Fox Family Worldwide is introducing two new properties at this year’s Toy Fair. Cyber 9, a 2-D/3-D Fox Kids animated series based on a premise from former Lucasfilm staff, is also in development for fall. The futuristic series features a coming-of-age story, and Bandai America will launch action figures, vehicles and role-playing toys at retail in September.
Following a deal signed with NASCAR last June to develop NASCAR’s kid-targeted initiatives, Fox Kids and Saban Entertainment are creating an animated TV series that will launch in the fall. The series will be supported with a toy line from the property’s master toy licensee Hasbro. The partners are promoting the property at Toy Fair, but Hasbro will not be showing product. The toys are slated to hit shelves in spring 2000.
The Fox Kids live-action series Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog is beginning a new batch of episodes this month called Mystic Knights Battle Fury. The show has also been renewed for a second season, and will be renamed Mystic Knights Battle Thunder for the fall. Mystic Knights master toy licensee Bandai America is developing new lines of toys for the property’s two new incarnations, which will launch simultaneously with the series. McDonald’s is on board for a Happy Meal promotion in May, and Campbell’s will offer 10 million cans of Spaghettios with Mystic Knights-shaped pasta at the end of this month and throughout spring. Fox Video will also be releasing a Mystic Knights home video feature this spring.
The Power Rangers TV series, in its sixth season, is also getting a facelift this month, to be known as Power Rangers Lost Galaxy. ‘This annual evolution of the show has proven to be a strategy that really works,’ says Elie Dekel, executive VP of consumer products at Fox Family Worldwide. ‘It revitalizes the product at retail [and] the show on television.’ The new storyline allows Power Rangers master toy licensee Bandai America to bring out a new line of toys, which debut at FAO Schwarz in New York City on February 9. The property will be supported by the Toy Fair launch of an inflatable balloon tour of Wal-Mart stores in more than 30 North American markets. A national sweepstakes on Fox Kids in February will offer one kid a balloon galaxy party in his or her hometown. Power Rangers will also be celebrating its 300th episode this month.
In other Bandai America-related Toy Fair news, the company will be introducing Dinozaurs, an original direct-to-video series from sister company Sunrise in Japan. The series debuted in Japan over the holiday season, and Bandai will be distributing the videos and toys at retail in September. Bandai is also growing in the vidgame biz, with four to six titles for Sony PlayStation and Sega Dreamcast slated for each year. Bandai is also still distributing the Yomega yo-yo line.