For Puffy AmiYumi, the Japanese rock phenomenon whose imaginary exploits are immortalized weekly in the hit Cartoon Network original series Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi- what could possibly be next? A custom-built float for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade®, of course, where they will perform live to an audience of over 50 million viewers.. The vibrant Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi float, which will feature the performers as well as giant-sized, puppet versions of their cartoon alter-egos, is the latest Macy's Parade entrant for Cartoon Network. As Ami and Yumi glide down Broadway on Thanksgiving Day, their presence will mark the beginning of a spirited holiday licensing and merchandising campaign headlined by a global partnership with toy giant Mattel.
Designed and crafted by the magic-making artists at the Macy's Parade Studio, the Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi float is modeled after the cartoon duo's decked-out, mystical tour bus. A life-sized puppet of well-intentioned but stingy, band manager Kaz, will be piloting the musical bus and large bobble-head editions of the duo's favorite felines, Jeng Kan and Tekirai, are also on board. The real-life Ami and Yumi will not only dazzle fans with their music as the float cruises through Manhattan, they will also perform a 90-second song in front of Macy's -- Herald Square, the World's Largest Store and the heart and center of the Parade. Every year some 2.5 million people line the streets of New York to view the Parade in person and another 50 million tune in to watch it on television.
"The Macy's Parade is one of the most respected and adored American institutions," said Dennis Adamovich, senior vice president of marketing for Cartoon Network. "Perhaps the most highly anticipated event of the holiday season, the Parade also provides a spectacular platform for us to present and celebrate our popular cartoon characters with a large family audience. Puffy AmiYumi fans will also enjoy a rare treat - seeing the band perform live on television for millions of people."
"We are delighted to be a part of this wonderful family tradition," said Kim McQuilken, executive vice president of Cartoon Network Sales and Marketing. "The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is a perfect way to celebrate the start of this festive season. In addition, the exposure we can offer our licensing partners at this event is unprecedented and frankly, matchless. It's a great opportunity to launch this budding franchise and entertain Puffy fans nationwide."
"For everyone in the Macy's organization, one of the highlights of the current Parade year has been our exciting partnership with Cartoon Network," says Robin Hall, Executive Producer of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. "This creative collaboration has helped us develop a concept that really breaks the mold; the new Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi float's unique design and dazzling scale bring a fantastic energy to the Parade."
Fans will be able to recreate their own rock 'n' roll adventures with the Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi Mattel toy line which will be on shelves nationwide. Fashion dolls in the likeness of Ami and Yumi that sing and speak in both Japanese and English, spunky small dolls inspired by the animated characters, engaging playsets, toys and a "Rockin' World Tour" transforming tour bus are just a few of the items that will available. Through December 15, coupled with another popular Cartoon Network series Codename Kids: Next Door, the Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi merchandise will be featured in a special, limited-time-only toy shop in the midst of the Toys R Us flagship store in New York's Times Square.
On November 29th, Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi will appear on DVD for the first time with the simultaneous release of two DVD editions "Let's go!" and "Rock Forever!" from Warner Home Video featuring "best of" episodes from the cartoon series, backstage footage, dance trivia, music and lessons in Japanese. Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi:Kaznapped, a Gameboy Advanced® videogame released by D3 Publisher of America will also be available. Accessories, apparel and children's books inspired by the rock duo from a variety of licensing partners will continue to roll out through 2006.
On November 28th fans will have even more opportunities to tune in to see these super-cool cuties with J-pop style, when Cartoon Network begins airing Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi five nights a week at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Since its record-setting debut on Cartoon Network in 2004, Hi Hi Puffy AmiYum has charted double-digit ratings and delivery gains among all target kids demos, according to Nielson Media research, and is one of Cartoon Network's top performing programs.
About Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade:
With more than 50 million viewers across the country and more than 2.5 million spectators that line up along the streets of New York City each year, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is a national icon that has grown into a world-famous holiday event. For 78 years, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has marked the official start of the holiday season. Growing in size and scale, the Parade proudly marches down a 2.5-mile route in New York City with over 10,000 participants in tow including Macy's employees, their families, celebrities, athletes, clowns and dance groups spreading holiday cheer. The Parade also features America's best marching bands, fabulous floats and Macy's signature giant helium character balloons. For more information on the Macy's Parade please visit www.macysparade.com or call the Parade hotline at (212) 494-4495.
About Cartoon Network:
Cartoon Network, currently seen in 88.5 million U.S. homes and 160 countries around the world, is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.'s ad-supported cable service offering the best in original, acquired and classic animated entertainment for kids and families. Overnight from 11 p.m.-6 a.m. (ET, PT), Cartoon Network shares its channel space with Adult Swim, a late-night destination showcasing original and acquired animation for young adults 18-34.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, is a major producer of news and entertainment product around the world and the leading provider of programming for the basic cable industry.
Orlando.Veras@macys.com (212) 494-3893