4Kids Entertainment, the force behind the multi-billion dollar trading card-based sensations Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh!, is making arguably the most aggressive move in the company's history. 4Kids announced today that it will enter the competitive trading card market with the launch of two new stand-alone ventures -- TC Digital Games LLC, a trading card company, and TC Websites LLC, an online multi-platform gaming company. 4Kids has also secured several patents for its multi-platform trading card engine.
According to one company spokesperson 'these new stand-alone companies will go head to head with companies such as Upper Deck and Wizards of the Coast to obtain licenses for top properties to create both traditional and digital trading card based entertainment.'
This move represents 4Kids' first foray into manufacturing and the company has hired Bryan Gannon, who served as Corporate Vice President, Business Development at Upper Deck, where he helped launch the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game.
The initial focus of the new trading card companies will not be the acquisition of new licenses, however, it will be the development of the 4Kids' in-house property Chaotic with a Chaotic Trading Card Game based on the Chaotic animated series debuting on the Fox network on January 6th. With its expertise in mounting children's entertainment (the 4Kids block is a staple of Saturday morning kids entertainment broadcast over the Fox network), 4Kids is positioning itself as a potential powerhouse, given its ability to create and disseminate programs that are in essence entertaining advertisements for the trading card and online games that the company also produces.