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|Launched||May 24, 2008|
|Closed||August 18, 2012|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Formerly known as||The CW4Kids (2008–2010)|
|Format||Saturday morning cartoon block|
Toonzai was a Saturday morning cartoon block that was broadcast on The CW from May 24, 2008 to August 18, 2012. The block was created as a result of a four-year agreement between 4Kids Entertainment and The CW. The original name for the block from 2008 to 2010, The CW4Kids (stylized as CW4K!DS), was retained as a sub-brand through the end of the block's run in order to fulfill branding obligations per 4Kids Entertainment's contract to lease The CW's Saturday morning time slots. The name is a portmanteau of "toon" and the Japanese term banzai, reflecting the majority of anime programming on the block.
On April 12, 2013, the Toonzai website redirected to the Vortexx website. On October 4, 2014, none of 4Kids' shows air on broadcast television anymore, as Vortexx ended its run.
Origin and launch
On October 2, 2007, The CW announced due to a joint decision between the network's parent companies Time Warner and CBS Corporation that it would discontinue the Kids' WB programming block, due to the effects of children's advertising limits and competition from cable television, and sell the programming time to 4Kids Entertainment. Kids' WB ended its run on The CW on May 17, 2008 (Kids' WB, like The WB Television Network that the block originated, then relaunched as an online-only video on demand service). 4Kids Entertainment took over programming the block on May 24, 2008, premiering under the name The CW4Kids. In addition to programming the block, 4Kids also handled responsibilities for its content and advertising revenue.
At the time of the block's launch, 4Kids also programmed the competing 4Kids TV block for Fox, until that network nullified its time leasing agreement with 4KidsTV on December 27, 2008, due to a dispute between Fox and 4Kids involving 4Kids' failure to pay the network for its time lease, and the network's inability to maintain guaranteed clearances for the block, due to difficulties getting Fox affiliates and stations that would be used as default carriers of the block in markets where the Fox station did not carry 4Kids TV to air it.
Takeover by Saban Brands and end of Toonzai
On June 26, 2012, Kidsco Media Ventures, an affiliate of Saban Capital Group, finalized a bid to acquire 4Kids' agreement with The CW for the block. On July 2, 2012, it was announced that Saban Brands, via Kidsco Media Ventures, began programming the block, which would be relaunched under the name Vortexx. Toonzai quietly ended its run on The CW on August 18, 2012 after a Yu-Gi-Oh! marathon, with Vortexx premiering the following week on August 25, 2012. Some of Toonzai's programming, including Yu-Gi-Oh!, Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal, Sonic X, and Dragon Ball Z Kai continued to air on the block until September 27, 2014, when Vortexx ended its run.
In most markets, CW affiliates used the network's recommended Saturday morning scheduling for the block – though some such as CW owned-and-operated station WUPA in Atlanta aired it on Sunday, instead due to regular Saturday programming. Connecticut affiliate WCCT-TV aired three hours on Saturday, and two hours on Sunday. KMAX-TV in Sacramento, California aired the entire lineup, but it had a four-hour tape delay, running from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. WLFL in Raleigh, North Carolina and WNUV in Baltimore, aired the entire lineup, but it had two hours earlier, running from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. San Diego's XETV-TV, aired three hours from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. and two hours from 10:00 a.m. to Noon. San Antonio's KMYS, which affiliated with The CW in 2010, aired it on Sunday and Monday before 5:00 a.m. Other stations preempted portions of the block; Shreveport, Louisiana's KPXJ-TV preempted the final hour of the block. Columbus, Georgia's WLTZ-DT2 preempted the first half-hour of the block.
While The CW recommended that its affiliates carry The CW4Kids/Toonzai block at 7:00 a.m. to Noon Saturday mornings (regardless of time zone), its secondary CW Plus national feed for smaller markets aired the Toonzai block an hour earlier on its broadcast and cable-only affiliates in the Central, Mountain and Alaska time zones, as The CW Plus operates two separate feeds running on Eastern and Pacific time zone schedules.
|Title||Premiere date||End date|
|Will and DewittE/I †||May 24, 2008||April 4, 2009|
|Magi-NationE/I † ‡||September 20, 2008|
|Skunk Fu! †||October 18, 2008|
|May 29, 2010||July 10, 2010|
|Tom and Jerry Tales †||May 24, 2008||September 6, 2008|
|The Spectacular Spider-Man †||January 31, 2009|
|World of Quest †||June 14, 2008|
|Johnny Test †|
|Eon Kid †|
|Chaotic||June 21, 2008||July 10, 2010|
|Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ‡||August 7, 2010|
|Yu-Gi-Oh! GX||September 6, 2008|
|The Batman †||August 2, 2008|
|Viva PiñataE/I||September 13, 2008||October 18, 2008|
|Dinosaur King ‡||August 7, 2010|
|Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's ‡|
|GoGoRikiE/I||September 27, 2008||November 14, 2009|
|Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight||December 13, 2008||December 26, 2009|
|Sonic X ‡||January 3, 2009||August 7, 2010|
|Huntik: Secrets & Seekers||December 26, 2009|
|Kirby: Right Back at Ya!||June 6, 2009||July 11, 2009|
|Winx ClubE/I||July 18, 2009||July 17, 2010|
|Roll Bots||September 19, 2009||January 23, 2010|
|Magical DoReMiE/I||April 24, 2010||July 17, 2010|
|Cubix: Robots for EveryoneE/I † ‡||July 24, 2010||August 7, 2010|
† - Program transitioned from final schedule of Kids' WB
‡ - Program transitioned to Toonzai
|Title||Premiere date||End date|
|Cubix: Robots for EveryoneE/I †||August 14, 2010||February 12, 2011|
|February 18, 2012||August 18, 2012|
|Sonic X †||August 14, 2010||August 4, 2012|
|Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles||August 21, 2010|
|Dragon Ball Z Kai †||August 11, 2012|
|Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's||September 10, 2011|
|Dinosaur King||October 9, 2010|
|Yu-Gi-Oh! †||August 18, 2012|
|Magi-NationE/I||February 19, 2011||February 11, 2012|
|Tai Chi Chasers||September 17, 2011||June 2, 2012|
|Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal †||October 15, 2011||August 18, 2012|
|Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monsters||March 24, 2012||April 28, 2012|
† - Program transitioned to Vortexx
- Magical DoReMi Witchling Sing-along
- TMNT: Mayhem at Mutant Island
- GoGoWiki (GoGoRiki)
- GoTunes (GoGoRiki)
- The CW4Kids Vault (Viva Piñata, Skunk Fu!)
