Kick-ass chickens. Ninja chimps. And did we mention dimwitted baddie Bubba, who happens to be an albino gorilla? These are just a few denizens of the wacky world of Chop Socky Chooks, a new CGI series in line to power up Cartoon Network’s 2006/2007 season. And State-side licensing agent Geneon Entertainment is looking for licensees with equally creative products to support a broad-reaching boys merch program for the property.
Wallace & Gromit creative shop Aardman Animations has teamed up with Cartoon Network Europe and Toronto, Canada’s Decode Entertainment to co-produce this 52 x 11-minute series for boys six to 11. Set in a suburban shopping center called Wasabi World, the toon follows along as teen chickens Chuckie Chan, K.O. Joe and Chick Pea keep mall owner Dr. Wasabi’s diabolical schemes for taking over the world in check – morphing from run-of-the-mill mall employees into kung-fu masters to do so. Along with Bubba and Wasabi’s ninja chimp sidekicks, the trio also has to defeat cyber samurais, killer robots and the Iron Butt Monk.
Geneon director of licensing Rand Brenner expects to draw heavily on his company’s experience in distributing and licensing older-skewing anime properties such as Gankutsuou and R.O.D. the TV. Right now, Chop Socky Chooks’ dance card is wide open, and Brenner’s on the prowl for master toy and apparel partners to kick things off in the U.S. Meanwhile, Aardman will be locking down worldwide interactive and publishing licensees. Back-to-school, stationery, domestics, room décor, gift and trading card licensees are also on Brenner’s hitlist.
In toys, Brenner sees a lot of opportunity to create playsets based on the cavernous mall. The three chooks and cast of villains should also drive a strong collectible figure line, and the ninja chimps could translate well into bendable figures. Brenner plans to take a streetwear approach to apparel – touching on fringe products like skateboards and helmets – to showcase the property’s edgier design and attitude.