Tatsunoko unveils Mach 5 Line Project

TOKYO — Animation house Tatsunoko Prod., creator of iconic 1970s toon series “Speed Racer,” unveiled its Mach 5 Line Project for designing merchandise to coincide with the release of the Wachowskis’ “Speed Racer” pic in Japan. 

It will be promoted at the Tokyo Anime Fair, which opened Thursday. Five teams of designers will come up with their own takes on the “Speed Racer” world for the goods — including clothes, stationery, toys, collectibles and books — instead of simply copying characters from the old toon show or the new live-action pic.

Among the participants are freelance illustrators Gogh Imaizumi, Masahiro Takase and Toru Fukuda; Tatsunoko character designer Suzuka Yoshida; and Devil Robots, a five-person creative team whose work includes figures, toons and picture books.

“Speed Racer” is skedded for a July 5 release in Japan, while Mach 5 Line Project goods will hit the stores in June.

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