- Popcorn for Breakfast – consisted of movies distributed by 4Kids Entertainment, like Kirby: Fright to the Finish!! and Turtles Forever.
- Dinosaurs and Dueling (8am–10am) – consisting of two new episodes of Dinosaur King and two episodes of the original Yu-Gi-Oh!.
- Full Hours (8am–Noon) – consisting of one full hour of Dinosaur King, one full hour of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, one full hour Sonic X, and one full hour of Yu-Gi-Oh!.
- Saturday Morning Superstars (9am–Noon) – consisting of two episodes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, two episodes of Sonic X, and two episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! (part of Full Hours).
- The Fast and The Fierce (10am-11am) – consisting of two episodes of Sonic X. Title is a parody of The Fast and the Furious (part of Full Hours).
- Double Vision Saturday (10am–Noon) – consisting of two episodes of Sonic X and two episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! (part of Full Hours).
- Kirby: Fright to the Finish!! (September 12, 2009)
- Turtles Forever (November 21, 2009, March 20, 2010, and May 29, 2010)
The CW4Kids website had a "Papercraft" section, where users could print special themed bookmarks and stationery, and make paper characters and accessories from various 4Kids shows.
|Chaotic||Chaor, Maxxor, H'earring, Intress, Zalvar, and Code Scanner|
|Dinosaur King||Chomp, Max, Terry, Bookmarks|
|GoGoRiki||Ottoriki, Pogoriki, Rosariki, Docoriki, and Pogoriki Stationary|
|Huntik: Secrets & Seekers||Dante Vale|
|Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight||Kamen Rider Dragon Knight, Wing Knight, Torque, and Strike|
|Kirby: Right Back at Ya!||Kirby, Tiff, Tuff, Meta Knight, King Dedede, and Waddle Dee|
|Sonic X||Sonic, Tails Prower, Knuckles, Amy Rose, Shadow, Dr. Eggman, Rouge, and Bookmarks|
|Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles||Michelangelo, Raphael, Donatello, Leonardo, Splinter, Casey Jones, Shredder, Foot Ninja, Krang, TMNT Accessories, Bookmarks, and Bookmarks (Fast Forward)|
|Winx Club||Bloom (Stationery), Flora (Stationery), Layla (Stationery), Musa (Stationery), Stella (Stationery), Tecna (Stationery), Winx Club Stationery, and Bookmarks|
|Yu-Gi-Oh!||Yugi and Yami Yugi|
- 4Kids TV - predecessor of TheCW4Kids/Toonzai block ran on Fox from September 14, 2002 to December 27, 2008.
- 4Kids Entertainment - entertainment company that programmed both blocks.
- "CW turns to 4Kids on Saturdays". Variety. October 2, 2007. Archived from the original on November 11, 2012. Retrieved September 5, 2012.
- Weprin, Alex (October 3, 2007). "4Kids Entertainment Programming The CW's Saturday Morning". Broadcasting & Cable. Archived from the original on January 16, 2010. Retrieved October 20, 2012.
- Ball, Ryan (October 3, 2007). "4Kids Gets CW Block". Animation Magazine. Retrieved October 20, 2012.
- "Fox Ends Saturday-Morning Cartoons". New York Times. November 24, 2008. Retrieved October 20, 2012.
- 4Kids to Rebrand The CW4Kids Block on Saturdays, Anime News Network, April 27, 2010
- McLean, Thomas J. (August 18, 2010). "4Kids Reports Losses, Rebranding of CW Block". Animation Magazine. Retrieved October 20, 2012.
- "4Kids Sells Yu-Gi-Oh!, CW Network-Related Assets Jointly to Konami, Kidsco". AnimeNewsNetwork. June 26, 2012. Retrieved October 20, 2012.
- Wallenstein, Andrew (July 2, 2012). "Saban Brands to rebuild CW toon block". Variety. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
- "'Power Rangers' Backer Saban to Reenter Kiddie TV". Advertising Age. July 12, 2012. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
- "Saban Brands Partners with The CW to Launch Five-Hour Kids Television Block" (PDF). Saban. July 2, 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 22, 2013. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
- Marcucci, Carl (July 3, 2012). "The CW signs Saban Brands for kids block". Radio & Television Business Report. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
- "Saban builds CW kids' block". C21Media. July 3, 2012. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
- Dickson, Jeremy (July 3, 2012). "Saban and The CW launch kids TV block". KidScreen. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
- ""Kirby - Fright to the Finish" Movie on TV September 12!". 4Kids TV. September 8, 2009. Archived from the original on March 1, 2010. Retrieved October 8, 2016.