VIZ Media is expanding its VIZ Kids imprint with the acquisition of licenses for the popular animated properties Hero 108, Pokemon, Mr. Men and Little Miss, Voltron Force and Mameshiba.
The anime and manga company broke down the deal by property as follows:
- Hero 108 – VIZ Kids will be distributing DVDs of this popular series which airs on Cartoon Network. Hero 108 chronicles the battle for peace in the Hidden Kingdom. In addition, VIZ Kids will make the episodes available for download through iTunes. DVDs will be available in May 2011 while downloadable episodes will launch in June 2011.
- Mameshiba – The irresistibly cute and irrepressibly curious Mameshiba are not quite beans, not quite dogs–they’re a hybrid of both! VIZ Kids will release a graphic novel, Mameshiba: On the Loose! and a character guide, Meet Mameshiba, in July 2011.
- Pokemon Black and White — VIZ Kids will release manga, a travel activity kit, and other select merchandise based on the most recent incarnation of the juggernaut Pokemon video game franchise, Pokemon Black Version and Pokemon White Version. Meet all-new Pokemon from the fastest-selling Pokemon video games in history. The travel activity kit will be available in May 2011; Volumes 1 and 2 of the manga will be available in July 2011.
- Mr. Men and Little Miss – Mr. Happy, Little Miss Sunshine and all their Dillydale friends are about to take the graphic novel world by storm! Under the VIZ Kids imprint, VIZ Media will create and distribute original graphic novels starring the lovable Mr. Men and Little Misses. Little Miss Sunshine, Mr. Bump, Mr. Strong and Little Miss Daredevil books will be available in spring 2012.
- Voltron Force – Voltron, the ultimate space adventure from the 1980s, is ready to take the world by storm again! VIZ Kids will produce and distribute original graphic novels based on the all-new animated series Voltron Force, set to debut on Nicktoons this summer. Voltron Force reignites the story of five brave space explorers who pilot mighty robot lions that combine to form Voltron, Defender of the Universe. Joining the team are three new cadets, who have the opportunity of a lifetime to fight alongside their heroes and unlock incredible new powers. Let’s Voltron! The books will be available in spring 2012.
“VIZ Media is excited to expand our kids imprint to include a variety of fun new properties,” said Elizabeth Kawasaki, senior editorial director of VIZ Media. “These new titles use strong storytelling, eye-popping graphics and empowering themes to engage a younger generation of fans.”