In the wake of Zak Storm—Super Pirate‘s premiere on Discover Family US this fall, global independent animation studio ZAG has been aiming to better connect with the show’s target demo, boys ages six to 11. And as the toon makes its American Netflix premiere today, ZAG and global master toy partner Bandai America have launched a connected play experience that intertwines the TV show and toys with a new mobile game.
Created by ZAG (Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir) and Man of Action Entertainment (Big Hero 6, Ben 10), Zak Storm—Super Pirate is a 39 x 22-minute CGI-animated series that follows the adventures of a normal kid who is swept into the Bermuda Triangle during a surfing competition.
The brand’s free-to-play iOS, Android and Kindle app Zak Storm—Super Pirate syncs with small-screen battles to unlock game play and provide players with digital rewards. Additionally, all physical toys from Bandai come with collectible treasures that provide digital in-game rewards through unique QR codes. The toys will be available exclusively in the US through Amazon this month before expanding to Toys “R” Us in December and Target in January. Bandai’s line includes action figures, vehicles, playsets and dress up/roleplay products like Zak’s Calabrass Sword (US$14.99).
“Everything that we’re seeing in this boys segment is something that’s being rebooted. We think we are in a unique position with Zak Storm being an original concept, ” says Andre Lake Mayer, ZAG Animation Studio president of global brand strategy and consumer products. “So we are really putting a huge push behind the whole experiential aspect of the Zak Storm—Super Pirate brand. The idea is that we want kids to be able to experience the character, the adventure and the coming-of-age story through the multiple platforms.”
Beyond the “digital trifecta” launching today, ZAG has also signed a number of licensing agreements for the property. Licensees include Panini (magazines, trading cards, collectibles), Palamon (costumes), Editorial Planeta (publishing) and Gründ (publishing).
“Publishing will be a big part of the first phase of the consumer products program,” Lake Mayer says. “Phase two will focus more on lifestyle products, and we’ll be moving into things like fashion apparel and back-to-school. One of the big areas we’re pushing into is sporting toys, with things like skateboards and beach gear.”
In addition to Discovery Family US, a number of global broadcasting partners currently air the series including Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KidsClick TV (US), Discovery Kids Latin America, Family CHRGD and TVA’s Yoopa (Canada), Canal J (France), Gulli (France), POP (UK), Clan TV (Spain), Canal Panda (Spain), Canal Panda (Portugal), RTS (Switzerland), Super! (Italy) and RTL Telekids (Netherlands).
Additional broadcasters will debut the series at the end of 2017 and into 2018 like Super RTL (Germany), MTV 3 (Finland), SIC (Portugal), Ouf Tivi (Belgium), VTM/KZoom (Belgium), MNC (Indonesia), Mediacorp (Singapore), India’s Discovery and Zoom (Israel). According to Lake Mayer, pre-production has already started on new episodes.