Business Times Singapore Coverage

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The following appeared in the Singaporean Business Times on July 30, 1996. The citation is Divyanathan, Denesh (1996-07-30). Turner launches multi-million dollar cartoon in Singapore. Business Times (Singapore): Singapore at Home and Abroad p. 2.

Turner launches multi-million dollar cartoon in Singapore

US-BASED Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) launched its new action-adventure cartoon, The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, in Singapore yesterday for the Asia-Pacific market.

TBS has invested an unprecedented US$ 40 million (S$ 56 million) in production costs to create the cartoon, which will premiere in Singapore on TCS Channel 5 on Oct 26.

It chose Singapore for the launch of the cartoon ahead of Hongkong, its regional headquarters. TBS felt that the Republic is well-positioned for marketing tie-ins with the cartoon, which features film-quality animation techniques uncommon on television.

Christine Fellowes, the regional director of licensing and merchandising for TBS' consumer products arm, Turner Home Entertainment, said yesterday: "Singapore's sophisticated retail sector and well-developed licensing industry were major plus factors."

In addition, the presence of key marketers and partners like Singapore-based toy distributors Oracle Trading also played a part. Singapore's growing prominence in broadcasting for TBS has also led it to explore the possibility of opening an agency here to handle cartoon-maker Hanna-Barbera's productions next year. Hanna-Barbera, famous for creating classic cartoons such as The Flintstones, is behind Jonny Quest.

TBS -for whom the Asia-Pacific region is one of its fastest-growing markets, accounting for 30 per cent of its international licensing revenue last year -will launch its first line of merchandise for the Singapore market in November and its second line before Christmas.

The cartoon of 65 half-hour episodes is based around the adventures of a teenage hero, Jonny Quest, who exists in two different forms, an ordinary one as well as in virtual-reality form. His adventures take place in four different worlds, each with a different series of villain action figures -providing countless marketing opportunities. Turner has developed an entire series of products to tap the large merchandise market, with such items as action figure toys, digital trading cards and even CD-ROM adventure games.

Ms Fellowes said yesterday: "The new series is the beginning of what will be a multi-faceted global programming, marketing and merchandising effort."

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