Viz Names Mattel Master Toy Licensee for Naruto


#1 Toy Company to Create Toys Based on Mega-Hit Ninja Series

San Francisco, CA, November 15, 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 it has named Mattel master toy licensee for SHONEN JUMP's wildly popular NARUTO™ by Masashi Kishimoto.

Since 2003, the NARUTO series has been serialized in the U.S. edition of the monthly SHONEN JUMP manga anthology, and published as a graphic novel series by VIZ Media. At retail, NARUTO consistently ranks as one of the top graphic novel titles in the U.S. and one of the most popular titles serialized in SHONEN JUMP magazine.

NARUTO is considered one of the most popular animated shows in Japan's history and it has achieved immense success as a manga and TV title as well as a licensed property for toys, trading card games and video games. NARUTO™, the animated series, launched on Cartoon Network this fall. The series is produced by PIERROT CO., LTD. and debuted in Japan in October 2002 on TV TOKYO, where it quickly established itself as one of TV Tokyo's highest rated animated series.

“We are so excited to be working with Mattel on SHONEN JUMP's NARUTO,” said Cynthia Money, vice president of consumer products for VIZ Media. “As the world's leading toy company we are confident that Mattel will develop a toy line that brings to life the incredibly rich characters and ninja-based worlds of NARUTO, in a visual and interactive way.”

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“VIZ Media's ability to deliver rich animated series with stories that build loyal fans worldwide will enable our team to develop innovative and unique toys for a broad audience,” said Holly Stein, vice president of entertainment licensing for Mattel. “NARUTO is a tremendous property that unveils an exciting and magical universe and one that we believe will translate into an outstanding product and play experience.”

Targeting tweens and teens, NARUTO takes place in a world where ninja are the ultimate power. Infused with the spirit of a once fearsome Nine-Tailed Fox demon, Uzumaki NARUTO™ is a ninja-in-training who is learning the art of ninjutsu with his classmates Sakura and Sasuke. The trio studies under the instruction of their teacher, Kakashi, who helps the group, face a series of dangerous and daunting tests and challenges. Through their adventures, the young ninjas learn the importance of friendship, teamwork, loyalty, hard work, creativity, ingenuity, and right versus wrong.

About Mattel
Mattel, Inc., (NYSE: MAT, is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products, including Barbie®, the most popular fashion doll ever introduced. The Mattel family is comprised of such best-selling brands as Hot Wheels®, Matchbox®, American Girl® and Tyco® R/C, as well as Fisher-Price brands (, including Little People®, Rescue Heroes®, Power Wheels® and a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel employs more than 25,000 people in 42 countries and sells products in more than 150 nations throughout the world. The Mattel vision is to be the world's premier toy brands -- today and tomorrow. © 2005 Mattel, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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 manga and 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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