JAKKS Pacific® Pumps-Up Boys Action Portfolio With Master Toy License for American Gladiators
MALIBU, Calif. -- March 31, 2008 -- JAKKS Pacific, Inc. today announced that it signed an exclusive worldwide Master Toy License with MGM Consumer Products for American Gladiators®, the hit competition-based television program that airs on NBC. JAKKS® expects to launch a line of American Gladiators toys and related products in Spring 2009, based on the characters and challenges seen on the show. American Gladiators is produced by MGM Television and Reveille in association with Flor-Jon Films, Inc.
The comprehensive American Gladiators Master Toy license agreement, brokered through licensing agent JTMG LLC, on behalf of MGM Consumer Products includes action figures, accessories, as well as outdoor sports and seasonal products, and role play toys, all based on the new American Gladiators live action series and the classic television series.
American Gladiators is a televised tournament-style competition that pits amateur athletes against each other and the show's own "Gladiators" in contests of strength, agility and will, in events such as the "Power Ball," "Hang Tough" and "The Gauntlet." American Gladiators premiered on Sunday, January 6, 2008 to an average of 12 million viewers. Hosted by world renowned wrestler, Hulk Hogan and women's boxing champion, Laila Ali, American Gladiators has been picked up for a second season by NBC and will be part of the network's "All-American Summer" special promotion celebrating the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. The network will air all new episodes of American Gladiators beginning on May 12 with a special two hour premiere (8-10 p.m. ET). The show will then settle into its regular day and time on Monday, May 19 (8-9:30 p.m. ET).
"American Gladiators has all the qualities to make an exciting action figure and sports activity product line," said Jennifer Richmond, Senior Vice-President of Licensing and Media, JAKKS Pacific®. "JAKKS plans on capitalizing on the brands high energy, extreme action and electrifying line-up of talent to create a toy line to encapsulate the exciting American Gladiators experience for kids and adults at home."
"As one of the very first reality television shows, American Gladiators spanned a decade of exhilarating entertainment, and with the successful return of the new series, our multimedia campaign and the new consumer products launch, the Gladiators franchise is definitely thriving," said Travis J. Rutherford, Executive Vice President, Consumer Products & Location Based Entertainment, MGM. "We are excited to introduce a new generation to the action-packed thrills and intense competition of American Gladiators and JAKKS Pacific is the perfect partner to bring all the glory of the Gladiators to the toy aisle."
"We are excited for the return of American Gladiators for a second season and this new line of great toys and other Gladiators products will only enhance our audience's enjoyment of this fantastic property," said Lee Rierson, Managing Director, Reveille. "JAKKS Pacific is the perfect consumer products partner to bring all the glory of the Gladiators to the toy aisle."
"We're delighted to bring together American Gladiators and JAKKS Pacific – two powerful forces – as they combine for one of today's most exciting entertainment franchises," said Joy Tashjian, principal of Joy Tashjian Marketing Group.
About American Gladiators
Everyday amateur athletes -- weekend warriors who take pride in their physical fitness while also making a difference in their communities, go up against the show's gladiators -- charismatic and eclectic combatants comprised of action stars and stunt professionals -- in the ultimate David & Goliath battle of physical strength, agility and endurance. In the updated version, Reveille and MGM Television incorporate special effects, water skills and new technology to make the games even more compelling.
American Gladiators first originated from Erie, PA. The series aired as a weekly syndicated show in the U.S., from 1989 through 1996. The show also spurred equally successful international versions in the United Kingdom, Latin America, Australia, Germany, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, South Africa, and Japan.
Reveille is a leading independent production and distribution company focused on exploiting worldwide intellectual property rights in scripted and unscripted television and digital entertainment, and the world leader in creating integrated marketing opportunities for advertisers. Reveille's innovative scripted entertainment programming includes "The Office" (NBC), "Ugly Betty" (ABC) and "The Tudors" (Showtime). In addition, the company's roster of highly successful reality programming includes "The Biggest Loser" (NBC), "American Gladiators" (NBC), "Nashville Star" (NBC), "30 Days" (FX), "Parental Control" (MTV) and "Date My Mom" (MTV). Reveille also produces a wide variety of programming for MSN and for cable outlets such as ESPN, VH1, The Sundance Channel, The N, The History Channel and TLC. Reveille's programs have garnered eight Emmy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, three Writers Guild Awards, two Television Critics Awards as well as such distinguished honors as the Peabody Award, the NAACP Image Award and the GLAAD Media Award. Internationally, Reveille distributes its extensive library of high-quality programming, along with a broad array of programming acquired from independent producers and U.S. networks, to more than 150 countries through ShineReveille International. Reveille's offices are located in Los Angeles. Reveille is part of the Shine Group, one of the world's foremost multinational entertainment and drama companies. The Shine Group also includes UK independent producers Kudos, Princess, Firefly and Shine TV.
About JAKKS Pacific
JAKKS Pacific, Inc. (NASDAQ:JAKK) is a multi-brand company that designs and markets a broad range of toys and consumer products. The product categories include: Action Figures, Art Activity Kits, Stationery, Writing Instruments, Performance Kites, Water Toys, Sports Activity Toys, Vehicles, Infant/Pre-School, Plush, Construction Toys, Electronics, Dolls, Dress-Up, Role Play, and Pet Toys and Accessories. The products are sold under various brand names including JAKKS Pacific®, Play Along®, Flying Colors®, Creative Designs International™, Road Champs®, Child Guidance®, Pentech®, Trendmasters®, Toymax®, Funnoodle®, Go Fly a Kite®, Color Workshop®, JAKKS Pets™ and Plug It In & Play TV Games™. JAKKS and THQ Inc. participate in a joint venture that has worldwide rights to publish and market World Wrestling Entertainment video games. For further information, visit www.jakks.com.
About Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., through its operating subsidiaries, is actively engaged in the worldwide production and distribution of motion pictures, television programming, home video, interactive media, music and licensed merchandise. The company owns the world's largest library of modern films, comprising around 4,100 titles. Operating units include Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc., United Artists Films Inc., Ventanazul, MGM Television Entertainment Inc., MGM Networks Inc., MGM Domestic Networks LLC, MGM Distribution Co, MGM International Television Distribution In, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Home Entertainment LLC, MGM ON STAGE, MGM Music, MGM Worldwide Digital Media, MGM Consumer Products and MGM Interactive. In addition, MGM has ownership interests in international TV channels reaching nearly 120 countries. MGM ownership is as follows: Providence Equity Partners (29%), TPG (21%), Sony Corporation of America (20%), Comcast (20%), DLJ Merchant Banking Partners (7%) and Quadrangle Group (3%). For more information, visit www.mgm.com.