Toy juggernaut Hasbro is preparing to release HANAZUKI: FULL OF TREASURES, a digital webseries with daily eleven-minute episodes, targeted at tween girls. Following its premiere, Hasbro will launch an app in April and roll out toys and clothes connected to the series’ character in June.
“We’re leading with stories, because stories are key these days,” says Hasbro’s head of storytelling for girl brands, Meghan McCarthy, “and we’re meeting her [tweens] where she is 11 hours a week: on the web.”
The story revolves around Hanazuki, a girl gifted with powers that are tied to her many moods. The show also features bunny-like creatures called Hemkas, a sheriff of the moon named Dazzlessence Jones, and Kiazuki, who may or may not be a friend. The project is based on the work of art director Niko Stumpo and partner Hanneke Metselaar, who opened a studio and store together in 2005 to sell their own creations and assist their artist friends. It was here that the Hanazuki design, featured on clothing and stationary, first grew popular. Hasbro signed on to acquire and develop the franchise in 2011.
The unique story is set to compete against the ever-growing marketplace in the tween arena that already includes Hasbro’s My Little Pony, Lego Friends, and Mattel and DC’s team up on Super Hero Girls.
What makes Hanazuki unique is the focus on her moods. While this theme was present in the critically acclaimed Inside Out from Pixar, but while that film told the story from the perspective of the the central human, Riley, Hanazuki lets the singular character speak her own mind.
Hanazuki: Full of Treasures will premiere this spring.
Emily J | Staff Writer
This news was first reported by Hollywood Reporter.