In an action that I would call unexpected, according to Cynopsis Kids YTV has ordered 52 episodes of a new animated series called Redakai: Conquer The Kairu. Redakai is a multimedia franchise produced by Spin Masters (Bakugan, Air Hogs, etc.), Marathon Media (Martin Mystery, Totally Spies, etc.) and Cartoon Network aimed with the intention of selling trading cards, and action figures to children. The toys will hit Hobby Stores in June, and general retail in August, but the TV show is set for a Fall launch. With a production budget estimated at $20 million they’re certainly hoping this is going to be big.
The concept to set Redakai apart from the Yu-Gi-Oh!, Battle Spirits, and Pokemon of the world lays within the way the card game is played. Spin Masters is achieving this via stereoscopic 3D lenticular trading cards which “have depth, they also have motion; the attack cards for example have 8-12 frames of animation, so the players can actually see the attack. Additionally many of the cards are created on clear plastic to allow for a simple “stacking” method of gameplay. When for example an attack card is layered over a character card, the effect of the attack is visible, or when a “monster” card is layered over a character card, the change in the character (and his power level) is clearly visible.”
You can see the 3D technology in motion in this TimeKids Youtube video. To save yourself the trouble, I’ve made a .gif of the relevant footage (you’ll have to click the image):
Redakai Dojo.com has the following description for the animated series:
Ky is a 15 year old martial artist who leads the group on this incredible quest to find the Kairu energy. His friends Maya and Boomer travel with him in his quest. Together they protect the world from extraterrestrial teenage opponents, all of whom are trying to become the greatest Kairu warrior of all a “Redakai.”
The odd thing about Redakai is that the show screams Teletoon, not YTV. Spin Masters success story in Bakugan was launched on Teletoon, and Marathon’s legacy in Totally Spies also falls on Teletoon’s shoulders. There’s also the fact that outside of Pokemon, Beyblade, and Yu-Gi-Oh! there isn’t a lot of action animation on YTV. Though, I suspect once Three Delivery’s run comes to an end YTV will need a replacement for the Super Anime Lineup. Will this be as successful as Bakugan, and Yu-Gi-Oh! in the face of strong new competitors and the return of the past? Only time will tell.
Thanks goes to Mohji for pointing this out in the forums.