An Exclusive "Q and AA" with Art Asylum’s Vice President Adam Unger
By Jeff Cope
Q. So, why Speed Racer and why now? It’s been some years since Speed Racer has had an impact upon pop culture. What’s the appeal?
Like you, I grew up with Speed Racer. It just had an amazing appeal to me with all the drama that was involved. There were some real tense situations in the old series. We wanted to bring some “oompf” to Speed Racer, doing something new while, at the same time showing total respect to the classic. We wanted to do something that had more of a team effort to it, so we created these new characters that are on the racing team with Speed Racer Jr and his sister Velocity.
Q. Did Art Asylum pursue the license, or did Speed Racer Enterprises seek you out?
A little of both. We’ve had a pre-existing relationship because of some other projects. We thought the time was ripe for Speed Racer to make a comeback. There wasn’t much going on with the property. But, with it being the 40th anniversary and with the popularity of racing, we thought Speed Racer would make a great oportunity for Art Asylum.
Q. You’re taking a new approach with Speed Racer. How did the decision to produce a new online animated series come about?
It’s all about driving the sales of the toys. We looked at different ways to market and promote Speed Racer. TV Commercials and print ads are expensive, so we thought maybe there was another way to go about it. We felt creating a more organic experience using the web was the way forward.
Q. What’s your target demographic with the new series?
It’s for fans of the classic series, and through them we hope to reach kids as well. One of the niches out there is Dad’s who are trying to connect with their kids, but they don’t get Pokemon or Yu Gi Oh…but they get Speed Racer. It’s something they can share with their kids and enjoy the new stuff together.