“Transformers” director Michael Bay is partnering with Chinese toy and entertainment company Guangdong Alpha Animation and Culture Co. Ltd. through his newly launched 451 Media Group intellectual property concern.
451 Media announced Wednesday it has received a strategic investment of an undisclosed amount from the Chinese company, which already distributes in China for Hasbro and Mattel. The deal will give Alpha Animation distribution rights and merchandising rights to 451 Media properties for China, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.
“It’s a great opportunity to shape and develop entertainment properties that lend themselves to numerous platforms, an ability to cultivate franchises,” said Bay in a statement.
Bay co-founded 451 Media with John and Anthony Gentile, the creators of brands such as Micronauts, Visionaries, Sky Dancers and Power Glove; and Douglas Nunes, who serves as the company’s chief operating officer.
Bay directed all four “Transformers” films. Chinese companies China Movie Channel and Jiaflix Enterprises co-produced last year’s “Transformers: Age of Extinction” with Paramount.
“This a very well executed partnership within the emerging Chinese entertainment and toy industry bringing together the strength of both companies in the areas of original IP development for global audiences, product design, animation development and mobile and online channel creation,” said Solon So, president of Alpha Pictures.
Nunes said in a statement, “This strategic long-term partnership will marry 451’s creative capabilities in entertainment and merchandise with Alpha Animation’s expertise and reach in mobile, entertainment, media, and toy distribution within China.”
451 Media has already signed Scott Rosenberg (“Con Air”), Skip Woods (“X-Men Origins: Wolverine”) and author George Pelecanos (“The Wire,” “Treme”). WME reps the company.
George Lee and Marcus Englefield of Storyoscopic Films and Richard Wong of Asia Action Entertainment were involved with putting together the deal between 451 and Alpha and will continue to be involved creatively.