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TokyoPop to Launch New Children's Line

Date: 2005 May 24 18:41

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TokyoPop has announced that they will launch a new branch of their successful Cine-Manga line. This July, they will release the first of the new Jr. Cine-Manga books that will, they predict, revolutionize the children’s book market by bringing beloved characters and storylines from the screen to an original exciting visual format.

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TOKYOPOP’s Cine-Manga line are books that take the old technique of using photos and screenshots from popular television shows and movies and arrange them into comic book-style format, complete with text balloons, captions and sound effects. Books already released in this format include "Family Guy", "Malcolm in the Middle", "The Simple Life" and "Power Rangers". TOKYOPOP has also adapted releases from their anime line into this format, starting with "Rave Master".

The Jr. Cine-Manga line will be geared towards children ages 3 to 6, with the intention of enabling these younger readers to more easily make the transition from television to the printed page. "In contrast to most children’s books, which typically rely on flat character illustrations," said TOKYOPOP Senior Editor Elizabeth Hurchalla, "Jr. Cine-Manga books are created with screen captures or on-set photography so the characters look exactly as they do on the television screen. This great feature will help kids immediately connect with them."

The first Jr. Cine-Manga titles to be released will be "Hasbro’s My Little Pony: Friends Are Never Far Away", under the license of Hasbro, Inc., and two "Sesame Street" titles, "Happy, Healthy Monsters" and "Elmo and Zoe Fly a Kite". Both Hasbro, Inc., the company behind such successful toy lines as "G.I. Joe" and "Transformers" in addition to "My Little Pony", and Sesame Workshop, the educational non-profit organization behind "Sesame Street", couldn’t be happier with the new transition.

"TOKYOPOP has done a fantastic job of bringing of bringing Hasbro’s ‘My Little Pony’ brand to life through its Jr. Cine-Manga books," said Tom Klusaritz, Hasbro’s VP Licensing and New Business Development. "With these books, ‘My Little Pony’ fans will have a new way to enjoy their favorite pony characters."

Anna Housley Juster, Director of Content for "Sesame Street", explains that the unique storybook format can promote extended storytelling. "The vivid photographs and printed words evoke the magic of the spoken word and engaging dialogue. As children and caregivers read together, children who are already reading can take on various roles with diverse voices."

There is no word, yet, as to what other titles TOKYOPOP has planned for the new line. Quite possibly, it will all depend on the success of the initial releases. From the way things are predicted by all those involved, the Jr. Cine-Manga line looks to be a new and welcome addition to the world of children’s books.

Source: TokyoPop
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