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Konami Co. said Tuesday it will market game software and card games in the United States based on the popular Japanese “manga” comic series “Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelmonsters.”

Konami will tie up with the New York-based 4Kids Entertainment Inc., which obtained the U.S. merchandising and television rights and signed a licensing agreement on use of the character. Merchandising operations will begin there during the Christmas season.

“Yu-Gi-Oh!” debuted in the weekly manga magazine Shonen Jump in 1996 and has spawned a hugely popular TV animation series. It is now one of Konami’s biggest money-spinners, with accumulated sales of 3.5 billion cards and 7 million units of game software, the company said.

Konami began marketing related merchandise in 1998.

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