October 16, 2008


Expansions Of Innovative Playmates Toys Originals, MYLIFE and NIGHT GUARDIANS™, THE DEFENDERS OF DREAMTIME         

COSTA MESA, CA – Drawing upon a rich history of pioneering imaginative products as well successfully managing and developing lines based on stellar entertainment brand franchises, Playmates Toys promises the best is yet to come as it unveils its most ambitious slate yet at the Fall Toy Preview in Dallas.  Boasting exciting, intricately designed action figures and savvy interactive toys, Playmates Toys truly offers superior products for children of all ages and interests.  Extensions to the company’s thriving MY LIFE and TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES brand, will be joined by new toy lines including STAR TREK, TERMINATOR SALVATION, YU-GI-OH!, DINOSAUR KING and GORMITI, among others.

“From new movies based on iconic film franchises, entertainment brands boasting longevity and nostalgia to organic properties in tune with today’s consumer demands, this coming year Playmates Toys brings a wealth of exciting products to the market,” said Lou Novak, President of Playmates Toys, Inc.  “We’re prouder than ever to continue providing the best play experience and confident that our line-up of toys will appeal to retailers and family members of all ages.”

Unstoppable Action For Boys
In anticipation of Paramount Pictures’ upcoming feature film, the J.J. Abrams-directed STAR TREK debuting May 8, 2009, Playmates Toys beams up a collectible line-up of all new STAR TREK toys. Capturing the cutting-edge look and feel of the new adventure, the company has designed life-like articulated figures, iconic vehicles, intricately detailed playsets and exciting role-play toys to extend the movie’s magic beyond the silver screen. Kids will boldly go where no one has gone before, re-creating their very own Enterprise Transporter Room and Bridge playsets, featuring real working parts and accessories packed out with figures that allow them to create brand new STAR TREK adventures.

Heralding the fourth installment in the iconic, billion-dollar TERMINATOR franchise, The Halcyon Company’s production of TERMINATOR SALVATION — debuting May 22, 2009, from Warner Bros. Pictures and Sony Pictures — Playmates Toys will launch an edgy line of collectible action toys targeting kids and collectors.  With a strategic vision for establishing a solid action toy segment for the next several years, the initial film window launch will include a full assortment of fully-articulated action figures (multiple scales) featuring new, never-seen-before TERMINATORS; battle-ready replica vehicles; and signature role play items: the TERMINATOR T-600 Voice ‘n’ Vision Skull with authentic red light-up eyes, voice changer/sound effects and the TERMINATOR Deluxe T-600 Fist that vibrates, fires and emits sounds. In the Fall, kids and collectors can build their world and collections out with the SKYNET playset: assortments of six new figures in basic (3¾”) and deluxe scales (6”); several new signature vehicles including remote control and skin peeling TERMINATORS in super size (10”); and much more.

It’s a shell-ebration! Everyone’s favorite lean, green, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES celebrate the 25th anniversary of their comic book debut in 2009 by incorporating totally radical new retro segments to the merchandising mix and innovative new themed products both supported with in-pack promotions including video games, pilot episodes of animation and other interactive content and entertainment.   Action figures based on the new TV show airing on Fox and the CW, and a new segment of the popular Mini-Mutant line including figures and vehicles will be the lines’ foundation.  On the retro front, Playmates is re-introducing the original awesome 1987 action figure line, twelve figures in all, including the four Turtles, Splinter, Shredder and more. These figures will feature a “tubular” nostalgic 25th anniversary package design with a random assortment of classic TV episodes from the inaugural season. Playmates Toys is the long time master toy licensee for the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES brand; 4Kids Entertainment handles exclusive worldwide merchandising rights; while The Mirage Group continues to nurture and manage the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES property.  
Playmates Toys has acquired the master toy rights to the YU-GI-OH! franchise with a launch emphasis on the popular franchise’s newest TV series, “YU-GI-OH! 5D’s.”  This high-action animated series features new characters, new vehicles, new monsters and new ways to duel, and airs Saturdays (10:30-11:00 AM, ET) in TheCW4Kids block on the CW Network, from 4Kids Entertainment. Playmates will distribute the YU-GI-OH! line throughout North America and Eastern Europe, with distribution partners to cover the rest of the world outside of Asia and the Middle East.  

The YU-GI-OH! brand also engages its boy-driven audience via far-reaching cross-platform media touch points and leverages the power of its partnerships in trading cards (Upper Deck) video games (Konami), publishing (Viz Media) and toys (Playmates Toys).  Capitalizing on key themes from the Five Dragons, the toy line is all about racing, dueling and battling monsters. YU-GI-OH! dueling takes place on high-speed D-Wheels that are motorcycle-like vehicles. Playmates recreates these central scenes with authentic, tricked-out, highly detailed vehicles of Jack and Yusei’s D-Wheels.  Each cycle comes fully equipped with free rolling wheels, firing projectiles and its own fully articulated Jack and Yusei action figure.  To complement the YU-GI-OH! Trading Card Games from Upper Deck, a newly designed signature wrist dealer and several waves of 5.5” figures will be introduced throughout the course of the year.

