Spin Master has formally announced Bakugan Battle Planet, the relaunch of their once hugely successful cross-media franchise. The new show is being produced by Spin Master Entertainment, Nelvana and TMS Entertainment. It’ll debut in Canada on Teletoon and in the United States on Cartoon Network this December. An international roll-out will follow in 2019, with the first set of new toys due out early in the year.
The three companies previously collaborated alongside Sega Toys on the original Bakugan animated series, initially announced in 2006. The show and toyline then launched in Japan and Canada the following year, with other markets, like the United States, receiving it in 2008. The property’s success in the west spawned three follow-up seasons with the original series totaling 189 episodes, all directed by Mitsuo Hashimoto. Baku-Tech! Bakugan, a Japan-only CG-animated spin-off shorts series, produced by Shogakukan Music & Digital Entertainment, ran between 2012 and 2013. Prior to this reboot, it was the final piece of new material for the franchise.
In addition to the United States, Cartoon Network has picked up Bakugan Battle Planet for broadcast in Europe, Middle East and Africa, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand. Cartoon Network Enterprises will represent the show’s licensing program in all territories except Asia. Takara Tomy is handling the brand’s reintroduction in Asian markets, while TMS Entertainment is responsible for the distribution of the toys, animated series and related licensing program.
Details on the new series are slim, though Spin Master describes it as:
The animated series follows the adventures of Dan and his best friends, the first kids on Earth to bond with the mysterious alien creatures known as the Bakugan. With storylines themed around friendship, battling and competition combined with a new integrated toy line, Bakugan Battle Planet is anticipated to be one of the biggest and most dynamic franchises yet.
Toronto-area voice actors Jonah Wineberg and Ticoon Kim have landed the roles of Dan and Shun, respectively. Deven Mack has confirmed he’ll be playing Wynton Styles, a character that hasn’t appeared in earlier Bakugan productions.
The first season consists of 50 half hour episodes, or 100 eleven-minute episodes. This is consistent with an earlier statement by Spin Master’s CEO, which said the series would utilize the 11-minute format. Additionally, Bakugan Battle Planet will have short form content produced for online platforms.
Regarding the toyline, Spin Master promises it “will retain the essence of what made the original toys so popular, with exciting new features that bring revolutionary card and app play. Innovative, all-new marble-like balls with ingenious technology instantly transform into multiple collectible characters when rolled over a magnetic card. The game will bring different levels of play, from beginner to advanced, and allow players to compete against multiple opponents. This will offer enhanced collectability due to its wide range of strategy options.”
Starved Brawlers have managed to dig up a number of pieces of art allegedly from the show, including a screenshot that leaked on Instagram, a number of design sheets and character pictures courtesy of YouTuber/Redditor Negative Legend, and even a piece of key art from Spin Master themselves. Here’s a gallery of all that’s been seen so far:
Bakugan.com has been relaunched with as a teaser website, with a countdown set to end on December 1st. It’s not yet clear if that date is the television debut, though it’s likelier to be the day Spin Master gives it a formal reveal. Nevertheless, eager fans can sign up to be a part of the newsletter.
Spin Master originally announced that were developing a Bakugan relaunch in 2015. In the buildup to its debut, the Canadian toy company has initiated lawsuits against competing brands it views as violating its patents. This includes Alpha Group’s Screechers Wild and Mattel/Sono Kong’s Turning Mecard.