Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S20


COVER STORY
establishing the franchise here using best-in-class partners,
from both a content and a product standpoint. The TV
series on Disney XD, manga series from VIZ Media, video
game from Nintendo and toy line from Hasbro are being
released in a tightly coordinated manner, creating great
cross-fertilization for our licensed product at retail."
LEVEL-5 Inc., the Japanese entertainment company
that owns and markets the brand there, this year formed a
joint venture with Dentsu Inc. to expand the brand in North
America. The recently announced entity, LEVEL-5 abby
Inc., retained Evolution as the brand management agency to
oversee the brand with licensees, retailers and promotional
partners across the United States and Canada. "Our goal is to
effectively and strategically monetize the brand by bringing
in all the relevant licensing partners, managing all the operational aspects of a licensing program and driving the retail
development efforts across North America," Rutherford says.

A Strong Foundation
Disney XD in early October began airing the series,
which revolves around a young boy named Nate who

20

RETAIL-MERCHANDISER.COM

November/December 2015

"

The property's owners
are establishing the
franchise here using
best-in-class content
and retail partners.

"

obtains a special watch that enables him to interact with
mysterious and mischievous beings known as Yo-kai.
When he befriends one of the Yo-kai, he is awarded a Yokai Medal that he can place in the watch to summon that
Yo-kai when needed. These friendly beings are often called
upon to solve everyday problems - many of which are
caused by other Yo-kai. The series is distinguished from
"Pokémon" and other Japanese animated predecessors in
its use of humor instead of an action/adventure-based
approach, Rutherford notes.
With 26 half-hour episodes of YO-KAI WATCH
committed to air, Evolution is building on a solid
foundation of licensing efforts that mirror
and expand on those ongoing in its
home country.
Three core licensees were in place
when Evolution began its work: Hasbro, the global master toy licensee (outside of Asia); Nintendo, the YO-KAI
WATCH video game publisher outside
of Japan; and VIZ Media, which is localizing and re-publishing the manga series that originally
appeared in Japan. "With these three anchors in place and
TV air slots confirmed, we went into the marketplace and
discussed opportunities with other license partners in all
of the key classifications," Rutherford says.
The first YO-KAI WATCH video game and first
issue of the comic book series are scheduled to release
in November 2015. Hasbro's toy line will closely follow,
with toys expected to hit shelves in January 2016. The toy
line includes a watch that can be used to hold and display
collectible medals, which will be sold in a blind bag format
similar to trading cards. The line will include 200 medals,
one for each of the Yo-kai characters appearing either in
the show's first season or the first video game title. The
second watch and additional collectible medals corresponding to future show characters and additional core
toys are planned to be launched in fall 2016.
"The wide range of characters in the first season of the


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015

Contents
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - SCover1
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - SCover2
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - Contents
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S2
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S3
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S4
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S5
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S6
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S7
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S8
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S9
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S10
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S11
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S12
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S13
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S14
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S15
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S16
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S17
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S18
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S19
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S20
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S21
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S22
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S23
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S24
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S25
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S26
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S27
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S28
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S29
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S30
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S31
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S32
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S33
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S34
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S35
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S36
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S37
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S38
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S39
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S40
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S41
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S42
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S43
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S44
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S45
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S46
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S47
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S48
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S49
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S50
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2015 - S51
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