APAGear II Volume 1, Number 11 November, 1999
(This page is a copy of the press release that appeared on Dream Pod 9's Web pages at the beginning of November, 1999.)


Animated Action/Adventure Series Based on Dream Pod 9's Popular Roleplaying Game Set for Fall 2000 Debut on Bohbot Kids Network

Sony Pictures Consumer Products Signs Bandai As Master Toy Licensee

November 3rd, 1999 -- Dream Pod 9 is pleased to announce that Sony Pictures Family Entertainment (SPFE) has licensed the worldwide television rights to its popular Heavy Gear game universe. SPFE has already begun development on a 40-episode animated series for a Fall 2000 debut on the Bohbot Kids Network. It was jointly announced by Sander Schwartz, President, SPFE; Alan Bohbot, CEO, Bohbot Entertainment & Media, Inc.; Fredrik Malmberg, founder and Executive Director of Target Games AB; and Pierre Ouellette, President of Dream Pod 9.

Known throughout the game industry as one of the most highly acclaimed properties since its 1994 introduction, the Heavy Gear universe, created by Pierre Ouellette and Dream Pod 9, currently includes an extensive line of roleplaying and tactical game books, miniatures, models and other products. The storyline includes more than 1000 personalities, 200 vehicles, 300 nations, factions and organizations; a complete 6000-year history; and an extensive coverage of units and emblems. Heavy Gear has a very loyal and devoted fan base on the Internet. Dream Pod 9 has also, in collaboration with Target Games AB, licensed the game universe to Activision to create the Heavy Gear and Heavy Gear II computer games.

"An animated series is the next natural step in extending the already popular Heavy Gear franchise. The new series provides another exciting vehicle for an established fan base to experience the thrill of Heavy Gear and with intriguing storylines, interesting characters and state-of-the-art animation. We will build on that base to grow a strong and loyal audience for the television show," said Sander Schwartz, President of SPFE.

"We are very pleased to be working with SPFE to bring the Heavy Gear franchise to a wider audience. The story is both exciting and fresh, and the hundreds of thousands of fans of the games will now be able to enjoy Heavy Gear in a new format. This is a breakthrough deal for Target Games, Dream Pod 9 and Heavy Gear, and brings the property to the next level," said Malmberg.

In conjunction with SPFE, Sony Pictures Consumer Products (SPCP) has signed Bandai America, Inc. as the master toy licensee for the property. SPCP will translate the property's gritty science fiction world into a wide variety of merchandizing, including: apparel, publishing, electronics, back-to-school, collectibles, food, and gifts and novelties.

The animated series' storylines will focus on the soldiers who pilot the Heavy Gears combat machines, combining state-of-the-art storytelling with the fascination of heroic dogfighter pilots and the dynamics of Japanese mechanical warriors. It will also deliver a tremendously rich storyline that lies beneath the action of Heavy Gear: politics, love, religion and unexpected mysteries as well as unexpected enemies all play their part in the saga of Heavy Gear.

Sony Pictures Entertainment's (SPE) global operations encompass motion pictures production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home video acquisition and distribution, operation of studio facilities, development of new entertainment products, services and technologies, and distribution of filmed entertainment in 67 countries.

Sony Pictures Family Entertainment (SPFE), established last February, produces animation and live-action properties for television and theatrical release around the world. The division will continue to expand SPE's leadership role by developing original content and proprietary franchises for its key family and children's audiences. SPFE also will seek to broaden its reach by developing filmed entertainment for underserved niches of its core audience, including the all-important young girl and pre-school audiences. The division's products will be designed for use across all of SPE's wide-ranging businesses, including feature film production, international film and television distribution, direct-to-video distribution, and licensing and consumer products.

The division currently produces GODZILLA(tm): The Series on Fox Kids Network, MEN IN BLACK: The Series on the Kids WBI; and JUMANJI and EXTREME GHOSTBUSTERS, airing on the Bohbot Kids Network. This fall, SPFE premiered three new series. BIG GUY AND RUSTY THE BOY ROBOT, on Fox Kids Network, is a 26-episode animated action/comedy series based on the Dark Horse comic book. ROUGHNECKS: STARSHIP TROOPERS CHRONICLES, on Bohbot Kids Network, is a 40-episode 3D CGI animated action/adventure series based on Robert Heinlein's classic novel. DRAGON TALES, a 40-episode, animated pre-school fantasy adventure series co-produced with Children's Television Workshop, premiered this fall as part of PBS' Ready to Learn block.

Dream Pod 9 is a Montreal-based entertainment properties design studio. In addition to publishing games based on their creations, they also work on a large number of special projects, creating worlds and stories to order for a variety of clients. They are best known for their Heavy Gear, Jovian Chronicles and Tribe 8 universes, which have generated many games, models and miniatures. The company can call upon the talents of a well-rounded team of more than 50 writers, artists, graphic designers and modelers.

Contact Information:

Sony Pictures Family Entertainment
David Palmer, Vice President Marketing (310) 202-3395

SSA Public Relations
Los Angeles: John Russel (818) 501-0700
New York: Kerri Tarmey (212) 679-4750

Dream Pod 9, Inc.
5000 Iberville, Suite 332
Montreal, Quebec, H2H 2S6
Phone: (514) 523-1350
Fax: (514) 523-8680

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact DP9.

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APAGear II Volume 1, Number 11 November, 1999