Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Cartoon Network have announced that Mattel will be the master toy manufacturer for the Cartoon Network’s newest animated rockers, Hi Hi Puffy Ami Yumi. Mattel plans to launch a full line of toys at retail worldwide in all markets outside of Japan, beginning in Fall 2005.
Hi Hi Puffy Ami Yumi first brought their beat to Cartoon Network audiences on November 19, 2004, and has been green-lit for 26 episodes. A half-hour comedy with animated elements, the program chronicles the adventures of rock star chics Ami and Yumi as they tour the world in the Puffy Bus, a veritable condo on wheels with an ever-changing interior. The show’s live-action bookends feature the real-life Ami and Yumi and their catchy tunes.
Mattel’s initial product launch for Hi Hi Puffy Ami Yumi will consist of fashion dolls in the likeness of the real-life Japanese pop stars, small dolls based on their animated counterparts and of course, a "magical" transforming tour bus. The new toy line will also include plush toys inspired by Ami and Yumi’s favorite felines, a role-playing game, puzzles and electrical Ami Yumi gizmos. The project will be Mattel’s first venture as the master toy licensee on a Cartoon Network property.
Jim Samples, executive vice president and general manager, Cartoon Network worldwide believes that the selection of Mattel as the toy manufacturer for Hi Hi Puffy Ami Yumi will add tremendous momentum to the property. He notes, "Not only are we working with an industry-leader to bring one of our hot new shows to retail and consumers, together we will bring a line of creative, fun toys to fans sooner than we have ever been able."
Hi Hi Puffy Ami Yumi’s debut in 1996 scored Cartoon Network its highest-ever kids 2-11 and 6-11 ratings and delivery for an original premiere. In its second week, the new animated series was the network’s top-rated show for kids 6-11, increasing Cartoon Network’s audience among that age group by 49% over the previous year.