjoy around the world.”
Mr. Kiyofumi Kajiwara of Dentsu, Inc. and producer of the YO-KAI WATCH animated series added, “As leaders in the toy industry, Hasbro is the perfect choice to introduce innovative toys to new markets and we look forward to securing other broadcasting, video game and merchandise relationships as we expand the property globally.”
About LEVEL-5, Inc.
LEVEL-5 Inc. plans, creates, and markets videogame software in Japan. The company’s flagship PROFESSOR LAYTON series has shipped over 15.5 million units worldwide, while the mega-hit INAZUMA ELEVEN series has shipped approximately 7.5 million units worldwide. The Little Battlers eXperience animated series, based on the hugely successful games of the same name, will soon make its western debut in Europe and the Americas. The company released Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch for North America and Europe, featuring animations by the Academy Award-winning Studio Ghibli, and music by Joe Hisaishi. In September 2010, LEVEL-5 Inc. opened an office in California. While maintaining its base as a game company, LEVEL-5 Inc. continues to actively explore collaborations with other media, as it strives to become a world-class entertainment brand. More information on LEVEL-5 Inc. can be found at http://www.level5ia.com and http://www.level5.co.jp.
About Hasbro Inc.
Hasbro (NASDAQ: HAS) is a global company committed to Creating the World’s Best Play Experiences, by leveraging its beloved brands, including LITTLEST PET SHOP, MAGIC: THE GATHERING, MONOPOLY, MY LITTLE PONY, NERF, PLAY-DOH, TRANSFORMERS, and premier partner brands. From toys and games, television programming, motion pictures, digital gaming and a comprehensive lifestyle licensing program, Hasbro fulfills the fundamental need for play and connection for children and families around the world. The Company’s Hasbro Studios creates entertainment brand-driven storytelling across mediums, including television, film and more. Through the company's commitment to corporate social responsibility, including philanthropy, Hasbro is helping to build a safe and sustainable world and to positively impact the lives of millions of children and families every year. Learn more at www.hasbro.com and follow us on Twitter (@Hasbro & @HasbroNews).
About Dentsu Entertainment USA, Inc.
Dentsu Entertainment USA, Inc. was formed in 2010 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Dentsu Inc. (Tokyo Stock Exchange, Code 4324). Dentsu Inc. is the world's largest advertising agency brand, and a leading producer of Japanese animation, with over 40,000 full-time employees and more than 700 subsidiaries and affiliates worldwide. Dentsu Entertainment USA develops original animation programming and media content for domestic and international markets, and manages licensing programs for new and existing intellectual properties. Current projects include LBX™ (a.k.a. "Little Battlers eXperience"), a highly successful animation, comic, video game and toy franchise, airing on Nicktoons in the USA, and in multiple territories globally; and Monsuno®, an innovative toy line and original animated boys action adventure series airing on Nicktoons and free-to-air channels in more than 150 countries. Dentsu Entertainment USA is headquartered in Santa Monica, CA. For more information, please visit www.DentsuEntertainment.com.
About TV TOKYO Corporation
TV TOKYO Corporation is the broadcasting and production arm of TV TOKYO Holdings Corporation that holds eighteen entities under its umbrella. While being an important member of Nikkei Group, TV TOKYO Holdings Corporation is publicly traded in the first section of Tokyo Stock Exchange. TV TOKYO Corporation runs TXN Network, a general entertainment network known to be the most prolific outlet for youth programming among all FTA networks and the only one with regular timeslots dedicated to animated series seven days a week. TV TOKYO has been responsible for the world premiere of many world class hit series that includes LBX: Little Battlers eXperience, INAZUMA ELEVEN, NARUTO, YU-GI-OH!, POKÉMON and BEYBLADE. It also offers a global distribution service in all rights including licensing and merchandising.