Starlight Runner Selected By Tsuburaya To Help Bring ULTRAMAN Back To The World Stage
Starlight Runner Entertainment has secured an agreement with Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd. to help bring the iconic and celebrated classic Japanese superhero property ULTRAMAN back onto the international stage. Starlight Runner, a New York based Production Company specializing in transmedia storytelling, has worked on such world class brands as Men in Black, Coca-Cola, Avatar, Halo, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. In a unique arrangement, Starlight Runner will be teaming with The Licensing Group to reactivate and extend the property across multiple media platforms with a story-driven licensing and merchandising program. In his role as Transmedia Producer, Jeff Gomez and his Starlight Runner team will develop the official Story World Mythology for the existing ULTRAMAN series.
Starlight Runner is recognized as a premiere consultant in the fields of brand narrative, story world development, creative franchise design, and transmedia storytelling. The company specializes in the expansion of entertainment properties, premium brands, and socio-political messages into highly successful multi-platform communications and international campaigns.
Starlight Runner was selected by Tsuburaya as a transmedia producer after being introduced to the studio by licensing agent Danny Simon, president of The Licensing Group. The Licensing Group is a Los Angeles-based international licensing agency appointed by Tsuburaya to reintroduce the property to the North America market for use in developing a wide range of products in categories such as collectibles, toys, games, publishing, videogames, mobile apps, apparel and accessories. The Ultraman licensing program will be supported by the distribution of cable, streaming and SVOD.
Starlight Runner will be developing proprietary ULTRAMAN Story World Mythology documents after an intensive deep-dive into the Tokyo, Japan-based franchise. This bible will enable The Licensing Group to achieve its mission as there are no tools currently in English that exist. Starlight Runner will then support creative for Tsuburaya and The Licensing Group, helping partners to understand what makes the brand unique, how the ULTRAMANuniverse works, and providing ideas for leveraging the massive classic ULTRAMAN story world of giant monsters, aliens, spacecraft, and Earth Defense Teams to create exciting contemporary stories for the international licensing program.
"The global multiplatform expansion of our classic ULTRAMAN franchise is a new priority for our company and the ULTRAMAN brand," said Takayuki Tsukagoshi, President of Tsuburaya Productions. "We welcome Jeff Gomez and Starlight Runner, along with Danny Simon and The Licensing Group to assist us in this endeavor. Our combined strengths will allow for such characters as Ultraman, UltraSeven, and all the Ultraman Brothers to stand side by side with the world's most renowned superheroes."
Commented Starlight Runner CEO Jeff Gomez: "ULTRAMAN is one of my greatest childhood heroes. We're honored to be embarking on this mission to bring this family of characters back to the world stage. It's been a dream of Starlight Runner to expand our global footprint in Japan and now with Tsuburaya Productions and this legendary franchise, that's a reality. We would like to thank our partners Danny Simon and The Licensing Group for helping us to devise this unique revitalization strategy. We look forward to helping to expand this mythos for a contemporary audience, and give the fans what they've been asking for all of these years."
"The Licensing Group is excited to be representing ULTRAMAN for licensing and is privileged to be working with such inspired and creative companies like Tsuburaya Productions and Starlight Runner Entertainment," said Danny Simon, president of The Licensing Group. "Having successfully licensed media-based properties such as Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Rambo, Mortal Kombat, and Baywatch, we believe ULTRAMAN too will be positively embraced by licensees and consumers."
The most famous and celebrated Japanese superhero of all time, ULTRAMAN has joined the ranks of the most iconic characters in global popular culture. A sleek silvery being who towers over 130 feet tall, ULTRAMAN and his powerful allies hail from the Nebula M78, arriving on Earth to protect the human race against an endless array of invading aliens and giant monsters. Their Earth-based friends of the Space Patrol join them in defending the world using advanced high-tech weapons and vehicles.
The various classic ULTRAMAN series of the 1960s and '70s established new heights of quality adventure and special effects-driven children's entertainment from Tsuburaya, building demand for worldwide distribution. The series persist to this day, generating over $50 million per year in toys and merchandise in Japan. Now, with the rising global interest in Japanese popular culture, Tsuburaya has joined with Starlight Runner and The Licensing Group to develop a creator-friendly and partner-friendly model to reintroduce ULTRAMAN and extend it across multiple media platforms with a new licensing program on the US and international scene.
Deal was brokered for Starlight Runner Entertainment by Brent Weinstein of United Talent Agency, and negotiated by Mikaela Gross of Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP.
About Starlight Runner Entertainment
Starlight Runner Entertainment is a New York-based Production Company that specializes in the fields of brand narrative, immersive experience design, and transmedia storytelling. The company specializes in the expansion of entertainment properties, premium brands, and socio-political themes into highly successful multi-platform communications and international campaigns. Starlight Runner also develops the story worlds of films, TV shows, videogames, toys, books, comics, apps, immersive installations, and theme parks. Clients include the Walt Disney Company, Sony Pictures, the Coca-Cola Company, Microsoft 343 Studios, Nickelodeon, Sesame Workshop, and Electronic Arts, as well as World Vision, Spartan Race, Pepperidge Farm, Hasbro, and Mattel. For more information about Starlight Runner visit http://www.starlightrunner.com.
About The Licensing Group Ltd
The Licensing Group Ltd has been representing entertainment, corporate and lifestyle properties for licensing for the past 30 years. The agency has earned worldwide respect for its ability to build and manage a wide range of successful licensing programs, many of which have been conducted on a global basis. The Licensing Group has also been selected by domestic and international companies and government entities to provide licensing consulting services. Properties have included blockbusters such as T2: Judgment Day, Rambo, Mortal Kombat and Total Recall. Danny Simon, president, is known nationally and internationally as one of the foremost licensing innovators and foreign licensing experts. He has been inducted into LIMA's Licensing Hall of Fame and has co-authored four of the seminal books on licensing and the first books on licensing published in China.