Saban Brands, owner of the Power Rangers franchise, has acquired the Digimon franchise, adding the long-running Japanese anime property to its growing portfolio of entertainment assets. The acquisition, which encompasses rights to the property outside of Asia, continues Saban Brands’ dramatic growth since reacquiring the Power Rangers property and purchasing lifestyle brand Paul Frank in 2010, amongst others. Saban Brands will work with MarVista Entertainment for distribution of the series outside of Asia. Japanese animation studio, Toei Animation will handle licensing and distribution of the property in Asia.
The Digimon franchise, which was first brought to the U.S. in 1999 by Saban’s Fox Family Worldwide, explores a digital world where powerful creatures known as Digimon, or digital monsters, battle for supremacy. With the help of their young human partners, the Digimon defend their world and ours from various evil forces.
“We’re thrilled to reconnect Saban Brands with Digimon, an entertainment franchise that embodies the strong fan base and growth potential we look for in new additions to our portfolio,” said Elie Dekel, President of Saban Brands. “We look forward to reintroducing the brand in new and exciting ways that will allow more fans to engage with Digimon.”
Saban Brands will debut the newest season, Digimon Fusion, at MIPCOM, which will be held Oct. 8-11 in Cannes, France. MarVista Entertainment has been appointed to handle international distribution (outside of Asia) of the new season, as well as distribution for more than 250 half-hours episodes of Digimon content from the library.
“We are naturally excited to further extend our relationship with Saban Brands to represent the Digimon franchise and to present the latest iteration,Digimon Fusion, to international buyers at MIPCOM,” commented Fernando Szew, Founding Partner and Chief Executive Officer of MarVista Entertainment. “Children worldwide have embraced the Digimon television series since its launch, providing strong ratings success for broadcasters around the globe, and we anticipate a lot of enthusiasm from current and new partners who will undoubtedly want to play a key role in the continued growth of the Digimon franchise.”