TOY FAIR 2013: Warner Bros. preps for toy convention
Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) zooms into this year’s exciting Toy Fair season with a roster of global licensees ready to support the Studio’s portfolio, led by this summer’s tentpole film release Man of Steel, which will be supported by DC Comics master toy licensee Mattel, as well as many other toy partners. With an impressive lineup driven by powerhouse properties that stretch from DC Comics Super Heroes and The Hobbit Trilogy to The Big Bang Theory and Looney Tunes, WBCP and its renowned licensees are rolling out new toys and collectibles that will reach fans of all ages.
“As excitement grows for the release of Zack Snyder’s new vision for Superman, Man of Steel, we head into this year’s toy fair season with a portfolio that really takes us to new heights,” said Brad Globe, president of Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “Superman will always be a pop culture icon, and the upcoming summer action adventure will continue to fuel excitement for this fan-favorite Super Hero across the globe.”
In anticipation of Man of Steel, global master toy licensee Mattel unveils its wide ranging toy line including action figures, vehicles, playsets and collectible figures, highlighted by the fan-favorite and much-anticipated Movie Masters™ line, which captures the superior accuracy and details of the film’s characters. Mattel will also introduce Man of Steel QuickShots™, a new way to play with Superman with elements of flight and strength incorporated into the toy. Also supporting Man of Steel are global licensees such as LEGO, with exciting construction sets inspired by memorable scenes from the film; and Rubie’s Costume Co. with a new line of Man of Steel-inspired costumes and accessories for both kid and adult fans.
Additional partners bringing the Man of Steel product offerings to life will include Thinkway Toys, with a full role-play line, RC vehicle and interactive figure and other engaging toys; Jakks Pacific, with a range of Man of Steel and Superman collectible figures and novelty toys; as well as Cardinal Industries’ with games and puzzles based on Man of Steel and Superman, among many other licensees. Enthusiasts also won’t want to miss statues from Sideshow Collectibles; authentic prop replicas from Noble Collection; an 18-inch articulated figure from NECA; fun, stylized plush and vinyl figures from Funko; and high-end creations from Kotobukiya and SquareEnix, to name a few.
The Hobbit Trilogy Treks On As Fans Await The Next Film in the Trilogy
Fans of Middle-earth have heard the call to join the adventure as The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was released to resounding success this past December. With themed toys disappearing off the shelves and authentic collectibles finding a home in collector cases, WBCP’s toy partners continue to keep fans excited as they await the second and third films of The Hobbit Trilogy, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (December 2013) and The Hobbit: There and Back Again (July 2014), from Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson and productions of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM).
Co-master toy partners The Bridge Direct and Vivid Group eagerly unveil a new collection of characters based on The Hobbit Trilogy as part of their wide range of products. New Zealand-based WETA Workshop continues to roll out an impressive array of authentic film prop replicas and collectibles inspired by the Trilogy. Additional partners supporting the films are United Cutlery with collector weaponry replicas; Noble Collection with high-quality collectibles; and global licensee LEGO with a range of many new fantastical build-and-play construction sets, succeeding the successful line based on The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Also supporting the tentpole adventure is Pressman Toy with exciting table games based on The Hobbit Trilogy and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy; Games Workshop with leading tabletop strategy games; Spin Master with The Hobbit Stratego game; USAopoly with The Lord of the Rings Trilogy co-branded games and puzzles in the US; Winning Moves with The Hobbit Monopoly in the UK; Cryptozoic with an inspired-by board game; Kosmos with branded board games; and Ravensburger with the creation of 2D and 3D puzzles and card games. Additionally, global licensee Eaglemoss will support with figurine and chess partwork collections; along with NECA’s HeroClix figures and gaming system; Funko’s stylized figures and plush; and Rubie’s Costumes with a fantastically detailed line inspired by The Hobbit Trilogy and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy; among others.
As Batman and DC Super Friends continue flying into toy aisles and soaring off shelves with new product lines, WBCP and Mattel have collaborated closely to take the two franchises to new heights. Over the past 10 years, WBCP has embodied the essence of Batman with its toy partners as the Studio’s entertainment properties have captured audiences in theaters with Christopher Nolan’s epic The Dark Knight Trilogy – one of the most successful box office trilogies of all time – and on television with multiple interpretations of hit Batman-inspired animated series.
