Viz Names Spin Master and Simon & Schuster Licensee's for Deko Boko


Industry Leaders Plan to Develop Toys and Children's Books for Breakthrough Japanese Animation Property, Deko Boko Friends

San Francisco, CA, May 9, 2005 – VIZ Media, LLC. (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive manga and animation licensing and publishing companies, announced today that they have named Spin Master Ltd. master toy licensee and Simon Spotlight, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, book-publishing licensee for Deko Boko Friends. These partnerships will bring the charming world of Deko Boko Friends to life in toys and books to children across North America.

Deko Boko Friends, VIZ Media's debut Japanese animation property for preschool audiences, is an exceptional property that sends positive messages to children in a charming and witty manner. Produced as 30-second animated shorts, Deko Boko Friends currently features 12 unique characters who help teach children about diversity and tolerance.

The Spin Master and Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing deals came on the heels of VIZ Media's broadcast deal with Nick Jr. for Deko Boko Friends, the first ever-Japanese preschool acquisition by the #1 entertainment network for kids. In addition to Nick Jr. airing Deko Boko Friends, Noggin –Nickelodeon's commercial-free educational network for preschoolers, and Nicktoons, Nickelodeon's 24-hour cartoon channel, will carry 60 of the program's 30-sec. interstitials.

“We are thrilled to have Spin Master and Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing join the Deko Boko Friends team,” said Cynthia Money, VP Consumer Products, VIZ Media. “Both partners are well-known for creative, high quality and innovative product offerings. We look forward to working with our new partners to continue to extend the

Deko Boko Friends messages of acceptance and diversity to products children will enjoy.”

As master toy licensee for Deko Boko Friends, Spin Master will continue to bring innovative products that foster creativity and self-confidence to a world focused on children. Spin Master will produce playsets, bath toys, plush, puzzles, role-play items, soft dolls, vehicles and Deko Boko Friends licensed fun furniture.

“Deko Boko Friends is a delightful and refreshing preschool property with a unique look and premise that has captivated children and their families,” said Adam Beder, VP Global Licensing, Spin Master Ltd. “We're excited to work with VIZ Media to bring this heartwarming property to children with toys that will entertain as well as build their self confidence.”

Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, home to some of the most distinguished imprints and recognizable brand names in the world of publishing, will create a
wide array of books for preschoolers to immerse themselves in the enchanting world of Deko Boko Friends.

“Deko Boko is an extremely original and exciting property.” Said Rick Richter, President and Publisher of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing.. “We are thrilled to be partnering with VIZ Media and Spin Master, two leaders in their respective fields.

In addition to holding the worldwide broadcast rights outside of Asia for Deko Boko Friends, VIZ Media has the global licensing rights for merchandise for which it plans a broad-based licensing program. More licensing partners will be announced shortly.

About Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, one of the leading children's book publishers in the world, is comprised of the following imprints: Aladdin Paperbacks, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Libros para niños, Little Simon®, Little Simon Inspirations™, Margaret K. McElderry Books, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Simon Pulse, and Simon Spotlight®. While maintaining an extensive award-winning backlist, the division continues to publish acclaimed and best-selling books for children of all ages. In addition to numerous Caldecott, Newbery, and National Book Award winners, Simon & Schuster publishes such high-profile properties and series as Eloise, Olivia, Raggedy Ann & Andy™, Henry & Mudge®,

The Hardy Boys®, Nancy Drew®, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Pendragon, Charles M. Schulz's Peanuts®, Nickelodeon's® Dora the Explorer® and SpongeBob SquarePants®, HIT Entertainment's Bob the Builder™, and Mirage studios' Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles™. Simon Spotlight, an imprint wholly devoted to media tie-ins, has become one of the fastest growing imprints in the children's book industry. For more information about Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, visit our website at

About Spin Master Ltd.
Spin Master Ltd. is a multi-category children's entertainment company that, since 1994, has been designing, developing, manufacturing and marketing toys for children around the world. Spin Master is ranked among the top 10 North American toy manufacturers and is a dominant leader in the children's entertainment industry. Spin Master is comprised of such best-selling brands as Air Hogs®™, Aquadoodle™, Bella Dancerella™, Bounce 'Round™, Catch-A-Bubble™, Hershey's™ Smores Maker, Icee™ Maker, McDonald's McFlurry Maker, Mighty Beanz™, Regenerator™, and The Wiggles® a registered trademark of The Wiggles Touring Pty Ltd. Spin Master employs over 200 people with offices in Toronto, New York, Hong Kong and France. For more information, please visit

About VIZ Media, LLC
Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), is one of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of Japanese content. Owned by three of Japan's largest creators and licensors of manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan Production Co., Ltd. (ShoPro Japan), VIZ Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America and a global licensor of Japanese animation. The company offers an integrated product line including, magazines such as SHONEN JUMP and SHOJO BEAT, graphic novels, videos, DVDs, audio soundtracks and develops and markets animated entertainment from initial production, television placement and distribution, to merchandise licensing and promotions for audiences and consumers of all ages.

Contact VIZ Media at 295 Bay Street, San Francisco, CA 94133; Phone (415) 546-7073; Fax (415) 546-7086; and at

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