Tuesday, May 15, 2007

BREAKING NEWS: TOEI Creates In-house Licencing Division!

Just for North America!
Animation World Network reports that TOEI Animation Inc. of North America has created its own consumer products licencing division. It will be under the supervision of Coy Edmunds, formerly a Director and Agent with Focus Sports Management Inc. , a sports management company. The company plans to make it’s official debut at the New York International Licensing Show in June . The first products that are planned for launch are from Digimon. It sounds like the company is back on it’s feet after their first attempt in the North American Market did not meet expectations. This was largely because of disappointing quality in their releases of Slam Dunk, Air Master, and Interlude - the latter of which was probably the best of all the releases.

In any case, the big question on everyone’s mind is: What does this mean for Sailor Moon? Many companies have speculated for years that if the series were ever to be picked up again, it would be likely that TOEI would release it themselves . If the series is ever licenced again in North America by Toei, they will probably be responsible for the licensing of all the toys and other products. Which may mean that they have more control of what kinds of products are put out. However the press release did state that they are "a fully integrated kids-based entertainment studio that develops, produces, distributes and controls the licensing and merchandising for our brands." We wish we could be there to see what they are planning for the Digimon line. It would be nice if there was some hope for merchandise geared towards an older crowd (such as popular gashapon or resin kits). These were things that North America only saw by way of import stores when Sailor Moon was popular in the late 90's - early 2000's. Or perhaps, if the toys were closely correlated to their Japanese counterparts (because, sometimes Japanese toys ARE cooler) but given the range of products from other companies in the past...

All we can really say for now (a phrase Sailor Moon fans are all too familiar hearing), is that we’ll have to wait and see.

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