NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 06/01/09 -- 4Kids Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: KDE), a global provider of children's entertainment, has been named the worldwide licensing agent for Karito Kids® World Collection, a line of award-winning multi-cultural dolls and books.
Since debuting in 2007, this growing brand with a strong social conscience has expanded its portfolio of dolls and books that allow kids to experience firsthand the meaning of giving and understanding cultural diversity. Taking its name from the universal Esperanto language, Karito Kids (Karito means charity and love of one's neighbor) are six 11-year-old girls from around the world who represent unique ethnic backgrounds but share the common bond of seeing the world through the eyes of a pre-teenager. Each Kid comes with her own illustrated mystery adventure book set in her home country. These storybooks are also available separately.
Karito Kids and its parent company, KidsGive®, encourage kids' innate sense of philanthropy with a program that enables purchasers to personally select a global cause and designate whom they want to benefit with a portion of their retail transaction. Already one of the most talked about products to hit the doll category, Karito Kids looks to expand into new categories through a worldwide licensing program from 4Kids Entertainment.
The Karito Kids brand allows consumers to contribute to a variety of charitable causes through its unique activation process. With the purchase of each Karito Kids product, consumers receive a special code that can be "activated" or uploaded on KaritoKids.com. Once a code has been entered on the Website, kids can choose their favorite cause from a list of contribution categories. Working directly with 70-year-old worldwide children's charity Plan International, funds are then allocated to support more than 10 million impoverished children and their families around the world to implement programs in health, education, shelter and food supplies. To date, charitable contributions from Karito Kids purchases have made it possible to build 27 homes in Honduras, donate more than 35,000 mosquito nets in Kenya, provide over 5,600 chickens to produce eggs for 13 rural schools in China and to send almost 4,000 books to kids in Mali.
"Karito Kids is a beautifully sculpted, ethnically correct doll line," said Carlin West, Executive Vice President, Product Acquisitions & Development, 4Kids Entertainment. "We always look to bring properties to market that become category leaders. With Karito Kids well-positioned to bring a fresh approach to the doll aisle by enabling children to be charitable, we look to expand the brand and its global message of charity and caring through a targeted licensing program."
"We are pleased to partner with such a well-respected licensing agent as 4Kids Entertainment," said Laura Rangel, CEO of KidsGive, the parent company of Karito Kids. "We're excited to share the Karito Kids brand, our multicultural message and commitment to charitable giving with new audiences."
The Karito Kids are Ling, Lulu, Zoe, Gia, Pita and Piper. Although they have different cultural backgrounds, they share the same hopes and dreams for a better tomorrow which are common with children all over the world. With each purchase, 4Kids will utilize Karito Kids' message and goodwill to create a varied line of products which focuses on the entertainment, educational and charitable aspects of the brand.
About Karito Kids®
Karito Kids started with a simple goal: to help Kids Give. Children around the world want to aid others, and they share similar hopes and dreams despite their differences. In 2007, this philosophy inspired the founding of KidsGive and its multicultural line of dolls and books, Karito Kids. The name Karito ['ka-ree'-toe], meaning charity and love of one's neighbor, comes from the constructed international language, Esperanto. A portion of every Karito Kids purchase supports children's humanitarian projects worldwide. The company's core commitments to charity and global awareness have attracted industry and media attention, resulting in dozens of prestigious awards, including the #1 Toy of the Year by Family Fun. Learn more about the Karito Kids line of books and dolls at www.karitokids.com. Visit the KidsGive website at www.kidsgive.com to find out more about the Los Angeles-based company and the causes funded by every Karito Kids purchase.
About 4Kids Entertainment, Inc.
With U.S. headquarters in New York City, regional offices for its trading card business in San Diego, California and international offices in London, 4Kids Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: KDE) is a global organization devoted to the creation, development, production, broadcasting, distribution, licensing and manufacturing of children's entertainment products.
Through its wholly owned subsidiaries, 4Kids produces animated television series and films, distributes 4Kids' produced or licensed animated television series for the domestic and international television and home video markets, licenses merchandising rights worldwide to 4Kids' owned or represented properties, and operates Web sites to support 4Kids' owned or represented properties. Through its majority-owned trading card company and Website company, 4Kids produces and markets collectible trading card games. Additionally, 4Kids programs and sells the national advertising time in "TheCW4Kids" five-hour Saturday children's television morning block on The CW television network. Additional information is available on the www.4kidsentertainment.com corporate Web site and at the www.4kids.tv game station site.
The information contained in this press release, other than historical information, consists of forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Exchange Act. These statements may involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in such statements. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to have been correct. Important factors beyond the Company's control, including general economic conditions, consumer spending levels, competition from toy companies, motion picture studios and other licensing companies, the uncertainty of public response to the Company's properties and other factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company's expectations.
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