Funtastic Nabs Madman Group

Australian marketer and distributor Funtastic Ltd. has acquired Madman Entertainment Group, an independent film and video distributor for the Australia and New Zealand market. Madman, which handles such anime franchises as Astro Boy, One Piece and Dragon Ball Z, will turn over to Funtastic its theatrical, home entertainment and interactive divisions, as well as its distribution company, The AV Channel.

‘The Madman acquisition will diversify our customer base and help secure DVD rights to children’s titles,’ says of Funtastic managing director Tony Oates. ‘And our experience in marketing, sourcing and distribution will greatly boost Madman’s strategic growth.

Funtastic says its market dominance in various licensed goods categories will create greater opportunities for both companies in the local marketplace. Madman will continue to run its own licensing, product management, production, publicity, marketing, sales and accounts teams under current managers. Founders Tim Anderson and Paul Wiegard will continue to running Madman for at least the next four years.

‘This partnership places Madman and Funtastic in a truly unique brand building situation,” comments Tim Anderson, director of Madman Entertainment Group. “By combining Madman’s understanding of the DVD and home entertainment market and Funtastic’s overall mass-market and brand expertise, we will now be able to offer a united front for our Licensors and a far greater level of exposure and success than ever before.’

Funtastic has been involved in licensing leading brands such as Bratz, Thomas the Tank Engine, Pirates of the Caribbean, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Barbie, Winnie the Pooh and LeapFrog. The company’s operations now include toys, apparel, footwear, hobby products, confectionery, accessories, publishing, entertainment, electrical products, housewares and apparel for the whole family.