WBCP and Mattel have maintained momentum for the ultimate Super Hero during and in between the unrivaled content with its exclusive evergreen Batman brand that has come to life in toys and at retail. This year, Mattel will release all-new exciting products in the evergreen Batman toy line, including the Batman Sonic Strike™ 10-inch Figure, the Batman Spin Strike Bat Jet and the Batman Blast Lane™ Batmobile, as well as additional figures and characters to their figure assortment.
WBCP has also teamed up with Fisher-Price to introduce the next generation of preschoolers to the most recognizable band of Super Heroes, the DC Super Friends. By broadening the DC Comics toy program to preschoolers, WBCP and Fisher-Price are bringing the new generation of DC Super Friends to today’s fans, while offering a fun way for parents to introduce their favorite Super Heroes to their own children. With exciting new product each year, the Fisher-Price Imaginext® DC Super Friends toy line has become a huge hit in the U.S., Brazil, Mexico, the U.K. and Spain, and continues to expand across Europe.
“With beloved properties and iconic characters that span the worlds of DC Comics, classic animation, television and films, WBCP is pleased to continue our collaboration with such a robust roster of partners as we engage new fans and inspire incredible new product lines around the world,” added Globe.
Fans of the Batman Classic TV Series will be doing the Batusi when WBCP and its licensing partners give them a first glimpse at the all-new licensing program for the fan-favorite live-action series. Sure to ensnare the eyes of collectors and ignite the nostalgia for the 60’s series is the Mattel vintage-styled Batman Ken® and Catwoman Barbie® collection, and a BATMAN™ Classic TV Series 6” Figure Assortment, BATMAN™ Classic TV Series TV Moments 2 Pack, as well as a BATMAN™ Classic TV Series Batmobile. Rubie’s will introduce a line of costumes based on series favorites including Batman, Robin, Catwoman, The Riddler, and The Joker. Additional licensees supporting the Batman Classic TV Series include Funko with stylized figures and plush; Mezco with colorfully detailed vinyl figures; NECA with an 18-inch action figure; Round 2 with model kits; Cryptozoic Entertainment with trading cards; and a variety of high-end collectibles from Noble Collection, Sideshow Collectibles, TriForce, Kotobukiya, Medicom and Hot Toys. The Mattel Hot Wheels® brand will rev-up with a high-end Elite Scale Batmobile inspired by the 1966 hot-rod in the series for the true collector; along with many other toy partners who will help bring to life this cultural phenomenon with a Zap! Bam! Pow!
DC COMICS Embarks on More Adventures
DC Comics continues to be brought to life through innovative product lines, spearheaded by the perennial Batman and Superman franchises. Toy partners around the world supporting these core properties year-round include Mattel; LEGO with new construction sets for the entire DC Universe Super Heroes line; Rubie’s with costumes and accessories that complement the company’s entire DC Comics portfolio; Jakks Pacific; Jumbo Games with puzzles; Molli Toys; Thinkway Toys; NECA; and Winning Moves with Top Trumps collector cards; among many others.
Additionally, WBCP is excited to roll out new offerings inspired by Warner Bros. Animation’s (WBA) upcoming action-packed detective thriller Beware the Batman, an all-new take on the Batman franchise, featuring cutting-edge CGI visuals, will see new action figures from DC Comics master toy partner Mattel.
WBCP also continues to utilize the impressive content published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (WBIE) with licensing programs based on top-selling video game titles, Batman: Arkham Asylum and its sequel Batman: Arkham City, as well as the all-new Injustice Gods Among Us, coming in April 2013. Developed by Rocksteady Studios, Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City will see support from such licensees as Rubie’s; Cryptozoic Entertainment and Triforce. Injustice Gods Among Us, developed by NetherRealm Studios, will launch with character figures from Mattel, and high-end collectibles from Triforce, Kotobukiya, Square Enix, and more.
Animated Fare is All That and More!
The smash hit television series, The Looney Tunes Show, produced by WBA, has kicked off its second season with an ACME bang on Cartoon Network as the characters’ antics continue to surprise and delight new generations of fans. WBCP continues to support the timeless entertainment of the classic Looney Tunes, the all-new popular animated television series, and the WBA-produced theatrical shorts distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, with global licensees bringing the timeless appeal to exciting toy lines. US master toy licensee The Bridge Direct ignites the program with a multi-category product line of plush, figures, playsets and vehicles. In the UK, Character Group was recently announced as the master toy partner for Looney Tunes to bring a new collection of interactive motion sensor plush that utilizes sound, light and touch technology, in addition to a line of construction playsets, figures and traditional plush. Globally, licensee Allegre HKM provides a range of plush product. Also supporting the Looney Tunes are Rubie’s Costume Co.; Pressman Toy with puzzles; Lansay with a colorful plush assortment; Bestway presenting an assortment of inflatables; and Trefl and Hasbro with puzzles; among other licensees. French technology manufacturer EMTEC continues to offer its popular line of Looney Tunes-inspired USB flash drives, of which one million were sold in less than a year, and has released its new range of USBs and a Looney Tunes MP3 player.
