4Kids to Sell Yu-Gi-Oh! License for $10+ Million

April 18, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Posted in 4Kids, Other Stuff | 9 Comments

The pharaoh's Millennium Puzzle glowing in episode 216

Yesterday, 4Kids Entertainment filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York seeking approval to sell its entire Yu-Gi-Oh! business, which includes the Yu-Gi-Oh! License and the complete Yu-Gi-Oh! anime library. 4Kids seeks to auction off the property to interested parties.

An initial (“stalking horse”) bid of $10 million for the Yu-Gi-Oh! property has been made by Kidsco Media Ventures, who signed a letter of intent with 4Kids on March 7. Kidsco Media Ventures is a private Delaware-based entertainment company that was founded just earlier this month and is backed by the Saban Capital Group, the same investment firm who is behind the Power Rangers franchise.

A hearing to approve the auction process and sale dates will take place on April 27. Currently, parties interested in the Yu-Gi-Oh! property have until May 31 to place a bid. If the sale attracts additional bidders, an auction will take place on June 5, with a hearing to finalize the sale to occur on June 7. (Update: The sale hearing will take place on June 11.)

Kidsco Media Ventures notes that it is only interested in making the purchase if the parties can seal the deal by June 30. Kidsco would like to be in a position to capitalize on the ad sales during the children’s advertising “upfront” market — the all-important period during which the advertisers spend a significant portion of their budget. This year, the “upfront” market runs from mid-February to late spring.

Looks like things are on the upswing for 4Kids, who just last month reached an $8 million settlement with the Japanese licensors after triumphing in the lawsuit over control of the Yu-Gi-Oh! rights!


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  1. Reblogged this on Jyger's Rant and commented:
    …$10 Million??? How can Saban Brands possibly afford that?!

  2. Well…I hope the anime fanbrats are happy with themselves. Not that it’s going to matter because they’re still going to complain that “it’s not loyal to the Japanese version”. Unlike them, I don’t really care if it’s “loyal” to the source material. I look at it as a stand alone series in English.

    So what does this mean for Yu-Gi-Oh Zexal? Is 4Kids going to continue dubbing Zexal? Or does Saban take control and continue from there? And I also wonder if Zexal is going to be taken off TV. It would be pretty bad news if that was the case. :'(

  3. At this point, it’s not possible to know any of the finer details about what will happen to Yu-Gi-Oh! or who is going to do what with it. (Personally, I’d be absolutely shocked if Yu-Gi-Oh! vanished from the airwaves. How would they sell any merchandise without a TV presence?) In any case, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The sale isn’t complete yet and Kidsco Media Ventures might ultimately not even be the buyer. Who knows what will happen in the next few weeks.

  4. Well this is certainly odd.. I wonder what will happen to the series? This really leaves a lot of questions to be answered!

  5. No, ANN is incorrect. I did see that article yesterday and I emailed an editor, pointing out that the court only approved the sale process (that is, the bidding procedures governing the auction and sale) on April 27, and that the actual sale to Kidsco (or a higher bidder, if any) hasn’t been approved and won’t be until June. I guess ANN doesn’t care though, since it didn’t end up clarifying this important point in its write-up. However, I see that they’ve followed up with a comment from 4Kids clarifying that the sale has indeed not been finalized. That’s a start.

  6. Sonic Phantom, just as you have the right to like the dub, people like me have the right to hate it. Have some respect for other people. If we don’t like how a franchise is treated, we are allowed to complain about it. 4Kids is going bankrupt because they were terrible dubbers. They did it to themselves.

  7. Sonic Phantom, just as you are allowed to like the dub, people like me are allowed to hate it. You have no right to act like it’s our fault when it’s clearly the fault of 4Kids, who were terrible anime dubbers.

  8. I agree that everyone has the right to feel however they do about all anime (and, for that matter, everything else in the world, heehee). Just a point of clarification regarding the bankruptcy: 4Kids filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to defend itself from TV Tokyo and NAS/ADK’s seizure of the Yu-Gi-Oh! rights after they terminated their dealings with 4Kids. The filing was unrelated to the quality of 4Kids’ productions.

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