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PR: Toei Animation Selects FUNimation Entertainment as Agent for "One Piece"

by on February 18, 2008

Toei Animation and FUNimation Bring Popular Pirate Adventure Property to
Toy Fair 2008

FLOWER MOUND, TEXAS (February 18, 2008) – Tokyo-based Toei Animation Co., Ltd. has appointed FUNimation Entertainment, as Agent, to act on its behalf in North American licensing and merchandising activities for one if its signature series: One Piece.

In addition to managing home entertainment and theatrical distribution for the animated pirate adventure series and its films, FUNimation Entertainment is currently securing major partners within all key categories of licensing, including toys and games and collectible figures based on the characters and styling of the series.

Said Kanji Kazahaya, director of the international department for Toei Animation: “FUNimation is the recognized leader in the brand management and distribution of the most prominent brands in anime entertainment. We are delighted to join them in the launch of a new era of One Piece.”

One Piece is currently in its third season, airing Saturday nights as part of Cartoon Network’s “Toonami” block. The series chronicles the adventures of a young boy who has vowed to become the king of the pirates and find the greatest pirate treasure of all– the pirate Gold Roger’s legendary “One Piece.”

The first FUNimation released One Piece DVD hits shelves during Toy Fair. Following an exclusive run in 98 theatres nationwide, One Piece Movie 8 — the Desert Princess and the Pirates Adventures in Alabasta will be available on DVD on February 19th. The first FUNimation dubbed television series episodes will be released on DVD in May.

One Piece ranks among the hottest properties in Japan , with graphic novels having sold more than 100 million copies in 33 volumes. It has gained a wide fan base in the United States through the monthly Shonen Jump magazine, as well as graphic novels released by VIZ, LLC. The property also boasts theatrical releases, video games and more than $ 1 billion in retail sales in Japan since 1999, with more than 70 licensees producing toys, games, apparel, stationery, home furnishings, collectibles and more.

About FUNimation Entertainment
FUNimation® Entertainment, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Navarre Corporation, is the leading company for Japanese animation in the United States . FUNimation is known for acquiring top-rated anime series from Japan and for being the market share leader for home video sales of anime in the United States . The company has a proven formula for launching and advancing brands, and manages a full spectrum of rights for most of its brands including broadcasting, licensing, production, internet, and home video sales and distribution.

About Toei Animation Co., Ltd.
With headquarters in Tokyo and sales offices in Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Paris, Toei Animation Co., Ltd. (http:https://www.toei-anim.co.jp or http:https://corp.toei-anim.co.jp/english/, and Jasdaq: 4816) ranks amongst the world’s most prolific animation production studios. Toei Animation’s operations include animation development and production, and worldwide marketing and program licensing. Since it’s founding in 1956, Toei Animation has produced more than 9,000 episodes of TV series (189 titles) and 172 long feature films as of March, 2007.

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