o.o.... It was considered, and mentioned previously in the first BulbaCast but.... damned if I ever gave full serious thought to it actually happening..PPN said:Pokémon USA Moves Licensing In-House In 2006
4Kids Entertainment Inc., which licenses entertainment names and personalities aimed at children, on Friday said it would not renew its license to the Japanese cartoon character Pokemon once it expires at the end of this year. 4Kids Entertainment Inc.
Pokemon USA Inc., a subsidiary of Japan's Pokemon Co., will oversee all Pokemon licensing outside of Asia starting next year, 4Kids said in a statement. The decision to move the licensing activity in-house was a brand management decision, it added.
Full Press Release:
4Kids Entertainment To Transition Its Representation Of Pokémon
NEW YORK (December 23, 2005) - 4Kids Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: KDE) and Pokémon USA, Inc., announced today that they have agreed not to renew the Pokémon representation agreement set to expire on December 31, 2005. Beginning in 2006, Pokémon USA, Inc.’s in-house licensing group will handle all Pokémon licensing outside of Asia.Pokemon USA
“We felt it was in the best interest of the Pokémon property for Pokémon USA, Inc., to assume all aspects of licensing,” said Akira Chiba, President of Pokémon USA, Inc. “This was a brand management decision. We would like to thank 4Kids for all of its great work over the last eight years in helping to establish Pokémon as one of the leading children’s brands in the world.”
“4Kids has had a successful eight-year exclusive relationship with the Pokémon property that will be expiring at year end,” said Alfred R. Kahn, Chairman and CEO of 4Kids Entertainment. “Over the next month, 4Kids will assist Pokémon USA, Inc., in its transition to in-house representation. We wish Pokémon USA much success going forward.”
Under the terms of the expiring Pokémon USA, Inc. - 4Kids representation agreement, 4Kids will continue to receive commissions for the next several years on payments made under existing Pokémon license agreements whose term expires after December 31, 2005. It is expected that commissions earned by 4Kids from the Pokémon property will decline over the course of the next several years. 4Kids will also continue next year to produce the current eighth season of Pokémon television episodes.
4Kids said it will still receive commissions over the next several years from existing Pokemon license deals that will expire after Dec. 31, 2005, but said commissions from Pokemon are expected to decline over the next several years.
Pokemon, first launched in Japan in 1996 on Nintendo's Game Boy video game console, was introduced in North America in 1998. The character has generated over $25 billion in worldwide retail sales, fueled by playing cards, a television show and other merchandise. 4Kids held the Pokemon license for eight years.