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Michael Bay’s 451 Media Group Scores Funding From China’s Alpha Animation

Foreign toy manufacturer will own content distribution and merchandising rights in territories like Greater China, Singapore, Thailand

451 Media Group, which counts director Michael Bay as a founder, has landed a strategic investment from China’s Guangdong Alpha Animation and Culture Co.

Established with John and Anthony Gentile, Bay’s venture will develop and produce content in an overall deal that leverages the distribution and product manufacturing arms of Alpha Animation in territories like Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Greater China.

“This strategic long-term partnership will marry 451’s creative capabilities in entertainment and merchandise with Alpha Animation’s expertise and reach in mobile, entertainment, media and toy distribution within China,” said Douglas Nunes, 451’s Chief Operating Officer.

“We have assembled an incredible team of talent and are looking forward to announcing an equally incredible team of strategic partners who share the same long-term vision on building a new portfolio of properties and brands with global appeal.”

Alpha is also a leading producer and distributor for Hasbro and Mattel in foreign markets.

Bay is no stranger to such brand leveraging, given the success of his “Transformers” franchise. The Gentile Brothers count established toy lines like Micronauts, Power Glove and Sky Dancers in their stable. The strategic partnership would allow 451 to develop content like feature films, apps and physical toys based on original intellectual property and disseminate them in unison, said an individual familiar with the deal.

“This a very well executed partnership within the emerging Chinese entertainment and toy industry, bringing together the strength of both companies in the areas of original IP development for global audiences, product design, animation development and mobile and online channel creation,” said Solon So, President of Alpha Pictures.

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