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Sunbow Entertainment is an animation studio, founded in 1980 and owned up until 1998 by Griffin-Bacal Advertising in New Yorkmarker. The first animation efforts by Griffin-Bacal were producing the animated commercials for Hasbro's G.I. Joe toy line.

The success of the animated commercials led partners Tom Griffin and Joe Bacal to form Sunbow Productions. One of Sunbow's most well known productions is the long running syndicated series The Great Space Coaster.

Company overview

Sunbow is noted for many cartoons aired during the 1980s. Most of their work was co-produced with Marvel Productions. Although it is not limited to Hasbro's various toy line products its reputation is tied to the many cartoon series tied to them. Its animation was initially produced by the Japanese animation studio Toei Animation, supplemented by the South Korean animation studio AKOM later on. By 1988, most of Hasbro's toylines were losing money and various internal struggles forced the company to end popular series such as G.I. Joe and Transformers. Two of Sunbow's animated movies, (The Transformers: The Movie and My Little Pony: The Movie) flopped at the box office, forcing a third project, G.I. Joe: The Movie, to be released directly to video instead.

In a bid to produce original material, Sunbow produced several cartoons through the early 1990s such as The Nudnik Show, The Tick and Conan the Adventurer. Of these, only The Tick managed to gain popularity and critical acclaim.

On April 28, 1998 Sunbow Productions was bought by Sony Wonder, a division of Sony Music. Sunbow was sold for US$10 million dollars in 2000 to TV Loonland AG, which then bought Metrodome Distribution, who currently have the European rights to the Sunbow catalogue. After TV-Loonland acquired Sunbow Productions and Sony Wonder's television business, the company formed Sunbow Entertainment.

Previously, Rhino Entertainment owned the US home video distribution rights to the Sunbow catalogue. The rights then changed hands to Sony Wonder with its acquisition of the catalogue. However, Sony Wonder was shut down in March 2007.

On June 21, 2007 it was announced that Sony Wonder had been absorbed into Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, which currently owns the US rights to the Sunbow catalogue. However, it is unknown when or if any of the shows in the library will be re-released by the company in the future.

In May 2008, Hasbro released news that it had obtained the rights to all the Sunbow and Marvel co-produced cartoons based on its properties. This includes Transformers, G.I. Joe, My Little Pony and many more.


Among the various series produced by Sunbow are:

The only movies produced by Sunbow were:


  1. Transformers DVD news: SonyWonder Goes Under; Uncertain Future For Transformers DVDs!
  2. " Hasbro reacquires distribution rights to Sunbow Library of Hasbro Classics." Thomson Financial News at Forbes. May 14, 2008.

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