Speed Racer Deals Cross Finish Line

Speed Racer Ent. announced that his has closed a slate of new licensing agreements for the classic Speed Racer animated television series and the new cartoon show Speed Racer: The Next Generation, which is scheduled to premiere on Nicktoons Network in 2008. The deals with Jada Toys, ES Originals, Senario, Unique Industries and Innovative Designs will see a variety of toy vehicles, video games, footwear, apparel, stationary and other consumer products hit the market in time for the property’s re-launch on both the small and big screens.

Jada Toys has licensed the classic Speed Racer brand and plans to produce die-cast vehicles, battery-operated remote-control vehicles, pull-back vehicles, vinyl figures and die-cast key chains. The company will begin to roll out product in the first quarter of 2008.

ES Originals will produce a line of children’s footwear including athletic, non-athletic, slippers, boots and sandals, as well as a variety of bags including backpacks, mini backpacks, rolling bags, luggage, totes and lunch bags. The company will also create small leather goods and all hosiery for both incarnations of the animated franchise. Fans can also look for them at retail in the first quarter of 2008.

Senario, an emerging player in the design of electronic toys, has been tapped to produce plug ‘n play video games with inflatable interfaces for the ’60s series, with an option for Speed Racer: The Next Generation as well. The games will be available to consumers worldwide in the second quarter of 2008.

Unique Industries a will design an entire line of party goods for the classic Speed Racer brand, including paper party ware, party hats, blowouts, loot bags, invitations, thank you notes, party packs, latex and foil balloons, assorted party favors, decorative accessories and pi’atas. The company also has an option on Speed Racer: The Next Generation and will begin releasing product in January of 2008.

Innovative Designs’s Speed Racer school supplies will include stationary, portfolios, theme-books, composition books, memo pads, fat books, legal pads, assignment books, agendas, die-cut memos, sticky notepads, binders, pencil cases, book covers, pencils, pens, erasers, rulers, markers and magnets. Kids can look for them in April of 2008.

Speed Racer made its debut in 1967 in Japan and was dubbed into English and syndicated on U.S. television. Speed Racer: The Next Generation aims to rev up 6-14-year-old viewers as a new hotshot arrives at the Racing Academy and discovers that he is the son of the world famous Speed Racer, who had gone missing many years ago. Lionsgate is producing 26 episodes and will launch the series in time to benefit from publicity surrounding the live-action movie, which is written and directed by Matrix creators Larry and Andy Wachowski. The film is slated to hit theaters on May 9, 2008.