MANCHESTER, UK - 5th FEBRUARY 2009 - Connect2Media, the multi-platform entertainment company, has reached an agreement in principle with 4Kids Entertainment International and Artlist, Inc. to license the worldwide (outside of Asia) rights to "Artlist Collection: The Dog" for content on mobile devices.
Launched in Japan in 2000, "The Dog" has quickly become a global licensing phenomenon, accounting for $300 million in sales revenue to date. Distinguished by a unique "fish eye" photographic style, the collection is comprised of over 100,000 images spanning 70 breeds, photographed with its trademark 70:30 head-to-body ratio. Since the property's introduction in the UK, the range of "The Dog" licensed products has expanded to include plush, online greeting cards, mobile phone and mp3 accessories, video games, bags, wallets, nightwear, collectables, bedding, housewares, Top Trumps, publishing and one of the most successful partwork magazines in the UK.
"The Dog" also has a strategic charity alliance with the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), Britain's leading veterinary charity providing free veterinary services for the sick and injured pets of people in need. A proportion of royalty revenue from sales featuring "The Dog", or its companion licence "The Cat", goes to the charity.
"The Dog is a very strong franchise and we are delighted to be able to bring it to mobile," said Connect2Media CEO Eric Hobson. "The unique aesthetic of the licence combined with its universal appeal makes it an attractive proposition in the 'virtual pet' category, a sector that is sparsely populated in the mobile world. The licence also takes the Connect2Media catalogue to a wider demographic than ever before and is bound to appeal to a younger, female consumer base."
"We are very happy to be working with Connect2Media to bring The Dog to a global mobile audience," said, Sandra Vauthier-Cellier, Managing Director, 4Kids Entertainment International. "Their track record of handling world classbrands, both in creating content and distributing this globally, gives us total confidence."
The acquisition of "The Dog" licence is one of a series of high profile acquisitions and products that will be announced by Connect2Media in the next few months.