Takara Buys Tatsunoko

posted on by Christopher Macdonald
Japanese Toy Maker buys Anime Production Studio

In a deal estimated to be worth over 1 billion yen (US$8.9 million), Takara, one of Japan's largest toy makers, purchased an 88% share in Tatsunoko Productions on June 30th.

Takara is Japan's second largest Toy manufacturer behind Bandai and Japan's fifth largest "toy and game maker." Takara is currently set to merge with Japanese toy maker Tomy on March 1, 2006, creating what will be Japan's 4th largest "game and toy maker" behind Sega Sammy Holdings, Namco Bandai Holdings (tentative) and Nintendo corp. Takara also owns Broccoli, which in turns owns North American anime distributor Synch-Point and Japanese anime retailer Gamers.

Founded in 1962, Tatsunoko is one of Japan's oldest animation studios. Tatsunoko's properties include Speed Racer, Gatchaman, Cashern and most recently KARAS. Tatsunoko was recently involved in a pair of bitter lawsuits with Studio Nue over ownership of Super Dimensional Fortress Macross, one is still ongoing.

The Japan Times cites unnamed sources as stating that Takara wants to create toys and software using Tatsunoko properties.

Takara purchased the shares from Tatsunoko's founding family. Although Tatsunoko is one of Japan's oldest and most established animation companies, the company is said to have been struggling financially.

Takara's stocks increased almost 10% in value following the announcement.

Takara states that it hopes to increase sales at Tatsunoko from 600 million yen to 5 billion yen in 3 years.

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