As nostalgia addicts have already discovered, ULTRAMAN the whacked-out, gloriously campy Japanese import that once glued many a young Gen-Xer hypnotically to the TV screen has returned in a new format. The show, called ULTRAMAN TIGA, hit U.S. airwaves thanks to the creative acquisitions officers at New York-based 4Kids Entertainment.
"We produced and distributed POKEMON and YU-GHI-OH, which are now two of the biggest hits in the world for kids," 4Kids CEO Norman Grossfeld notes with pride. "Our philosophy has always been that something that works for kids in another country, particularly in Japan, could work just as well in Western markets if handled properly. And how could you look at the Japanese entertainment landscape and not instantly think of ULTRAMAN?"
4Kids was motivated to import ULTRAMAN not only because of the lasting legacy of the original series, but also because of the continuing success of the character in the land of the rising sun. Grossfeld calls ULTRAMAN's popularity in Japan "the equivalent of the U.S. popularity of Spider-Man and Superman combined."