Sandy Frank Ent. Forms New Company Around Battle of the Planets

New York-based Sandy Frank Ent. has established Battle of the Planets Inc., a wholly-owned company dedicated to furthering the Battle of the Planets brand worldwide. Sandy Frank will serve as chairman and Sandy Frank Ent. exec. VP Phil Oldham will head up the new company as president.

The Battle of the Planets series began as a spin-off of the legendary 1970s Japanese TV show Science Ninja Team Gatchaman. It continues to reign among the top animated properties worldwide. The U.S. release of the Battle of the Planets series recently premiered as the No.1 selling anime video in the country. Rhino Home Video announced plans for a major boxed set to launch this June.

The new company will serve to support development of television, feature film, publishing, home video, video game, merchandising and licensing efforts. In addition to Rhino Home Video, partners include Top Cow Comics, action figure producer Diamond Select and book publisher Simon & Schuster. Dynamic Forces will handle trading cards, lithographs, lunch boxes and T-shirts.

A new Battle of the Planets animated series is now in production for delivery in the Fall of 2003. The 53 half-hour episodes will combine all-new animation and with animation from the original Gatchaman series. Also in the works is a new package of eight Battle of the Planets features and a feature-length special titled Battle of the Planets: The New Exploits of G Force. The special is being produced by award-winning Vancouver-based animation facility Ocean Prods.