WWE (NYSE: WWE) and Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAT) announced the launch of WWE Slam City, WWE’s new kids property that includes an original animated short-form series and a complete line of WWE Slam City merchandise.
The 26-episode series, which launches in the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom, is comprised of two-minute shorts featuring WWE superstars in their new animated world, WWE Slam City. The first four episodes began airing at WWESlamCity.com and Cartoonium on YouTube. WWE Slam City toys, including action figures, ring sets and more, are currently available at major retail stores.
The series, filmed in the next generation of stop-motion animation, features a new WWE animated character The Finisher, who fires all of the WWE superstars and sends them to WWE Slam City to find day jobs. WWE superstars are plunged into new career challenges as John Cena, Randy Orton, Sheamus, The Miz, Rey Mysterio, Kane, Alberto Del Rio and Mark Henry pack every street corner with work to do and scores to settle. With John Cena as an auto mechanic, Alberto Del Rio as a coffee house barista, Randy Orton as a zookeeper and Sheamus as a theater usher, these superstars have a new life outside the ring, but still stay true to their WWE personas.
In addition to WWESlamCity.com and Cartoonium on YouTube, WWE Slam City will also be available in the United States on WWE Network, Hulu, PlayStation, Xbox, AOL On, Nintendo, Vudu, Google Play, Kabillion, Mattel.com and iTunes. WWE will utilize all of its assets, including TV broadcasts, live events, digital and social media to generate awareness for its new kids property.
“ WWE Slam City is a multi-platform property that takes our superstars out of the ring and introduces them to kids through entertaining and action-packed animation,” Michelle D. Wilson, Chief Revenue & Marketing Officer, WWE, said in a release. “This strategic initiative is perfectly complemented through our partnership with Mattel and adds to an already dynamic portfolio of content designed to create lifelong WWE fans.”
Doug Wadleigh, Senior Vice President, Global Brands Marketing, Boys and Entertainment for Mattel, added: “ Slam City is the result of a seamless collaboration with WWE where we are bringing kids a completely new and invigorating entertainment experience. Combining fun to watch content that features superstar favorites, along with an engaging line of toys, enables Slam City to further expand the WWE Universe while opening new avenues of play for the franchise.”
WWE Slam City is a key component of WWE’s larger strategy to expand its reach to kids. In 2013, WWE’s national TV programming reached nearly 3-million kids each week, representing more than 20 percent of WWE’s average weekly TV audience. WWE also reaches kids through the number 2 action figure property in the United States, WWE Studios productions of The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo WrestleMania Mystery and Christmas Bounty as well as partnerships with Kraft Foods, Frito-Lay, Post Foods and MilkPEP.
In addition, WWE supports programs that positively impact children and families around the world, including a 30-plus year relationship with Make-A-Wish as well as various literacy, education, anti-bullying and military initiatives.
In addition to toys, a full WWE Slam City merchandise line, including apparel, back-to-school accessories, books, graphic novels and home videos will be available in stores by the end of 2014. In 2015, a WWE Slam City mobile game, as well as health and beauty items, home goods, party supplies and stationary will be available.
The 26-episode WWE Slam City series is co-produced by WWE and Mattel’s Playground Productions, a new division within the Mattel Global Brands whose mission is to identify, cultivate and produce compelling storylines through multiple platforms.
“ Slam City’s multi-platform animation engages kids where they are today with a unique larger-than-life superstar inspired storyline that’s authentic to WWE,” said David Voss, Senior Vice President, Playground Productions for Mattel. “We worked closely with WWE to ensure our style and storytelling complimented the brand, and really tapped into our creative expertise to produce a playful narrative that both kids and fans enjoy.”
To view the 60-second trailer and to watch the first four episodes of WWE Slam City visit WWESlamCity.com or YouTube.com/Cartoonium.