CARLSBAD, Calif., Jan. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Nickelodeon's latest hit animated series, "Avatar: The Last Airbender," makes its trading card game debut this month as Upper Deck Entertainment (UDE) -- in association with Nickelodeon -- today announce plans to create and distribute a new trading card game (TCG) based on the cartoon series. The trading card game will be the first collectible card game to use UDE's new QuickStrike game engine, which features lightning-fast one-on-one card combat moves, and will be compatible with future releases on the QuickStrike system. The new Avatar Trading Card Game will be available at participating stores across North America in February. "We are thrilled to introduce Avatar fans to the exciting world of trading card games," said Cory Jones, Director of Upper Deck Entertainment Brand and New Product Development. "Through easy-to-learn game mechanics, lightning-fast game play, and brand new card technologies, fans will have the chance to get the ultimate Avatar Trading Card Game experience." "Avatar has emerged as one of the most popular new shows for kids today with a deeply loyal and growing fan base that has been clamoring for Avatar merchandise ever since the show debuted," said Joan Grasso, Senior Director-Toys, Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products. "Avatar translates perfectly into trading cards because of its rich story and diverse collection of characters. The trading card game from Upper Deck will create a whole new level of excitement with a product that's both fun to play and collect," she said. Combining the amazing world of Waterbenders, Earthbenders, Firebenders, and Airbenders, the Avatar Trading Card Game centers on the adventures of Aang -- a reluctant hero who must lead the fight against the evil Fire Nation to restore balance in his war-torn world. Avatar fans can execute all the signature bending moves of Aang and the entire cast with UDE's new foil Zenemental cards, and slide-open Chamber Cards, which allows players to reveal hidden moves, and simulate all the action seen on the hit television series. The launch of the Avatar Trading Card Game will include Master of Elements Starter Sets, which features two 30-card decks, two Chamber Cards, one rulebook, and two game mats, packaged in the new UDECK plastic storage case. UDE will also release Master of Elements Booster Packs, which includes nine cards and one Chamber Card per pack. The series -- created by Michael DiMartino ("King of the Hill") and Bryan Konietzko ("Invader Zim") -- premiered last February, and is currently the #1 regularly scheduled television program in its timeslot among all kids ages 2-11. The second season of Avatar will debut on Nickelodeon on March 17. The first of five DVDs of the first season of Avatar will be available beginning January 31. There are 50 licensees on board for Avatar. In addition to the trading cards, other categories include action figures, construction sets, videogames and books, with product launching in the Fall. Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products manages the third largest licensing business in the world with $5 billion in retail sales in 2005, from such properties as SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer. The department handles the merchandising for Nick Jr., Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, Comedy Central, MTVN International, and Spike TV. Nickelodeon, now in its 26th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books, magazines and feature films. Nickelodeon's U.S. television network is seen in more than 89 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for ten consecutive years. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom International Inc. For more information on the Avatar Trading Card Game, or Upper Deck Entertainment products, Internet users can log onto www.upperdeckentertainment.com. About Upper Deck The Upper Deck Co. is a premier global sports and entertainment-publishing company that delivers a portfolio of relevant, innovative and multi- dimensional product experiences to collectors, sports and entertainment enthusiasts.
SOURCE Upper Deck Entertainment; Nickelodeon