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TV GAMES SCORES THREE BIG LICENSES

Jakks Pacific's self-contained video game will feature Star Wars, Batman, and The Incredible Hulk.

By Rudy Panucci, for Mastercollector.com

TV Games, by Jakks Pacific is one of the hottest-selling new electronic toys of the year. The TV Games unit is a plug and play gaming system that contains multiple games in one single controller. All that you need are batteries and a TV -- no videogame consoles or gaming cartridges are required. At around twenty dollars apiece, they offer several great retro-styled video games for less than half the cost of most popular gaming cartridges and discs. So far they've released TV Games featuring classic Atari 2600 and Intellivision games along with games from NAMCO (Pac Man) and licensed SpongeBob SquarePants unit.

The major selling point is the simplicity and the price. You simply plug the TV Games unit into the A/V jacks of any standard television set, turn it on and play! The lightweight, compact, all-inclusive controller houses a combination of videogames with all of the hardware built right in. This technology allows gaming fans to enjoy a number of videogames with just one single purchase. Those who marvel at miniaturization will be astounded at how all the hardware and software that used to take up a table top, back in the old days of Atari and Colecovision, now fits in a tiny package housed INSIDE a joystick.

At the annual Licensing Show last week, Jakks Pacific announced three new licenses, which will begin showing up as TV Games next year. They've cut deals with Lucasfilm Ltd, for Star Wars; Warner Consumer Products, for DC Comics and Scooby Doo; and Marvel, which gives them access to the entire Marvel Characters' library.

First up, just a few weeks ago Jakks Pacific announced that TV Games are slated to be developed based on all films in the Star Wars saga -- A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and the upcoming Star Wars: Episode III.

"We are pleased to be working with Lucasfilm on such an exciting franchise. Star Wars is firmly entrenched in American pop culture while having worldwide appeal," said Stephen Berman, president and COO, JAKKS Pacific, Inc. "The incredible longevity of the brand fits perfectly with JAKKS' strategy of aligning the TV Games line with brands with staying power."

According to Howard Roffman, President, Lucas Licensing Ltd , "We are very pleased that JAKKS Pacific has chosen Star Wars to expand its enormously popular TV Games line . We hope that the Star Wars TV Games products will bring Star Wars gaming to an even broader audience of kids."

The Star Wars TV Games line-up is slated to launch in Fall 2005, and each game is expected to retail for approximately $20.00.

On June 8th, Jakks announced that they has just signed another big new deal for TV Games. The company has signed a worldwide licensing agreement with Warner Bros. Consumer Products to produce multiple TV Games products, based on "Superman", "Batman", "Justice League", and "Scooby-Doo".

"'Superman,' 'Batman,' 'Justice League' and 'Scooby-Doo' continue to be some of the most beloved classic properties around the world, and we are pleased to add the premiere brands to our TV Games line-up," said Berman. "We are confident that the vast fan base for the Warner Bros. Entertainment characters will be excited about the new line of TV Games products."

"The JAKKS' TV Games will effectively extend the action- packed DC Super Hero experience and fun of Scooby-Doo to fans everywhere," said Karen McTier, Executive Vice President of Domestic Licensing for Warner Bros. Consumer Products. "We are delighted to have JAKKS Pacific create technologically advanced games that match our ever evolving brands."

TV Games based on "Superman", "Batman", "Justice League", and "Scooby-Doo" are slated to launch in 2005 and are also expected to retail for approximately $20.00 each.

Not content to rest on their laurels, on June 9th, Jakks announced that they had completed the geek culture trifecta, and announced that they had obtained the rights to make TV Games based on Marvel Comics' Characters. This is in addition to a previously-announced deal that allowed TV Games to market a Spider-man movie game unit. The expanded agreement includes products based on the top Marvel properties, The Incredible Hulk, Blade, Daredevil, and Ghost Rider.

"Our expanded agreement with Marvel seeks to maximize the TV Games brand with Marvel's roster of hit properties," commented Stephen Berman . "These are exceptional characters, and we expect them to have wide appeal to both gaming and Marvel fans worldwide."

Tim Rothwell, President of Marvel's Worldwide Consumer Media Group Division added, "The Marvel Universe translates extremely well into the TV Games format, and we thought expanding the scope of properties available to this product to include The Incredible Hulk, Blade, Daredevil and Ghost Rider was an exciting opportunity. We are confident in JAKKS' ability to develop a product line that will bring these Super Heroes to life."

In the upcoming Spider-Man game, the player assumes the role of everyone's favorite neighborhood crime fighter and battle horrific enemies including the Green Goblin, Rogue and more. Your skills as the web-slinging hero will be put to the ultimate test with 5 action packed games inside one controller including:

-Streets of the City
-Doc Ock Horror!
-Green Goblin's Escape
-Venom's Vindication!
-Spidey Training

The Spider-Man TV Games unit is expected to retail for approximately $20.00 and will be available at retail locations nationwide in October. The remaining Marvel Characters TV Games products are expected to launch in 2005, with a the same suggested price.

For more information on JAKKS Pacific's TV Games line, check out their website at http://www.jakkstvgames.com.