(June 12, 2001 – Burbank, CA) – Kids’ WB!, the #1 broadcast network for kids, and 4Kids Entertainment (NYSE: KDE), a global provider of children’s entertainment, have joined forces to bring Japan’s hottest new animé series, “YU-GI-OH!” to kids in the United States on Saturday mornings beginning this fall. The announcement was made today by Donna Friedman, Executive Vice President, Kids’ WB!, and Al Kahn, Chairman and CEO of 4Kids Entertainment. “We are thrilled to be working once again with the creative team that brought ‘Pokémon’ to Kids’ WB!,” said Ms. Friedman. “4Kids Entertainment and the ‘YU-GI-OH!’ consortium in Japan are bringing us – and kids in the U.S. – the next hit animé-adventure series. ‘YU-GI-OH!’ will make a great addition to our top-rated fall line-up.” “We are delighted to join with Kids’ WB! in introducing ‘YU-GI-OH!’ to U.S. audiences,” said Mr. Kahn. “We are confident this extraordinary property will find enthusiastic acceptance among kids in the U.S.” “YU-GI-OH!,” based on the comic book series, follows the adventures of Yugi, a smaller than average high school student — and an easy target for bullies. When his grandfather, a local game shop manager, gives him an ancient Egyptian riddle called the “Millennium Puzzle,” and Yugi pieces it together, he unexpectedly becomes the powerful “Game King,” an alter-ego. When Yugi gets into sticky situations, the “Game King” takes over and protects Yugi and his friends. The game is on…as Yugi plays games to defeat his monster rivals. Kids’ WB!, jointly launched “Pokémon” with 4Kids Entertainment on network television in February 1999 with record-breaking success in the U.S. With this success, 4Kids Entertainment was tapped by “YU-GI-OH!” author, Kazuki Takahashi to exclusively manage the property’s entire licensing program in the U.S. and across the international marketplace outside of Asia. Together, they now join forces, once again, to bring all “Pokémon” fans another adventure-filled series with strong friendships, teamwork and strategic mastering skills, presented in a sophisticated style of Japanese animation. Currently in Japan and airing on TV Tokyo, “YU-GI-OH!” is a top-rated animated television series produced by NAS (Nihon Ad Systems, Inc.). The multi-media property is also in high demand with such products as videogames, card games and licensed products that have reached more than $2 billion in revenues. To date, publisher Shueisha has sold over 23 million comics and video games created by Konami have sold 7 million copies for PlayStation and Game Boy platforms, in addition to the 3.5 billion “YU-GI-OH!” cards that have been sold. Now ready to take on the U.S., 4Kids Entertainment kicks-off the New York Licensing Show with today’s formal introduction of the eagerly anticipated property. Kids’ WB!, a leader in kids’ television, is the children’s programming service of The WB Network. The network has set precedent with its innovative and diverse 2000-2001 programming schedule and is the #1 broadcast network for the second consecutive season. Kids’ WB! brings viewers this season’s breakout hits “Jackie Chan Adventures,” “Pokémon: The Johto Journeys,” “Static Shock,” the all-original series “X-Men: Evolution,” along with the new mid-season series “The Zeta Project.” The network also brings viewers the returning highly-rated hits “Pokémon,” “Cardcaptors,” “Batman Beyond,” “Men In Black: The Series,” “Max Steel” and other Kids’ WB! favorites. Kids can find more on Kids’ WB!’s web site at www.KidsWB.com. Headquartered in New York City with international offices in London, 4Kids Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: KDE) is a global provider of children's entertainment and merchandise licensing. 4Kids, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, provides domestic and international merchandise licensing and product development, television, film, music and home video production and distribution, media buying and planning and website development. For further information, please visit the company's web site at www.4KidsEnt.com.
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