Frederic Soulie Promoted to SVP of Global Distribution at Saban Brands

Oct7.SabanSaban Brands has promoted Frederic Soulie to senior vice president of global distribution. Soulie will continue to oversee the worldwide distribution strategy Saban Brands’ properties across the TV, home entertainment, and digital platform categories. While managing ongoing and collaborative efforts to distribute the company’s entertainment properties, he will also work closely with Saban Brands’ President Elie Dekel and Chief Operating Officer Janet Scardino.

Soulie joined Saban Brands two years ago with experience overseeing digitial distribution and business development for Cookie Jar Entertainment as well as Endemol USA—the largest independent TV production company in the world.

Saban Brands Extend Partnerships for Power Rangers with Nickelodeon and Bandai America

image003Saban Brands has extended agreements with Nickelodeon and Bandai America Inc. through 2016 for its Power Rangers franchise. Nickelodeon and Saban Brands initiated their strategic partnership when Saban re-acquired the Power Rangers brand in 2010 and re-launched the TV series with Power Rangers Samurai in 2011. The extension confirms additional seasons of original Power Rangers programming on Nickelodeon through 2016. Bandai will continue to act as the global master toy licensee for the Power Rangers franchise.

Saban’s Power Rangers Megaforce, the 20th anniversary season, currently airs on Nickelodeon on Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. (ET/PT). The upcoming installment of the TV series, Power Rangers Super Megaforce, will premiere early next year.

Saban Brands’ Julius Jr. to Premiere on Nick Jr.

Julius JrSaban Brands’ and Nick Jr. have announced that Julius Jr., the all-new animated preschool series, will debut September 29 at 11 a.m. (EST/PST) on Nick Jr. Inspired by the Paul Frank family of characters, the series will follow the adventures of a young version of Julius the monkey, Julius Jr., along with all of his playful friends. Through imagination and inventive spirit, each help one another overcome challenges both big and small, ultimately teaching children that the best inventions are the ones that help your friends.

For even more monkeying around with Julius Jr. visit nickjr.com/Julius-jr for music videos, coloring sheets, craft ideas, recipes, printable activities, and more.

Saban Brands Announces New Episodes of Power Rangers Megaforce and Digimon Fusion

rangers Saban Brands and Nickelodeon have announced that Saban’s Power Rangers Megaforce will return with all-new episodes on September 7 at 1 p.m. (EST/PST), followed by the season premiere of the all-new Digimon Fusion at 1:30 p.m. (EST/PST) on Nickelodeon. The back-to-back episodes team up to create a power hour packed with action, excitement, humor and entertainment.

digimonThe return of new episodes of Power Rangers Megaforce continues the celebration of the franchise’s 20th Anniversary, with August 28 marking 20 years since the original series, Saban’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, first aired on television in 1993. Power Rangers Megaforce picks up when a shadow-stealing monster attacks, and the Megaforce Rangers must teach Robo Knight the power of teamwork in order to defeat him.

This past Wednesday, when the Power Rangers turned 20, Saban Brands celebrated by releasing Power Rangers Dubstep 2.0 with the Power Rangers Lost Galaxy Rangers video on MyVortexx.

Digimon Fusion marks the sixth installment of the Digimon franchise, which Saban Brands re-acquired last year. The all-new Digimon Fusion series follows Mikey, a human boy, who is transported into the digital realm and must team up with his new Digimon, or Digital Monster, friends before their world is deleted once and for all. New fusion powers allow Digimon to combine and fuse their abilities to create endless battle possibilities. Unleashing countless Digimon combinations, Digimon Fusion takes today’s tech-savvy kids inside an adventure-packed digital world, where the heroes’ courage is matched only by the fusion of their teamwork, loyalty and humor.

Hasbro Launches New B-Daman Toys and App

B-DamanCrossFirePosterHasbro Inc. is expanding on the animated series, B-Daman Crossfire by bringing the series to the physical and digital play space with a new B-Daman toy line and app. The new animated series, B-Daman Crossfire, will air during Saban Brands’ Vortexx on The CW, the Saturday morning programming block beginning August 17. Hasbro is working under license from newly established, Manhattan-based rights management company Sunrights Inc., and with a development and manufacturing collaboration with Tomy on these products.

The new series, B-Daman Crossfire, takes place in East City, where the newest toy, B-Daman, has become all the rage. The series follows Riki Ryugaski, a quirky schoolboy with an appetite for adventure and mystery. After attending his first B-Daman tournament with friend and classmate Sumi Inaba, Riki develops a strong interest in the toy. Upon hearing a rumor about a secret B-Daman tournament that only a select few can participate in, Riki’s curiosity grows and he becomes determined to learn more.

With the launch of the new B-Daman toys from Hasbro, kids can choose which figures’ personality and fighting style best represents themselves in the B-Daman marble battles. Whether players want to enhance their rapid-fire, power, or precision skills in solo play against B-Daman targets or advance to competition levels with fellow battlers in engaging arenas, B-Daman play allows kids to create their own set of rules and games.

