Kartoon Studios Through Its Controlling Interest in Stan Lee Universe Partners With Digital Leader, VeVe, for Stan Lee Digital Collectibles, Launched on July 18th
Announces Complete and Near-Instantaneous Sell Through
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., July 24, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Kartoon Studios (NYSE: TOON), through its contolling interest in Stan Lee Universe, LLC, announced today a total and near-instantaneous sell through of Stan Lee digital collectibles through its partnership with digital leader VeVe, on July 18. The total drop, of over 8,000 digital collectibles opened at 8am PST, and was sold out almost immediately. This news comes on the heels of a successful opening of the Stan Lee Exhibit at The Comic-Con Museum in San Diego, California.
The Celebrating Stan Lee collection, joins STAR WARS, MARVEL and DISNEY amongst their elite collection of digital collectibles. Celebrating Stan Lee features four digital collectibles for fans in Chibi style, which is a popular style of caricature originating in Japan and common in anime and manga where characters are drawn in an exaggerated way, typically small and chubby with stubby limbs, oversized heads, and minimal detail. The collection includes:
- The King of Cameos: A throne fit for a king – a king of cameos, that is! Stan Lee made beloved cameo appearances in comics, TV, movies, video games and much more.
- ‘Nuff Said!: Stan Lee worked in the comic book business for almost 80 years, revolutionizing the industry and co-creating some of the most famous characters of all time while he was at it. ‘Nuff Said’ was one of his famous signature expressions. Talk about a legacy!
- Excelsior!: Do you know why Stan Lee chose Excelsior!, which means ‘ever upward,’ as his comic book sign-off? Because he figured his competitors wouldn’t know how to spell it and therefore, they couldn’t steal it!
- The Amazing Stan Lee: Amazing. Legendary. Unforgettable. We could keep listing adjectives to describe Stan Lee, but you get the picture.
Lloyd Mintz, SVP, Global Consumer Products, Kartoon Studios stated: “We are thrilled with the results of this first venture in digital collectibles. That there was a complete sell through, and the fact that it was nearly instantaneous is a very strong indicator of the extraordinary passion that fans have for Stan Lee, and where we see the future of the Stan Lee brand. Stan Lee Universe is so excited to be partnered with a leader in the digital collectible space, VeVe, to further commemorate Stan’s life and accomplishments in what would have been his 100th year, by bringing this first U.S., officially licensed Stan Lee Digital Collection to his legion of fans!”
David Yu, CEO, VeVe Digital Collectibles commented: “This sale marks an important turning point in the digital collectibles market. Stan Lee was a true pioneer in the comic book industry. His work transcended mediums and generations, and with it, he became a larger-than-life cultural icon to fans around the globe. Stan was always on the cutting-edge, constantly exploring innovative avenues in which to share his stories with fans all over the world. Our new collection of limited-edition digital collectibles embraces his curiosity utilizing the latest technological innovations and commemorating his legacy with a new and fun foray into the digital collectibles world.”
Kartoon Studios, through a joint venture with POW! Entertainment, owns and manages the global rights to the legendary Stan Lee’s name, physical likeness, voice, signature, and IP, called Stan Lee Universe, which includes the Stan Lee Celebrity brand, as well as new content to be created from Stan Lee’s portfolio of approximately 150 unmined ideas and character creations in his post-Marvel career, along with consumer product programs to be developed for these new projects.
This year’s Stan Lee Centennial campaign, celebrating Stan’s 100th birthday, is the first phase of a much broader Stan Lee Universe program, being rolled out. Recent initiatives also include an animated Stan Lee ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on June 26, 2023, and the opening of the Stan Lee Exhibit as an 8-month cornerstone at the Comic-Con Museum in San Diego.
About Stan Lee
Stan Lee is one of the most prolific and legendary comic creators of all time. As Marvel's editor-in-chief, Stan "The Man" Lee helped build a universe of interlocking continuity, one where fans felt as if they could turn a street corner and run into a super hero from Spider-Man to the Fantastic Four, Thor, Iron Man, the Hulk, the X-Men, and more. Stan went on to become Marvel’s editorial director and publisher in 1972, and was eventually named chairman emeritus.