Scooby-Doo and the Gang continue to entertain and engage fans worldwide with a robust range of toys from global master toy licensee Character Group with their popular collectible figures, vehicles, playsets, and construction sets, available exclusively at Toys R Us in the US and throughout the EMEA region. Additional licensees supporting Scooby-Doo include the Mattel Hot Wheels® brand; Rubie’s with fun, Scooby Gang costumes; Pressman Toy offering an exciting games and puzzles collection; Trefl with puzzles; and NKOK with its R/C motorized vehicles in the US and Lansay with its cool remote control car in France, all supporting the property and WBA’s Cartoon Network series Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. As part of the Scooby-Doo fun, WBCP has extended the Zoinks Points to continue incorporating them into programs with new and refreshed opportunities to collect points.
WBCP is also excited to support the recently announced new animated television series The Tom and Jerry Show, from WBA, with Jazwares continuing as Hanna-Barbera master toy partner in North America, and including The Tom and Jerry Show in its future product roll-out. Giochi Preziosi will continue to represent the brand in Western Europe and Turkey as master toy partner for the Tom and Jerry property and the new television series with a toy range including figure assortments, play sets and action games. Tom and Jerry will also see support from such licensees as Rubie’s for costumes; Trefl for puzzles; Allegre HKM for plush; and more.
WBCP Tunes Into TV Licensing
Television licensing is another key component of WBCP’s diverse portfolio, featuring current and classic hits being supported by licensing toy and collectible programs designed for the fans and collectors. WBCP is excited to showcase a wide spectrum of niche offerings for many hit series, including teaming up with Cryptozoic Entertainment for trading cards based on The Big Bang Theory, Fringe and The Vampire Diaries. Cryptozoic will also showcase the Mystic Warlords of Ka’a trading cards – the CCG card game played by Leonard, Sheldon, Howard and Raj in The Big Bang Theory. Cardinal Industries, Inc. will showcase the successful The Big Bang Theory Fact or Fiction Trivia Game: Fan Edition, which incorporates more than 400 trivia questions submitted by fans, and will also reveal exciting new additions to The Big Bang Theory roster, including a dice game, UNO® co-brand and other games inspired by the hit series.
As the #1 scripted series on network television among Adults 18-49 and #1 comedy among Total Viewers, The Big Bang Theory continues to garner a wealth of licensing support, including partners Quantum Mechanix with show-inspired maquettes; Wonderland Toys with character dolls; Commonwealth with gifts and novelty; Funko with stylized figures and bobbleheads; and a co-branded Clue game with USAopoly.
Other WBTV partnerships include The Vampire Diaries collectible dolls with Tonner, featuring a new collection based on the 1860’s character costumes; smash series The Voice and Sakar Electronics; and Emmy®-winning shortform comedy series Childrens Hospital, with Funko bobbleheads.
About Man of Steel
From Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures comes Man of Steel, starring Henry Cavill in the role of Clark Kent/Superman, under the direction of Zack Snyder. Man of Steel is produced by Charles Roven, Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas and Deborah Snyder. The screenplay was written by David S. Goyer from a story by Goyer and Nolan, based upon Superman characters created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster and published by DC Entertainment. Thomas Tull, Lloyd Phillips and Jon Peters are serving as executive producers. The film is slated for release beginning June 14, 2013 and will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.
About The Hobbit Trilogy
Under the direction of Peter Jackson, the Academy Award-winning director of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey features a screenplay by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro. Jackson is also producing the film, together with Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner and Fran Walsh. The executive producers are Alan Horn, Toby Emmerich, Ken Kamins and Carolyn Blackwood, with Boyens and Eileen Moran serving as co-producers.
New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Present a WingNut Films Production, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. All three films in The Hobbit Trilogy, also including The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and the final film, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, are productions of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), with New Line managing production. Warner Bros. Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television distribution being handled by MGM.
About Warner Bros. Consumer Products
Warner Bros. Consumer Products, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, is one of the leading licensing and retail merchandising organizations in the world.