Tuesday, July 14, 2009

TV News: Cartoon Network Enterprises Knows the Secret to Its Success, Adding New Launch Partners for The Secret Saturdays

Hybrid Tees and Random House Join Mattel, D3Publisher and Warner Home Video as Launch Partners for Hit Fantasy-Adventure Series with Products Rolling Out at Retail this Summer

The secret is out: Cartoon Network Enterprises (CNE) has assembled an impressive team of launch partners for the upcoming consumer products debut of the hit fantasy-adventure series, The Secret Saturdays. Thelicensing and merchandising arm of the kids’ cable network announced today that Hybrid Tees and Random House will join Mattel, D3Publisher and Warner Home Video, to round out a robust, fully-immersive consumer products launch for the popular Cartoon Network original series that will launch at retail starting this summer. Hybrid Tees will create a line of boys
t-shirts and sweatshirts drawing upon the main characters and Crypids made popular in the series, with product launching in time for this holiday season across all tiers of retail. Additionally, building on an existing relationship with its Del Ray Manga imprint, a full publishing program featuring chapter books, activity books and a Cryptid field journal will be released by Random House.

“There is a great deal of excitement and anticipation surrounding the retail launch of The Secret Saturdays this summer,” said Christina Miller, vice president, CNE. “Our strategy for the brand was to create an immersive program that gives fans the true Saturdays’ experience to battle, collect and discover and with the partners we have on board, we have done just that.”
As master toy partner for The Secret Saturdays, Mattel, Inc. willmanufacture, market and sell a wide range of toys inspired by the new series, including action figures, playsets, role-play items, and more. Available at mass retailers starting this summer, key items in the line include:

- Secret Saturdays Zak's Cryptipedia – The ultimate Secret Saturday accessory for Cryptid hunters is the handheld Cryptipedia. Kids can unlock secret facts about the Cryptid collectables and action figures - just like Zak! The action becomes more intense when the Cryptipedia is used as a tracking device to find nearby invisible Cryptids. Each Cryptipedia includes an exclusive Komodo figure with collectable card. (ARP: $29.99; Ages 4 and up)

* - The Secret Saturdays Cryptid Claw – Battle mysterious Cryptids with the power of Zak Saturday’s life-sized Cryptid Claw, just like the one he uses on the show. Kids can make the Claw extend to over 2 feet and pick up Cryptid figures. The specially designed Claw features flashing LED lights and cool battle sounds that capture the excitement and adventure of the hit animated show. (ARP: $19.99; Ages 4 and up)
* - The Secret Saturdays Fire Sword – Watch out Argost! With this role play item, kids can get in on the action and play as Zak Saturday using the Fire Sword, as he unlocks the secret fire! With three pop-out "flames" and battle sounds, young cryptozologists are sure to scare off Argost and protect mankind! (ARP: $14.99; Ages 4 and up)
* - The Secret Saturdays Action Figure and Cryptid Assortments – Kids can re-enact the fantasy adventures of the Saturdays with a wide assortment of articulated hero and villain characters. Each figure is battle ready with its own unique weapon or accessory and comes equipped with a collectable card which can be used with Zak's Cryptipedia handheld accessory for exciting action and adventure. The hero assortment debuts with Zak, Doc, Munya and more while the Cryptid assortment launches with Zon, Naga, Amarok and others. (6” Action Figure Assortment ARP: $8.99; 4” Cryptid Assortment ARP: $4.99; Ages 3 and up)

This fall, D3Publisher will release the first interactive title for the brand with THE SECRET SATURDAYS: BEASTS OF THE 5TH SUN for Wii™, PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Nintendo DS™, and PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system. In THE SECRET SATURDAYS: BEASTS OF THE 5TH SUN, players will adventure through 10 action-packed levels ranging from dangerous jungles to lost undersea cities to collect and interact with more than 30 never-before-seen Cryptids. Playing as Zak Saturday and the rest of the Saturday family, players will navigate through fun puzzle elements to locate hidden Cryptids and discover new paths as they fight recognizable enemies from the show including Van Rook, Piecemeal, Munya and the evil V.V. Argost.

Today’s announcement of a full publishing program from Random House is an extension of an existing partnership with CNE and the publisher’s Del Rey Manga imprint to release two titles. Debuting this fall, The Secret Saturdays film-comic will feature detailed, full-color stills straight from the animated series and will be rated for all ages. Del Rey Manga will also publish an original black and white, manga-inspired graphic novel based on the series, which reaches stores in Fall 2010, while under this extended deal, Random House will add to chapter and activity books as well as a Cryptid field journal and more to the brand’s publishing program.

Finally, Warner Home Video will debut five episodes from the television series’ first season with the DVD release of The Secret Saturdays - Volume 1 on July 21st. With a suggested retail price of $14.98, the DVD will contain a mix of bonus features including deleted scenes, a photo gallery and animatics.

From creator Jay Stephens and producer Fred Schaefer, The Secret Saturdays is produced at Porchlight Entertainment in Los Angeles, Calif. The character-rich and content-driven series launched on Cartoon Network in October and has emerged as a favorite among boys 6-11 in the network’s fantasy/adventure programming block on Friday nights. New episodes of The Secret Saturdays air on Cartoon Network on Friday nights at 8:30 p.m. (ET/PT) as the lead-in to the top-rated Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series.

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