Stan also appeared in some of the most popular films of all time. His well-known cameos in Marvel films began in the 1989 telefilm, The Trial of the Incredible Hulk. After the release of X-Men in 2000, he appeared in nearly every Marvel film and television project until his passing in 2018.
Among Stan’s many awards is the National Medal of Arts, awarded by President Bush in 2008, and the Disney Legends Award, received in 2017. He was also inducted into the comic industry’s Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame and Jack Kirby Hall of Fame.
About Kartoon Studios
Kartoon Studios (NYSE AMERICAN: TOON) is a global end-to-end creator, producer, distributor, marketer, and licensor of entertainment brands. The Company’s IP portfolio includes original animated content, including the Stan Lee brand, Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, on Kartoon Channel!; Shaq’s Garage, starring Shaquille O’Neal, on Pluto TV; Rainbow Rangers on Kartoon Channel! and Netflix; the Netflix Original, Llama Llama, starring Jennifer Garner, and more.
In 2022, Kartoon Studios acquired Canada’s WOW! Unlimited Media and made a strategic investment becoming the largest shareholder in Germany’s Your Family Entertainment AG (FRA:RTV), one of Europe’s leading distributors and broadcasters of high-quality programs for children and families.
Toon Media Group, the company’s wholly-owned digital distribution network, consists of Kartoon Channel!, Kartoon Channel! Worldwide, Frederator Network, and Ameba. Kartoon Channel! is a globally distributed entertainment platform with full penetration of the U.S. television market and international expansion underway with launches in key markets around the world. Kartoon Channel! and Ameba are available across multiple platforms, including iOS, Android Mobile, Web, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, Pluto TV, Comcast, Cox, Dish, Sling TV, Android TV, Tubi, Xumo, Samsung and LG Smart TVs. Frederator Network owns and operates the largest global animation network on YouTube, with channels featuring over 2000 exclusive creators and influencers, garnering on average over a billion views every month.
For additional information, please visit www.kartoonstudios.com
Founded in 2018, VeVe was created by collectors, for collectors to bring premium licensed NFT digital collectibles to the mass market. With over 8 million NFTs sold, VeVe is the largest mobile-first digital collectibles platform and one of the top grossing Entertainment Apps in the Google Play and Apple stores.
Utilizing both blockchain and augmented reality technologies, VeVe offers premium licensed collectibles from leading brands including Disney, Marvel, DC, Star Wars and more. VeVe’s 3D augmented reality photo mode allows collectors to interact with every digital collectible, as well as share their collectibles through VeVe’s in-app social feed, or on external social platforms including Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and more.
In addition, VeVe uses Ethereum’s layer 2 scaling protocol, Immutable X, which provides instant trade confirmation, scalability (over 9,000 trades per second), zero gas fees, and a 99.9% reduction in environmental footprint.
VeVe is available to download on the App Store and Google Play and available through the VeVe Web App.
Forward Looking Statements: Certain statements in this press release constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Words such as "may," "might," "will," "should," "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "continue," "predict," "forecast," "project," "plan," "intend" or similar expressions, or statements regarding intent, belief, or current expectations, are forward-looking statements. While the Company believes these forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on any such forward-looking statements, which are based on information available to us on the date of this release. These forward looking statements are based upon current estimates and assumptions and are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including without limitation, our ability to generate revenue or achieve profitability; our ability to obtain additional financing on acceptable terms, if at all; the potential issuance of a significant number of shares, which will dilute our equity holders; fluctuations in the results of our operations from period to period; general economic and financial conditions; our ability to anticipate changes in popular culture, media and movies, fashion and technology; competitive pressure from other distributors of content and within the retail market; our reliance on and relationships with third-party production and animation studios; our ability to market and advertise our products; our reliance on third-parties to promote our products; our ability to keep pace with technological advances; our ability to protect our intellectual property and those other risk factors set forth in the “Risk Factors” section of the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and in the Company's subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"). Thus, actual results could be materially different. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update or alter statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
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Released July 24, 2023