Nintendo of America once again is teaming up with 4 Kids Entertainment (NYSE:KDE) to produce a Kirby animated television series to be broadcast Saturday mornings starting on September 14, 2002, on the Fox Kids block programmed by 4Kids. Nintendo and 4 Kids previously partnered to introduce Pokemon(R) to kids around the world outside of Asia.
Kirby, one of the most widely recognized video game characters in the world, has appeared in 15 Nintendo video games to date, including the popular Super Smash Bros. Melee(TM) for NINTENDO GAMECUBE(TM). More than 20 million Kirby games have been sold worldwide since his debut a decade ago in Kirby's Dream Land(R) for Nintendo's Game Boy(R). Nintendo will launch a new Kirby action game for Game Boy Advance this fall, and a NINTENDO GAMECUBE game is already under development.
In the Kirby cartoon series, the well-rounded video game character uses his famous copy ability to take what his opponents dish out and send it back at them. Kirby's unique power is the inspiration for the show's tagline "Kirby: Right Back at Ya!". During the course of the series, Kirby will be transformed into Fire Kirby, Sword Kirby, Block Kirby and more.
"Kirby's television debut marks the natural progression for a Nintendo character that has remained strong and popular around the world," says Gail Tilden, vice president, network marketing, Nintendo of America Inc. "4 Kids' new Saturday morning kids network on Fox, combined with their brand building and licensing expertise, make them the perfect partner for Kirby. We're tickled pink!"
The Kirby entertainment initiative originated in Japan under the guidance of Warpstar, a joint venture company formed by Nintendo Co., Ltd. and Hal Laboratories. Warpstar is responsible for developing the Kirby animation series and managing the property worldwide. The television series debuted in October in Japan on the CBC network.