2022 may be the Year of the Tiger but it is also shaping up to be a big year for the rabbits of the highly anticipated Netflix animated kids series Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles, and the long-running and award-winning Stan Sakai comic book series Usagi Yojimbo that inspired it.

Spotlight Licensing has been appointed by Gaumont to launch and manage the global merchandise licensing programme for Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles (which debuted on Netflix April 28).

“We are incredibly proud of Samurai Rabbit! It’s a fun, funny, action packed, gorgeous, animated kids series that younger viewers will love. Creator Stan Sakai was involved every step of the way so we hope his comic fans will love it as well,” says Terry Kalagian, Executive Vice President of Creative Content at Gaumont US.

Spotlight has simultaneously been tapped to handle global merchandise licensing for Sakai’s creator-owned Usagi Yojimbo.

Usagi Yojimbo’s Miyamoto Usagi is an ancestor of Samurai Rabbit’s teenage star Yuichi Usagi  and – because Miyamoto is such an integral figure in Yuichi’s life and story – it made sense to consolidate and coordinate licensing efforts for both the series and comics with one agency,” says Sakai, who is an executive producer of the Samurai Rabbit series and has remained involved throughout development to ensure the show would be well-crafted and respectful of Japanese culture.

“We are thrilled to be working with Gaumont and Stan Sakai to find the right licensing partners in the U.S. and around the world for each property, Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles and Usagi Yojimbo, either separately or together if appropriate,” says Spotlight Licensing President Carole Postal.

Spotlight is actively seeking licensing partners across a broad range of product categories including not only toys and games but also clothing, costumes, accessories, figurines, collectibles, and other items. As global agent, Spotlight will also be looking for evaluating potential licensing partners and sub-agents around the world.