Tsuburaya Productions Sold
Tsuburaya Productions, the studio behind the long-running Ultraman franchise, will soon become a subsidiary of the Japanese media group TYO Inc. On September 12, TYO announced that they will acquire a 68% stake in TPC and an 80% share in parent company Tsuburaya Enterprises Co. for Y80 million.
Founded in 1963 by special effects legend Eiji Tsuburaya, Tsuburaya Productions created the incredibly popular series ULTRA Q (Urutora Kyu, 1966), ULTRAMAN (Urutoraman, 1966), and ULTRA SEVEN (Urutora Sebun, 1967). The company’s latest projects have included ULTRAMAN MEBIUS (Urutoraman Mebiusu, 2006) and the upcoming TV shows ULTRASEVEN X (Urutorasebun Ekkusu) and ULTRA GALAXY: GIANT MONSTER BATTLE (Urutora Gyarakushii Daikaiju Batoru). TPC has always been controlled by the Tsuburaya family, and in recent years has been run by Eiji’s grandson Kazuo Tsuburaya. That will soon change, as Kazuo Tsuburaya will sell his 5100 shares in TPC (equaling 22% of the company) back to Tsuburaya Enterprises, which will then issue 80,000 new shares for sale to TYO by October 17. Kazuo Tsuburaya is expected to stay on with the company’s board of directors, while others will be replaced by TYO appointees.
TYO Inc. is a business group which controls several production companies and is involved in film, animation, television, websites, video games, and commercials. The TYO Group has created the anime series KIRINO NO CORDA- PRIMO PASSO (2006) and ARIA THE NATURAL (2006); the feature films FUNUKE: SHOW SOME LOVE, YOU LOSERS! (Funuke Domo, Kanashimi no Ai wo Misero, 2007) and APPLESEED EX MACHINA (Appurushido EX Machina, 2007); a series of animated spots for NHK’s mascot Domo-kun; and commercials and advertising for Pepsi, Zippo Lighters, QP Corporation, Gatorade, Pringles, and Central Japan Railway Company. TYO officials said the group will make heavy use of the popular Ultraman characters and shows.