Dentsu acquires US toy brand Chub City

MUMBAI: Global marketing and communications organisation Dentsu has entered into an agreement to acquire US toy brand Chub City.

This is a line of street-savvy figural characters and vehicles originally created and currently marketed by Jada Toys. The announcement was made by Dentsu director, media services/tv division Yoshio Takada and Dentsu subsidiary DCI Los Angeles (DCI-LA) senior VP Yuma Sakata.

Chub City will be developed for an animated television series by Dentsu in conjunction with DCI-LA. Mitsuharu Inoue will serve as creative director. Inoue is the producer of the hit animated series, Bakugan Battle Brawlers, a Japanese animated series airing on Cartoon Network which is based upon a toy line.

Also planned for Chub City is an extensive new licensing program. Dentsu will own the intellectual property and will manage ongoing interests in the brand with DCI-LA.

Takada said, "This acquisition is an ideal fit for our strategy with DCI- LA, which is to create animation for a global market by working with intellectual properties and development partners in North America while designing characters and animating through studios in Japan."

Sakata added, "The established character personalities and car customization aspects of Chub City have set-up a great story, and we are very excited to have someone of Mr. Inoue‘s caliber joining the team at the outset, to conceptualize an ongoing TV series while also growing the toy opportunities in an organic way."

The Chub City crew of characters and their distinctive chubbed vehicles can now be found in 12 global retailers reaching 11,000 locations worldwide. In two years, the brand generated over $20 million in retail sales.

The Chub City brand was first created by Jada Toys to appeal to an aspirational demographic - kids who are inspired by music, art, and the car culture, but who are not yet ready to drive. The highly stylized and slightly edgy characters spend their time tricking out their dream cars, skateboarding, playing basketball, creating art and rapping in Chub City.

The toys launched in 2005. Jada Toys president May Li says, "Our Chub City line has become a favorite for boys around the world. Our radio- controlled vehicles continue to be the top-seller in its category at retail, so there is clearly a demand for more from Chub City. Dentsu and DCI-LA, with its extensive development, production and distribution capabilities, will be able to take the property to the next level, and will be the best new home for this property."

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