Asia Pacific's first Smurfs-themed park to open in Shanghai
SHANGHAI, March 21 (Xinhua) -- The first Smurfs-themed park in the Asia Pacific region will open in Shanghai later this year, with construction starting Thursday, according to the Shimao Group, developer of the theme park.
The Shimao Group and the International Merchandising Promotion & Services S.A (IMPS), the copyright owner of the Smurfs, announced that the new park will be located in Shanghai's Sheshan National Tourist Resort, as part of the second phase of the Shimao Dream City theme park.
The Smurfs, first created as a series of cartoon characters by Belgian comic artist Peyo in 1958, was introduced to China in 1986 via a namesake cartoon series and became a household name.
"We believe the theme park will bring joy to and also have a positive influence on the young visitors," said Peng Yueqi, vice director of Shimao's commercial and entertainment department.
Last year marked the 60th anniversary of the Smurfs, with plenty of Chinese fans also marking the occasion, said Veronique Culliford, president of IMPS.