Sometimes you see a great concept underperforming in another market, and you think, with some tweaking this could be GREAT! We took Tomy's Battle Decks line and made it US friendly, getting retailers on board and then... Still, great creative minds used their artistic talent to bring this line even more alive. Shout out to Raymond Geiman, Jon Marquez, Steve Rotter, Steve Stetzer & Pino Marchi! Toy Stories Chapter 15: Inazuma Oh!
Inazuma Oh was a pullback motor vehicle line we adapted from Tomy UK’s Battle Deck line. 3 car parts came on frames that you snapped together, then mixed & matched to create new vehicles. And they exploded when they crashed! The UK branding, color palate & price points weren’t appropriate for the US market, so we switched it all up, embraced the Japanese roots and rebranded it as Inazuma-Oh, which roughly translates to “Lightning King.”
Ray Geiman modified the cars and a simple crash-friendly track set with cooler Japanese graphics, Jon Marquez nailed the packaging, and we had a great looking and performing line! So, I flew to Florence with the Rotter Group to shoot a kick-ass commercial, then flew straight from there to Minneapolis to present to Target the next day. The Rotter Group and Mark Studios edited and finished the commercial while I was in the air, and emailed the link so that I could present it the same day.
The meeting went great, and the buyer said it was a great commercial! Eventually we got TRU, Target and Walmart all to say yes! However, immediately afterwards Nickelodeon acquired Turtles, Playmates had a new licensing deal, and our Chairman in HK ceased work on all new brands until the Turtles relaunch. Bummer, but in retrospect, the right decision. Que sera, sera…