Rebrand reflects company’s growth and focus on production, distribution and licensing of multi-platform animated content.

License Global

June 16, 2023

3 Min Read
Stan Lee, Genius Brands
Stan LeeGenius Brands

Genius Brands International, has announced that the company will change its name to Kartoon Studios. In connection with the name change, the company plans to transfer its listing from the Nasdaq Capital Market (“Nasdaq”) to the NYSE American exchange (“NYSE American”). 

The company also reports that Stan Lee, via animation, will ring the opening bell of the NYSE on June 26, reflecting the emphasis on Stan Lee created IP going forward for Kartoon Studios. 

The company, through its interest in Stan Lee Universe, controls the name, likeness, signature, consumer product licensing, and post-Marvel IP, of Stan Lee, which it has commenced to bring to market beginning with a 20-year license to Marvel and the Walt Disney Company, and a major branding initiative commemorating Stan’s 100th anniversary at San Diego Comic-Con in July 2023.  

 “The name change from Genius Brands to Kartoon Studios was conceived to reflect the core DNA of the Company, making high quality and socially responsible animated cartoons for children, distributing them worldwide, and licensing consumer products based on the character images,” says Andy Heyward, chairman & chief executive officer, Genius Brands. “In conjunction with the company’s renaming, we are transitioning our stock listing to the NYSE American exchange, which we believe aligns more with our strategy to become a leading provider of children’s entertainment. NYSE is home to major multimedia powerhouses like Disney, SONY, Roblox and AMC. We are heading into our next growth phase, so the timing is ideal for us as a company and our shareholders to make the move.” 

“The defining focus of our new ‘Kartoon’ and animation rebranding reflects the recent vertical integration of the business following several acquisitions over the past year, including WOW! Unlimited Media in Canada and its subsidiaries Frederator Studios, Frederator Network and Mainframe Entertainment; Ameba TV; Beacon Media; and taking a major stake in Germany’s Your Family Entertainment, the largest children’s animation catalog in Europe. We can now do everything in-house, from content creation to production, distribution and global merchandising.”   

At the same time, the company is also expanding its content across wider demographics, ranging from toddlers to young adults, including its recently launched hit series, “Shaq’s Garage,” which premiered on Pluto TV, starring and co-produced by NBA legend, Shaquille O’Neal, which caters to a younger audience.  

“Additionally, through our Frederator Studios subsidiary, we have several initiatives in content development that skew to a broader audience,” says Heyward. “We have an exclusive deal with BuzzFeed Animation Lab to develop select properties into full series based on hit YouTube shorts, including Chikn’ Nuggit. Frederator also signed a deal with Jimmy Kimmel’s Wheelhouse DNA and YouTube sensation Adam Waheed “Adam W” for an animated series. Concurrently, the company’s series, Bee and PuppyCat, co-produced with TOHO of Japan, has been a breakout hit  that led to a Netflix series and merchandise program with Hot Topic.” 

Kartoon Studios is expected to commence trading on the NYSE American exchange when markets open on June 26. Effective that date, the company’s common stock will begin trading under a new trading symbol, “TOON.” The company will continue to trade on Nasdaq under its current trading symbol, “GNUS” until the close of market on June 23. 

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