Spin Master preps Bakugan relaunch
Over the summer, Spin Master made a big move by becoming a publicly traded company. Before the Toronto-based toy manufacturer could hit the stock exchange, management had to sell would-be investors on the business. In one of those investor presentations, the company confirmed they’re currently developing a reboot of the Bakugan franchise. In an age where nothing successful ever stays dead, it was only an inevitability for a series that brought in $800 million to be revived.
Bakugan is one of the few co-productions between Japan and the west that really took off. Originally a concept sold to Spin Master, the company partnered with Sega Toys to develop the idea of transforming balls into a game. From there, the two brought in Nelvana and TMS to create an animated series.The brand initially drew a tepid response upon its April 2007 debut in Japan, but the same couldn’t be said about the west. Both the show and the toys became big hits almost immediately after their introduction. So much so that Nelvana and Spin Master eventually produced three followup TV seasons. Due to the franchise’s western success, Sega tried Japan again in 2010. This time the series found an audience, culminating in the Japan-only BakuTech! spinoff. Similar to how Bandai’s Tamagotchi eventually birthed Digimon, Bakugan even got a rebrand marketed towards girls.
The success of Bakugan spurred Spin Master into other television productions like Redakai and Tenkai Knights, to more recent shows like Little Charmers and Paw Patrol. It’s through the company’s upcoming programming slate that they shared a few pieces of concept art for the new Bakugan project:
As Spin Master didn’t place a release window on Bakugan, it’s likely years away from launch. Will this version of the franchise keep the anime aesthetic or go for something new? Only time will tell. Expect more info when Spin Master formally announces the reboot.