In an email conversation with fellow Toonbarn staff Neil, I was told that a lot of people still come to this site looking for info on 4Kids.
To me, it’s not a surprise. A lot of companies die out, leaving the products behind to other owners. 4Kids’s bankruptcy in reality left a gaping hole that exposed a lot of things in the process.
The biggest thing it exposed? That the way animation is distributed in the country for the last several decades has been disrupted forever, and if such entries as Netflix and others go by the way side, most of the animation industry in the US would be flushed down the drain.
All 4Kids bankruptcy did was to showcase how much collusion was in not only the return of Saban back to Saturday morning, but in a weird way, showcased the bigger wage scandal Hollywood’s animated studios were doing (to be fair, 4Kids and Saban were doing the same things in different ways and this was because one side didnt get is bailout money and the other had just restarted the company after being away for a while.)
But I think what was lost in the whole thing is that 4Kids did do some amazing things with the limited funds they did have and also gave some of the ideas of having their own Ad Agency (they were once Leisure Creations back in the 1970s and still had that appperatiaus) which now Illumination studios does with its movies and its advertising. One of the reasons why these companies are starting to use this concept is because it may be more advantageous (especially with all the issues with the Youtube influencers and so on) to control the ads the product is based on in order to sell other people products on. 4Kids did this with Yugi-Oh and Nintendo many times and so on. It going to increase as the ad men lose more and more control of their influence – and as this election has proved, the ad men and their companies have bitten more than they can chew.
But I could talk more about these things about 4Kids. I rather let you who have been coming here to Toon Barn looking for more information about 4Kids, to tell me what we need to discuss and to explain in better detail. I have other projects that I do need to finish, but since I have pretty much found a home here, i want you folks to help me. Keep sending suggestions to Neil, and on the comments below or Toon Barns Growing Message Board. I will do my best to help explain what I know and to give better context to these questions.
Thanks, and watch for more articles on 4Kids and other topics soon…