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4Kids Gets 'Em

By Jeff Hwang
November 14, 2003
And you thought Pokemon was dead? 4Kids Entertainment's (NYSE: KDE) third-quarter revenues climbed 109% to $25.3 million, as net income jumped 46% to $2.9 million, or $0.14 per share.

The Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! money machines remain one-two on Time Warner's (NYSE: TWX) Kids' WB! Network. Apparently, Pokemon -- 4Kids' third-most popular brand -- is seeing some sort of resurgence in Japan. Though no one expects Poke-mania to return to its peak, it looks like Pokemon may be here to stay, and 4Kids hopes to milk its resurgence both domestically and internationally.

Mind you, 4Kids only gets royalties on Pokemon licenses outside of Asia, and doesn't collect on Pokemon-related video games or trading cards, either.

Still, those who thought 4Kids was a one-trick pony might think again. For one thing, there's Yu-Gi-Oh!, which Rick Aristotle Munarriz drooled over last October. For another, those Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) are back in the mix.

The TMNT TV series has been licensed for broadcast internationally. In addition, Playmates' TMNT toy line contributed to the stellar third-quarter results, and new toys will be introduced in the fourth quarter. 4Kids released the turtles' first home video title in September.

Konami (NYSE: KNM) also released new TMNT and Yu-Gi-Oh! video games for a number of platforms, including Sony (NYSE: SNE) Playstation 2 and the Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) Xbox.

Looking forward, 4Kids expects to receive royalty payments from Mattel (NYSE: MAT) in the fourth quarter, as Mattel introduces new Yu-Gi-Oh! toys. A TMNT-related QSR (quick-serve restaurant) promotion is also in the works for next year.

4Kids clearly has still other tricks up its sleeve, but if TMNT and Yu-Gi-Oh! aren't enough to convince you this is more than a Pikachu...

Jeff Hwang can be reached at
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