Network The CW
Launched May 24, 2008 (2008-05-24)
Closed August 18, 2012 (2012-08-18)
Country of origin United States
Owner 4Kids Entertainment (Grupo Clarin)
Saban Brands (2010–12)
Formerly known as The CW4Kids (2008–10)
Format Saturday morning cartoon block
Original Language(s) English

Toonzai was a Saturday morning cartoon block that aired 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.

As of April 12, 2013, the Toonzai website now redirects to the Vortexx website. As of September 27, 2014, almost all 4Kids programs no longer air on broadcast television (with the exception of Pokémon), as Vortexx ended its run.


Origin and launch

On October 2, 2007, the network announced that due to a joint decision between Time Warner and CBS Corporation – the parent companies of The CW – 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 Grupo Clarin (through its subsidiary 4Kids Entertainment).[1][2][3] 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.

The CW4Kids logo used exclusively from May 24, 2008 to August 7, 2010. The logo was still being used as a sub-brand to the Toonzai name until August 18, 2012.

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.[4] The CW4Kids was not renamed in order to avert confusion and due to contractual obligations to feature the CW name in some form within the block's title. 4Kids Entertainment's sister company Artear would later rebrand Canal Trece as El trece in January 2009.

On April 27, 2010, 4Kids announced a joint venture with Saban Capital Group and the rebranding of The CW4Kids under the new name Toonzai, a name change that took effect on August 14, 2010.[5][6]

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.[7] 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.[8][9] 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.[10][11][12][13][14]


Programming differences

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 Atlanta, Georgia's WUPA-TV, 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. - 4:00 p.m. WLFL-TV in Raleigh, North Carolina and WNUV-TV in Baltimore, Maryland, aired the entire lineup, but it had two hours earlier, running from 5:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. San Diego's XETV-TV, aired three hours from 5:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. and two hours from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.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 The CW4Kids/Toonzai block at 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. 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.

Former programming

The CW4Kids

- Program transitioned from final schedule of Kids' WB
- Program transitioned to Toonzai


- Program transitioned to Vortexx

Short segments

Programming blocks

Film airings

Online Papercrafts

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.

Show Character(s)/Item(s)
Chaotic Chaor, Maxxor, H'earring, Intress, Zalvar, Code Scanner
Dinosaur King Chomp, Max, Terry, Bookmarks
GoGoRiki Ottoriki, Pogoriki, Rosariki, Docoriki, Pogoriki Stationary
Huntik: Secrets & Seekers Dante Vale
Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight Kamen Rider Dragon Knight, Wing Knight, Torque, Strike
Kirby: Right Back at Ya! Kirby, Tiff, Tuff, Meta-Knight, King Dedede, Waddle Dee
Sonic X Sonic, Tails Prower, Knuckles, Amy Rose, Shadow, Dr. Eggman, Rouge, Bookmarks
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Michelangelo, Raphael, Donatello, Leonardo, Splinter, Casey Jones, Shredder, Foot Ninja, Krang, TMNT Accessories, Bookmarks, Bookmarks (Fast Forward)
Viva Piñata Fergy
Winx Club Bloom (Stationery), Flora (Stationery), Layla (Stationery), Musa (Stationery), Stella (Stationery), Tecna (Stationery), Winx Club Stationery, Bookmarks
Yu-Gi-Oh! Yugi, Yami Yugi

See also


  1. "CW turns to 4Kids on Saturdays". Variety. October 2, 2007. Retrieved September 5, 2012.
  2. Weprin, Alex (October 3, 2007). "4Kids Entertainment Programming The CW's Saturday Morning". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved October 20, 2012.
  3. Ball, Ryan (October 3, 2007). "4Kids Gets CW Block". Animation Magazine. Retrieved October 20, 2012.
  4. "Fox Ends Saturday-Morning Cartoons". New York Times. November 24, 2008. Retrieved October 20, 2012.
  5. 4Kids to Rebrand The CW4Kids Block on Saturdays, Anime News Network, April 27, 2010
  6. McLean, Thomas J. (August 18, 2010). "4Kids Reports Losses, Rebranding of CW Block". Animation Magazine. Retrieved October 20, 2012.
  7. "4Kids Sells Yu-Gi-Oh!, CW Network-Related Assets Jointly to Konami, Kidsco". AnimeNewsNetwork. June 26, 2012. Retrieved October 20, 2012.
  8. Wallenstein, Andrew (July 2, 2012). "Saban Brands to rebuild CW toon block". Variety. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  9. "'Power Rangers' Backer Saban to Reenter Kiddie TV". Advertising Age. July 12, 2012. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
  10. "Saban Brands Partners with The CW to Launch Five-Hour Kids Television Block" (PDF). Saban. July 2, 2012. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  11. Wallenstein, Andrew (July 2, 2012). "Saban Brands to rebuild CW toon block". Variety. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  12. Marcucci, Carl (July 3, 2012). "The CW signs Saban Brands for kids block". Radio & Television Business Report. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  13. "Saban builds CW kids' block". C21Media. July 3, 2012. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  14. Dickson, Jeremy (July 3, 2012). "Saban and The CW launch kids TV block". KidScreen. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  15. ""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.
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