Power Rangers owner takes shine to Paul Frank's cute creatures

By T.L. Stanley on Wed Aug 18 2010


Red Ranger, make room for Julius the monkey. The owner of Power Rangers, a Japanese import that became a phenom in the U.S. in the '80s, has taken over Paul Frank Industries, home to sweet-faced characters like Julius, Clancy the giraffe, Worry Bear and Spicoli the hamster. No word on whether there will be any kind of cute-creature-vs.-kid-hero smackdown between the two camps. Billionaire investor Haim Saban's Saban Capital Group and its subsidiary, Saban Brands, see the two peacefully co-existing within its growing portfolio of previously neglected properties that executives think have more life ahead of them. There are plans to resurrect the former Saban-shepherded Power Rangers, which used to be a billion-dollar rite of passage with young boys—on TV, in film, merchandise, games, toys and other swag—that petered out under the Disney banner. Paul Frank's creations, more than 150 of them, are instantly recognizable from years of pop-culture prominence but could use a boost, too. New content and media are likely, with the possibilities being fairly broad. Saban Brands, headed by licensing and marketing veteran Elie Dekel, aims to keep gobbling up underperformers and dusty franchises and relaunching them. Paul Frank Industries, which hasn't included Paul Frank himself for years, cost a reported $50 million. That's a lot of bananas, Julius. Better get to work.



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