Hamtaro Comes to Home Video
SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 18 -- Seen by over 27 million unique viewers since its launch on Cartoon Network on June 3, Hamtaro (http://www.hamtaro.com) and his Ham-Ham pals are making their way into living rooms across the country on October 15. The video will be available at video stores, mass merchants and retailers nationwide.
Viz Communications Inc., the leading US publisher of Japanese comics (manga) and anime for English speaking audiences, will release Hamtaro: Little Hamsters, Big Adventures Volumes 1 and 2. Hamtaro is currently one of the top-rated children's shows on Cartoon Network and has ranked #1 across all networks for children 6 to 11-years-old during its 7 a.m. time slot. Hamtaro is currently seen on Cartoon Network at 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., in the Toonami block.
One of Japan's most popular children's properties, Hamtaro has generated nearly $3 billion in sales since its launch on TV Tokyo in July 2000. The show is watched every Friday night in Japan by 10% of the viewers. In addition to the children, the second most popular audience in Japan is mothers. In addition to Viz Communications Inc. (publishing and home video), Hamtaro has signed over 20 major licensees including Hasbro, Inc. (toys and games), Nintendo of America (video games), Hallmark (party supplies) and Buster Brown (children's shoes).
The Coalition for Quality Children's Media, a national non-profit organization that teaches children how to develop good viewing choices and to increase awareness of quality children's programs, has awarded Hamtaro its respected KIDS FIRST! endorsement. KIDS FIRST! evaluates and rates children's videos, DVDs, films, television, audio recordings and software.
"A heartwarming and inspirational program for children, the KIDS FIRST! recommendation of the Hamtaro home video establishes it as a product to be enjoyed by the entire family," said Rick Bauer, vice president of sales and marketing for Viz Communications Inc. "This places Hamtaro, along with other positive family entertainment properties, as one of the best videos for children and parents to watch."
Hamtaro is an insatiably curious hamster and has a group of hamster pals, known as the "Ham-Hams." Ten-year-old Laura, Hamtaro's owner, and her friends are not aware that when they head to school, their pet hamsters gather together in their Ham-Ham Clubhouse and plan their next adventure. Most of the time, the Ham-Hams spend their days keeping Laura and her classmates out of trouble, but sometimes the precocious pets find themselves in a dilemma of their own.
Hamtaro: Little Hamsters, Big Adventures Volumes 1 and 2 each showcase three different 30-minute episodes. Each volume contains coupons worth over $34 in rebates including Hamtaro books, published by Viz, Hasbro toys, Lifetouch Portrait Studios and Children's Better Health Institute magazines.
The retail price for each volume is $12.98 VHS and $14.98 DVD.
Viz Communications, Inc. is the leading U.S. publisher of Japanese animation and comics (anime and manga) for English-speaking audiences, serving a growing market of dedicated fans of all ages. Founded in 1986, Viz publishes over 20 titles every month including Dragon Ball Z, Ranma 1/2, Pokemon, and Gundam. Viz also offers an integrated product line of consumer entertainment that includes magazines, comics, graphic novels, videos, DVDs and audio soundtracks.
Based in San Francisco, Viz is one of the top five comics publishers in
the U.S. and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Shogakukan, one of Japan's three largest publishers. With some of the most innovative products in the industry, Viz has expanded its offerings to its loyal fans through web sites such as http://www.animerica-mag.com, http://www.j-pop.com and its corporate site, http://www.viz.com.