In addition, the new B-Daman line of toys will offer kids the opportunity to connect the physical figures with a digital experience. Players will be able to scan any B-Daman figure via the B-Daman app (available now for Android & Apple devices) on their mobile devices. The app recognizes the toy and allows the user to choose a figure for a digital experience. Kids can also manually enter their toys into the app by using a 14 digit numerical code found on cards included with each toy. bdamanstrikeAdditionally, the codes can be used online to unlock virtual B-Daman figures and gain access to exclusive digital content on the B-Daman Battles website. The B-Daman experience allows kids, both in the physical and digital world, to battle opponents from around the globe anywhere at any time.

The products include the B-Daman Figure, B-Daman Figure with Accessory, B-Daman Break Bomber Battlefield Arena, B-Daman Surge Strike Arena, and B-Daman Vertigo Spin Arena, which are available at most toy retailers and on HasbroToyShop.com.

Saban Brands Launches Global Consumer Products Division

SABAN BRANDS LOGOSaban Brands has launched a new Global Consumer Products division, merging its domestic and international licensing and merchandising teams into a cohesive unit. The department is led by Kirk Bloomgarden, who serves as senior vice president of global consumer products. The new division focuses on the global expansion of licensing programs for all Saban Brands properties and for driving the strategic consumer product plans with licensees, retailers, broadcasters, and agencies worldwide.

In his new role, Bloomgarden focuses on growing Saban Brands’ licensing and merchandising business globally across the company’s portfolio of brands. Nina Leong moves into a new role as senior vice president, strategic business development for Saban Brands, and will spearhead efforts to expand and broaden the Saban Brands portfolio, as well as strategically grow current properties. Leong focuses on searching for new brands, particularly in the lifestyle and fashion space. Mary Rafferty and Dan Wilson also have taken on new, global roles—their titles are vice president of global consumer products and vice president of global retail, respectively.

In addition, Brian Maeda has joined the team as vice president of licensing, and will focus on helping to grow Saban Brands’ business in Asia, with a focus on toys and video games. Maeda brings 20 years of experience in collaborating with Asian companies and working across publishing, film/TV acquisition, online content distribution, licensing and merchandising, third-party promotions, and video games. He most recently was a third-party account manager at Xbox and also built the licensing and merchandising program for the Halo video game franchise.

In addition to the global team based in the U.S., Saban Brands plans to open new offices in London, England, and Shanghai, China later this year.

Power Rangers Celebrate 20th Anniversary

Visit our Facebook album for photos of the Power Rangers taking over the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Itching for some more Toy Fair coverage? Check out our additional news and albums from the week’s festivities on Facebook!

Saban Brands Acquires Digimon Franchise

Saban Brands has acquired the Digimon franchise, adding the long-running Japanese anime property to its growing portfolio of entertainment assets. Saban Brands will work with MarVista Entertainment for distribution of the series outside of Asia, while Japanese animation studio Toei Animation Co., Ltd., will handle licensing and distribution of the property in Asia.

Saban Brands will debut the newest season, Digimon Fusion, at MIPCOM, which will be held October 8 to 11 in Cannes, France. MarVista Entertainment has been appointed to handle international distribution of the new season, as well as distribution for more than 250 half-hour episodes of Digimon content from the library.

Power Rangers Franchise Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Thousands of fans of the Power Rangers franchise will join forces to celebrate as it approaches its 20th anniversary milestone, at the 4th annual Power Morphicon fan-run event at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, Calif.

From August 17 to 19, Saban Brands will pay tribute to twenty years of action, adventure, teamwork, humor, and heart with events, including special guest appearances by previous Power Rangers cast members, a Power Rangers Super Samurai cast signing, a Power Rangers flash mob, and mega announcements.  Join the fun as thousands of Power Rangers fans celebrate the past, present, and future of the franchise. For more information about Power Morphicon visit www.officialpowermorphicon.com, tickets available at the Pasadena Convention Center box office.

This post was originally written by Lindsay Gordon and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

Power Rangers Kick Off Halloween Safety Campaign

Beginning this month, Saban Brands is launching a multi-platform national Halloween safety campaign featuring the Samurai Power Rangers and designed to reach parents and children at schools, in theaters, online, and at home.

Videos about Halloween safety featuring the cast from Power Rangers Samurai will air in movie theaters nationwide before PG- and G-rated films. Some of the tips include do not eat unwrapped candy, take a glow stick or flashlight along while trick-or-treating, never go trick-or-treating alone, stay in groups or with a parent, and more. Special bulletin board posters reinforcing safety guidelines will be distributed to more than 5,000 elementary schools across the country.

Additionally, the powerrangers.com/Halloween webpage will feature more Halloween safety tips, videos, activities, games, and resources. The Power Rangers will also be reaching parents and kids through parenting blogs, entertainment websites, and gaming portals.