YO-KAI WATCH follows an average boy, Nate, who gets a special watch empowering him to discover mysterious beings called “Yo-kai.” Yo-kai are everywhere, causing little nuisances in our daily lives. Nate’s ongoing quest is to discover the reason for the Yo-kai’s mischievous behaviour, with hopes of talking them out of it. Each time Nate needs to solve a problem – a problem often caused by another troublesome Yo-kai – he uses his watch to call upon a friendly Yo-kai to aid him.
The anime series has already enjoyed huge success in Japan, where it dominates the television, merchandise, gaming and toy markets, generating retail sales of over €2 billion in less than two years.
In the UK, it looks set to be one of the biggest boys’ shows of 2016. Cartoon Network is now screening YO-KAI WATCH every weekend morning and evening – backed up with major marketing support, including trailers and website competitions.
The latest licensees to get on board with the brand are Danilo (greeting cards, calendars and gift tags, wrap and bags), Spearmark (lunch bags, bottles and lighting) and Blueprint (stationery and bags).
This builds on a burgeoning programme that already includes Cooneen (nightwear and underwear), Fashion UK (daywear), Kinnerton (confectionery), Centum (publishing), Hasbro (master toy), Nintendo (video games), Egmont (magazine publishing) and Panini (sticker collection).
“There’s a massive buzz around YO-KAI WATCH and we’re dealing with huge amounts of interest,” says Bulldog Licensing Manager Vicky Hill. “Even though it’s only just hit the screens I think the quality and potential longevity of the brand are clear, not least from its astonishing success in Japan.”