Nelvana funds a western exclusive Beyblade series while Japan goes Zero-G
Evidently, kids are still doing it across the nation, and by “it” I mean buying Beyblades by the truckload. At this year’s New York Toy Fair western Beyblade licensee Hasbro had something interesting to announce. They announced a subseries to the Beyblade universe called BeyWheelz, which as the name implies are more like Flywheels than normal Beyblades. Bladers (BeyWheelerz?) would launch their BeyWheelz off of ramps, and play games of target practice. Now, taking a step into Toys “R” Us or any where that sells Beyblades would tell you Hasbro isn’t afraid to push off random Beyblade subseries from the likes of the XTS series with hidden weapons, or the every popular shelf warmer giant electronic Beyblades that have lights and sounds. What sets BeyWheelz apart from the other sublines is simple – it’s getting an animated series. Yes, Hasbro and Nelvana have officially, but not so officially announced a Beywheelz animated series. The Writer’s Guild of Canada tells us the series will run a paltry 13 episodes, which is abnormally short for a Beyblade animated series. There’s a reason for that.Remember when I began talking about Beyblade Metal Fury – the upcomming third season to the 2009 Beyblade reboot series? Remember how I said since Nelvana was selling 51 Metal Fury episodes it could be assumed that the Japanese equivalent of the series, Metal Fight Beyblade 4D would run for 76 episodes due to the episode length being cut in half at episode 26? Well, I was wrong, Metal Fight Beyblade 4D will conclude with episode 154 (4D episode 52). The series will be replaced by yet another Beyblade series, this time it’s Metal Fight Beyblade Zero-G, starring a new cast of characters but unlike the previous Metal Fight series, this one will be linked to the last. The show’s hero, Zero Kurogane witnessed the epic battle Ginga has in the final episode of 4D and is inspired to do the same.
Forget about Beyblade Zero-G for now, since it’ll be at least a year before that series has the potential to hit the airwaves in the west. Anyways, as mentioned earlier, at episode 26 4D’s run time was cut from 22 minutes to 11 minutes to accommodate Cross Fight B-Daman. This leaves Nelvana in a pickle. Originally Nelvana listed Beyblade Metal Fury as a 51 episode series, and technically they’re wrong. The series will end in Japan with 52, half of which are full length episodes, and the other half of which are 11 minutes. Back when I thought 4D was going to run for 76 episodes I assumed Nelvana was going to edited two 11 minute 4D episodes into one 22 minute Metal Fury episode. According to Nelvana’s updated Metal Fury page, I was right, the plan is to edit two 11 minute 4D episodes. But that’s the pickle I said Nelvana was in, you’ll have 39 full length episodes, since you’ll have 13 additional zombie episodes from the editing process. What’s the pickle? Well, Beyblade has always been a 50+ episode order series. 39 episodes is low for the franchise. This is where BeyWheelz fits in. You see 39 Metal Fury episodes plus 13 BeyWheelz episodes = 52 episode third cycle of Beyblade Metal ___ programming.
Kai-V of the World Beyblade Organization fan community adds that BeyWheelz will feature a brand new set of characters, and will be unrelated to the rest of Beyblade Metal Fury. The characters will also be confined to using their BeyWheelz, and won’t be whipping out Dark Capricorn M145FS (ie; regular Beyblade) or something. She concludes with saying that the series will actually air before Metal Fury does. As of last month the show was only in the audition process in Toronto, and as Hasbro and crew only had character profiles at both their Toyfair Booth (right), as well as in the leaked video (up) implies the show is still quite early. Though, the toyline is expected to launch in Fall 2012, and we should be able to expect the same for the anime series.
This move smells of Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monsters in that both it and BeyWheelz were created for the sole purpose of hawking western-only merchandise (BeyWheelz is not a Beyblade series in Japan, and traditionally Beyblade creator, Takara Tomy is the one to introduce new Beyblade product first if it was to be worldwide), though as mentioned before, Beywheelz wasn’t solely created to hawk merchandise, but to also fulfill episode orders.
Oh yeah, YTV’s running another Beyblade contest, and to promote it they aired a bunch of new episodes of Beyblade Metal Masters a few weeks back. I didn’t report on that, whoops.
Also, it seems my reasoning about Nelvana changing “Metal Fight Beyblade 4D” into “Beyblade Metal Fury” stemming from them wanting to recycle the same song over, and over again is true:
Okay, technically Hasbro has also removed the features from the toyline that reference the “4D” moniker. This is also one of the longest IMB posts in a while…