U.K.-based production/distribution company 108 Media has acquired a majority stake in Singapore animation and vfx studio Robot Playground Media (RPM).
- RPM was co-founded by Ervin Han and Bernard Toh and has developed and produced projects for companies such as Warner Bros. Discovery, Disney Southeast Asia, MediaCorp, StarHub, and Viacom.
- In 2019, Toh directed Disney’s first Southeast Asia-originated series, Mickey Go Local. The six shorts ran on Disney Channel Asia’s Youtube channel, the Disney Channel in Southeast Asia, and on Disney+.
- Han was director and showrunner on the Singaporean adult animated series Downstairs, acquired by Netflix and now heading into its third season. He also created the adult animated series Heartland Hubby for Mediacorp.
- RPM will work directly with 108 Media’s distribution and production teams. Titles included in the initial slate of joint projects include The Violinist, a WWII-era feature set in Southeast Asia based on RPM’s 2018 short of the same name; 108 Media’s U.S.-Taiwan-Singapore co-produced adult series A Banquet for Hungry Ghosts; and the series adaptation of Sonny Liew’s graphic novel The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, produced with Finding Pictures in Singapore.
- According to 108 Media, this is only the first of multiple planned acquisitions in Singapore this year. The company also recently acquired DCD Rights in the U.K. and a majority stake in Revolution Media in Malaysia.
- In a joint statement, Toh and Han said: “We’ve always held a strong belief in being able to share exciting and diverse stories from the Asia Pacific, in particular Southeast Asia, with the world, while showcasing the unique talents in the regional animation landscape. Aside from the injection of new growth capital towards accelerating our scale-up plans in order to drive and co-produce larger and more strategic international projects, we also welcome a new global partner in 108 Media, who shares our passion and ambition in realizing the importance for Asian animated stories in all genres to be produced for global audiences.”
- 108 Media CEO Abhi Rastogi added: “We’ve been so impressed with the world-class quality and creativity on display from Robot Playground delivering to international and regional clients since their inception in 2013. They fit the DNA and culture we’re building at 108 Media so well with the artistic teams they’ve assembled, mentored, and led. We’re laying the groundwork of something truly special with the teams we are carefully building in our corporate and creative expansion across markets as we move into production.”
Pictured at top: “Mickey Go Local”