Home Media Retailing reports that Liongate, a company not known for animation, has had their anime gamble pay off. The company has sold over 500,000 copies of the first three volumes of Speed Racer DVDs it has put out.

Speed Racer originally began in 1967 and had 52 episodes in total. Speed is the main character and he gets into all kinds of trouble with his girlfriend, a monkey and his brother, Racer X. Using his high speed car, the Mach 5, Speed often tackles dangerous rescues as well as races other drivers.

Rather than release the show with typical extras, Lionsgate added such supplemental features as “toys and specialty items to each DVD release.” For example, in the upcoming Fourth Volume, it will contain a “miniature” Mach 5 car. The DVDs are also priced very competitively and contain more episodes than most anime fare.

“It’s a combination of the way we’ve released this and the value of the ‘Speed Racer’ brand [that propelled sales],” Lionsgate VP of Marketing, Michael Rathauser said. “It’s also because we’ve made sure each volume’s packaging had value and stands out on the shelf.”

Speed Racer - Volume Four is set to be released March 14th, 2006 while Speed Racer - Volume Five will hit stores in 2007.

Cinemark Movie Club
Evan Jacobs