Toymaker, Japan producer set animated series

If Hasbro and Mattel can do it, why not Jakks Pacific?

The Malibu-based toymaker has paired with Japanese animation producer Dentsu to launch “Monsuno” as a new TV toon property that will be exploited across various platforms, including playthings.

Project will target 6- to 11-year-old boys and revolve around reawakened monster DNA that finds its way into the unsuspecting hands of adventure-seeking lads.

Jakks Pacific and Dentsu will produce 52 episodes of “Monsuno” and hope to bow the series next year worldwide. It has yet to be set up at a network, and the companies are thus far keeping the designs of the characters under wraps in order to keep them out of the hands of rivals until series has been sold.

Naturally, Jakks Pacific will produce the toys based on the property.

It is the company’s first foray into TV and has been in development for the past year.

Jakks Pacific manufactures a number of toys, including licensed products based on properties from Disney, Nickelodeon, Warner Bros., Ultimate Fighting Championship and Cabbage Patch Kids. It recently ended a long-running action figure deal with World Wrestling Entertainment.

Concept of launching a TV property in order to sell toys isn’t new. It proved successful in the 1980s to sell G.I. Joe, “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe” and Transformers action figures.

“This new venture is an exciting new direction into owning our own entertainment and leveraging it into the toy line,” said Jakks prexy and co-CEO Stephen Berman. “We are assembling the ‘Monsuno’ team, and we believe Dentsu is the perfect partner given their production expertise and global leadership position in developing children’s television.”

Dentsu’s Los Angeles-based subsid, DCI-LA, will help develop the show, with Mitsuharu Inoue, a former producer of Cartoon Network’s hit “Bakugan Battle Brawlers,” serving as creative director. “Bakugan Battle Brawlers” is based on a popular toyline.

DCI-LA will handle the distribution and licensing efforts for “Monsuno” as part of its deal with Jakks Pacific.

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