Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions Co., Ltd. has recently announced that they have signed an agreement with VIZ Media for the merchandising rights to Fujiko Fujio’s Doraemon franchise, covering the Americas. Both ShoPro and Viz are planning to present the Doraemon franchise at the upcoming Licensing Expo, which is scheduled to take place on June 17 to 19 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
From the official press release:
DORAEMON is one of the most beloved character properties worldwide and started as a manga (graphic novel) series created by Fujiko F. Fujio in 1970. It later became a popular anime series in Japan and product franchise that continues to be smash hit worldwide, especially in Asia. The comedy series depicts the adventures of Doraemon, a blue cat-type robot from the 22nd century traveling back in time to help a boy named Noby using various secret gadgets that comes from his Four-Dimensional Pocket. Episodes often offer simple lessons to young viewers about honesty, cooperation, courage, and respect.
DORAEMON marks its 45th Anniversary in 2015 and continues to be a major worldwide franchise with over $500 million in annual global retail sales and over 600 active licensees. Over 140 million copies of the manga have been published, and DORAEMON also holds the largest box office attendance record in Japan of any movie franchise, toppling Godzilla, with 34 feature films released to-date and over 100 million tickets sold last year alone. The property’s first 3D feature film, Stand By Me Doraemon, is set for release in Japan in August. The Doraemon character is also Tokyo’s bid to act as its Special Ambassador for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.