The country’s break-out animation hit “Eon Kid” (formerly entitled “Iron Kid”), a unique robot martial arts action series, has successfully made its debute on the global animation scene, having already been broadcast in Korea and Spain and now set for broadcast on Kids WB in the U.S. this fall.
Originally developed by Designstorm, “Eon Kid” is co-produced by Daewon Media, Spain’s BRB International, and Manga Entertainment in the United States. The series was selected as the Korea Culture and Content Agency’s (KOCCA) Star Project in 2004, the biggest government subsidized fund in Korea.
Korea’s animation industry is the third largest behind the US and Japan, however most of its revenue has been generated from OEM (original equipment manufacturer), as opposed to original content.
Korea has long been known as an outsourcing haven for American, European and Japanese animation companies in need of cheap, skilled animators.
However, Korea’s image as strictly an outsourcing destination is changing. With help from governmental agencies like KOCCA, the animation industry in Korea has experienced an overhaul and the demand for original Korean animations is on the rise.
Another Korean animation, “Dibo the Gift Dragon,” from OCON Inc. has generated global buzz with its Emmy-nominated writers, US storyboard artists, and ex-Sony and Warner executives as its producers. The series about a motley crew of homemade puppets living in a village called Cozy Land has already debuted on the front cover of the magazine - “KidScreen Magazine”- and received the Special Mention Jury prize at the Cartoons On The Bay Festival. The animation also won KOCCA’s Star Project in 2005. The 52-episode series is in production, with the first batch of 26 episodes ready for delivery. The remaining 26 episodes will be available at the end of this year.
Designstorm has also revealed two new animation projects, “Roy Vs Roy Jr.” and “Kung Fu Island,“ to follow the success of “Eon Kid.” “Kung Fu Island” has already been honored with the Excellent Pilot Project Award in 2006 by KOCCA (kocca.kr).
“Eon Kid’s” upcoming launch into the US market also bodes well for Designstorm’s toy and licensing businesses,” said. CEO of Designstorm and executive producer of “Eon Kid” Jungsook Sohn, “As far as producing any forms of content is concerned, Korea has the ability to create and produce. It is important to have a global mind, and to aim towards the world market when forming partnerships.”
OCON, Inc. has signed with partners all over the world including Benelux, Nordic, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Latin America, Singapore, and Taiwan. These partners plan to air and begin licensing from the second half of 2007. “Dibo” currently has over 30 local licensees and over 100 different products already on the store shelves in Korea.
Any business proposals from channels, licensees, and agents on “Dibo” are currently being accepted.
Designstorm specializes in planning and producing original animation projects in 3D for TV and feature length films. The original 3D animation “Iron Kid” (“Eon Kid” in the US) has been on KBS (Korean Broadcasting Station) since April 2006. Designstorm has held partnerships with Manga Entertainment (N. America) and BRB International (Europe) through the production, worldwide distribution, and broadcasting of “Iron Kid” in 2006.
About OCON, Inc.
Established in 1996, OCON is an independent animation production company based in Seoul, Korea. OCON focuses on the development and production of high-quality CGI animation. The company has also extended its business area to local distribution and overseas production service works. OCON’s portfolio includes 3D animation TV series such as “Lullurarra,” “Dr. Nazallan,” “The Island of Inis Cool,”, “Pororo the Little Penguin” and a variety of commercials based on the latest CGI technology.
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.