Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions has appointed its subsidiary, Viz Media, to handle the merchandising of the anime brand Doraemon in the Americas.
Viz Media will oversee the licensing and development of a range of new products in all categories for the brand in North and Latin America.
Doraemon is currently available in North America through digital manga via Amazon Kindle and a series of game apps. The “Doraemon” anime series will also premiere in North America for the first time this summer on Disney XD, dubbed in English.
Doraemon started as a manga (graphic novel) series in 1970 and later became a popular anime series in Japan and product franchise that continues to be popular worldwide, especially in Asia.
Since then, more than 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, with 34 feature films released to-date. The property’s first 3D feature film, Stand By Me Doraemon, is set for release in Japan in August.
The brand will mark its 45th anniversary in 2015 and continues to be a major worldwide franchise with more than 600 active licensees.
Both ShoPro and Viz Media will be highlighting Doraemon at Licensing Expo June 17-19 in Las Vegas, Nev.