4Kids Entertainment, the company that packaged Pokemon for the U.S. market and is currently handling Yu-Gi-Oh, has established its own internal division, 4Kids Entertainment Home Video, to produce and market home videos based on 4Kids properties. FUNimation, which produces and distributes videos based on its own properties, Dragon Ball, DBZ, and Yu-Yu Hakusho, will handle the distribution chores for 4Kids Home Video. In the past, companies like 4Kids concentrated on developing (or adapting) series for broadcast television, while selling licensing rights for toys, videos, apparel, etc. to other companies. The amount of money to be made in the lucrative home video market, where DVDs can be produced for a dollar and wholesaled for fifteen, has provided the impetus for companies like 4Kids to keep videos (and the potentially gargantuan profits they generate) in-house.
Currently 4Kids has one property with stellar potential -- Yu-Gi-Oh! With the show running daily on the WB network and the Yu-Gi-Oh! CCG from Upper Deck a big hit (see 'Yu-Gi-Oh! Is White Hot'), this is one series that could make the 4Kids Home Video Division successful right from the start. FUNimation, which produces and licenses the extremely popular Dragon Ball Z (see 'Dragonball Tops Lycos Searches for 2001'), only started its in-house video department two years ago and has already sold over 11 million units.