Nelvana inks toy deals for series

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TORONTO -- Canadian animation producer Nelvana Ltd. on Monday said it is teaming with U.S. toymaker Spin Master Ltd. to develop specialty toys and games stemming from two Nelvana cartoon series, "Di-GATA Defenders" and "Bakugan."

As part of the deal, Spin Master will be the master toy licensee for "Di-GATA," an action-adventure series for kids ages six to 11 years that airs on Teletoon in Canada and elsewhere internationally.

Spin Master also is producing a game based on the four young action heroes in "Di-GATA" that will include action figures, dice and trading cards.

The "Di-GATA" game, apparel, interactive games and other consumer products are slated to begin selling in Canadian stores in March.

Spin Master also is developing a merchandise line based on "Bakugan," a co-production between Nelvana, Spin Master, Sega Toys, TMS and Japan Vistec. The anime-style cartoon portrays Dan and his friends as they battle their Bakugan Brawlers to save Vestroia and ultimately Earth from destruction.

Nelvana and its partners plan 52 half-hours of "Bakugan," to be aimed at kids ages six to 11 years.

The Nelvana and Spin Master announcement was timed for the Canadian Toy & Hobby Fair, which kicks off in Toronto at the end of the week.

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