Yu Yu Hakusho gets in the game
Falling under the category of sticking with what works, Score Entertainment and FUNimation Productions are turning popular anime property Yu Yu Hakusho into a trading card game à la Pokémon or Yu-Gi-Oh! Slated for a September release, Yu Yu Hakusho starter packs (US$10.99) will come with a deck, character pack, play mat, rule book, card list and guided game. Booster packs will retail for US$2.99. It’s familiar territory for the two companies, which teamed up in 2000 for the Dragon Ball Z collectible card game (CCG). Following its eighth expansion line, Dragon Ball Z remains one of the top five best-selling CCGs in North America. In its first week in Cartoon Network’s Toonami block in March, Yu Yu Hakusho surpassed anime juggernaut Dragon Ball Z with a 5.2 rating among boys ages six to 11. ‘There is definitely juice behind this property,’ says Chaz Elliott, Score Entertainment’s VP of creative.
Virgin banks on singles to revive music sales
With kids getting into pop music at a younger age, Virgin Entertainment Group is hoping that reviving the good old-fashioned single will offer a less expensive alternative for younger consumers. The company, which claims its Virgin Megastore chain is the only major retailer that has maintained a full-fledged singles department, is spearheading a movement to encourage the recording industry to go back to the once-venerated format. Virgin has also pledged considerable space for singles in all of its 23 Megastores and is hosting a Save the Single nationwide promotion offering two singles (from a selection of more than 70 titles) for US$10.
Penguin hatches a new book imprint for young readers
The Penguin Young Readers Group is introducing a yet-to-be-named start-up imprint, which will be primarily devoted to fiction series and media-based trend books in both hardcover and paperback. Spearheaded by Eloise Flood, the former publisher of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, the imprint will have its own dedicated managerial, editorial and design staffs. Its first titles, which were still being determined at press time, are scheduled to roll out in early 2004.