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Hasbro, Sunrights Plan International Launch of Beyblade Burst Toys, Anime

posted on by Karen Ressler
Toys slated for 2016 in N. America; anime shopped to broadcasters

Toy company Hasbro and production company d-rights' US subsidiary Sunrights announced plans on Monday to launch the Beyblade Burst toys and anime outside of Japan. Hasbro will distribute the toys in North America this year, and expand to "most major international markets" in 2017.

Like Takara Tomy's Beyblade Burst toys, which launched in Japan in July, Hasbro's Beyblade Burst will be the company's third generation of Beyblade toys, and will feature a "burst" gimmick. In some markets the toys will also have a digital component.

Sunrights is handling broadcast distribution of the Beyblade Burst anime, which will premiere in Japan in April. The company is in talks with broadcasters in US and international markets.

Sunrights is replacing Nelvana, the Canadian entertainment company that localized the seven previous Beyblade television anime series for North America. Nelvana has also produced the BeyWheelz and BeyWarriors: BeyRaiderz Western-exclusive animated spinoff series. A third spinoff series, BeyWarriors Cyborg ran in English on Toonami Asia but was never released in North America.

Sunrights is also planning partnerships in video games and other non-toy merchandise.

Katsuhito Akiyama (Inazuma Eleven, Bubblegum Crisis, El-Hazard: The Wanderers) is directing the new anime at OLM or Oriental Light and Magic (Yōkai Watch, Pokémon) with character designs by Toshiaki Ōhashi (chief animation director of Danbōru Senki W, Danbōru Senki Wars). Hideki Sonoda (Pokémon franchise, Machine Robo: Revenge of Chronos, Sonic Soldier Borgman) is in charge of the series scripts.

Hiro Morita launched the Beyblade Burst manga in Shogakukan's Monthly Coro Coro Comics magazine last July.

The original franchise expanded into over 880 countries and regions worldwide and shipped over 350 million toys, garnering over 365 billion yen (about US$2.97 billion) in sales since 1999. The second generation of the franchise debuted in 2008 and shipped 190 million toys worldwide for over 200 billion yen (US$1.6 billion) in sales.

Takara Tomy's Beyblade line of toys inspired a manga series in 2000-2003, and Viz Media released the 14-volume series in North America in 2004-2006. The manga inspired three television anime series (Beyblade, Beyblade: V-Force, and Beyblade G Revolution) between 2001-2003, and the Beyblade the Movie: Fierce Battle film in 2002. A spinoff manga, Metal Fight Beyblade, has inspired the Beyblade: Metal Fusion, Beyblade: Metal Masters, Beyblade: Metal Fury, and Beyblade: Shogun Steel television anime series, as well as the Metal Fight Beyblade VS Taiyō Shakunetsu no Shinryakusha film.

Paramount Pictures has acquired rights to create a live-action film based on the franchise.

Source: Business Wire via ICv2

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