The action-packed battles begin when a complete toy line based on the larger-than-life DINOSAUR KING series hits retail shelves in the United States, Fall 2009. Already a mega-hit in Japan, 4Kids Entertainment’s DINOSAUR KING television series debuted on the CW Kids this year, as well as a SEGA video game and trading card game from Upper Deck. DINOSAUR KING tells the story of a 12 year old boy, Max, and his friends, the D-Team, and their urgent race against time to collect the mysterious Dinosaur Cards that have been scattered all over the world.  With the knowledge that whoever controls the cards controls the dinosaurs and can use them in battle, Max and the D-Team must fight to keep the cards out of the hands of their enemy, the Alpha Gang.   Capturing all of the horn piercing, tail-slapping adventure from the series, the DINOSAUR KING product line will include dinosaur figures and exclusive cards that can be used in the Upper Deck Trading Card Game or against other Dino figures head-on. Two waves of collectible assortment packs will feature 48 collectible and playable dinosaur figures, with their signature Dino trading card; playsets and role play items; as well as transforming and rip-cord activated battling dinos.

With sales topping over $200 million and more than 75 millions figures sold to date, Playmates Toys and Giochi Preziosi brings the latest European action figure phenomenon state side, with the world of GORMITI: THE INVINCIBLE LORDS OF NATURE.  GORMITI offers boys 4+ the opportunity to collect hundreds of characters, create their own massive customized battle field, strategize with Battle Cards for enhanced game play and tap into an online world for additional information on the GORMITI story, characters and game play tips at GormitiClub.com.  Each figure represents a GORMITI tribe, combining magic with the Powerful Forces of Nature.  The epic Gormiti battle pits the forces of good – represented by the People of the Earth, Air, Forest and Sea – against the Evil Minions of the Magma and Lava tribes.  GORMITI launches in Spring 2009 with massive TV advertising support. The introductory line will include collectible battle figures with cards, a feature driven playset and a starter set with an original animated DVD that introduces the Tribes, their leaders and their struggle to save their once peaceful island of Gorm. The product line will expand to feature additional collectible figures, playsets, and more in Fall 2009.  Each figure includes a card with a code that enables collector’s to discover exclusive Tribes, characters, stories and island environments on the GormitiClub.com website. The website also offers a 3-D Island of Gorm to explore fast action flash animation games, downloads, strategy tips, character power profiles and more.

Playmates Toys Originals
Teens hold the whole world in their hands with MYLIFE™, the hand-held, full color console from Playmates Toys that allows girls the ability to live in their own virtual world through customization and game play.  In Spring 09, the company will be debuting MYWORLD™ Keys game cartridges that unlock worlds of game play. Taking the system to new heights next Fall 09, MYLIFE will offer girls the opportunity to have a full experience from the most popular tween brands today!  The company will continue to offer MYSTUFF™ Keys that unlock new fashions and accessories with each world.  
Developed in partnership with Volcano, Inc., NIGHT GUARDIANS™, THE DEFENDERS OF DREAMTIME™ are here to help kids shed light on bedtime fears. Each huggable Night Guardian character is a plush remote-control that can illuminate bright Sun Crystals™ from the security of a child’s bed. Simply place Sun Crystals in areas of the room kids find scary – like under the bed, near the closet or by a window – and with a squeeze of the NIGHT GUARDIAN’S paw, kids can illuminate the crystals and comfort themselves back to sleep.  
To grow this exciting, patent-pending program in 2009, Playmates Toys expands the NIGHT GUARDIANS line with two new characters, Reno and Niya; along with the “Go-Anywhere Sun Crystal”, a versatile Crystal that can be hung anywhere and even used to provide a real degree of safety throughout the home by lighting up darkened hallways, bathrooms and staircases.
About The Playmates Toys Company
For over 40 years, Playmates Toys, Inc., has been among the most well respected and innovative marketing and distribution companies in the global toy industry with a proven history in both the creation of innovative and imaginative products as well as the development and management of profitable, long-term brand franchises.   Core licensed character and entertainment brands include Paramount Studios/CBS “Star Trek,” Warner Bros. “TERMINATOR: SALVATION” and 4Kids Entertainment/Mirage Licensing’s “TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES” and 4Kids Entertainment/“YU-GI-OH.”  From its offices in Hong Kong, China and the United States, Playmates designs, develops, markets and distributes its products in over 60 countries worldwide.


Daniel Pickett
Daniel “Julius Marx” Pickett has been around toys his whole life. The first line he ever collected was Mego’s World’s Greatest Super Heroes line back in the 70s. He has been surrounded by collectables ever since. In 1999 he was confounded by a lack of information and news about some of his favorite toy lines he was collecting. Since he couldn’t find the information he decided to pursue it himself thinking other people might also be interested in the same news. He started writing a weekly column on the toy industry and action figure for a toy news site and in a years time he tripled the sites daily traffic with his updates, reviews and product features. He built relationships with every major toy manufacturer and many sculptors, painters and mold makers. He grew his hobby into a world wide expertise that the industry has embraced. In 2004 he teamed up with his toy buddy Jason “ToyOtter” Geyer and they created their own website www.ActionFigureInsider.com. Daniel has been quoted in both industry and mass media press outlets. Over the years Daniel and AFi have been sought out as experts in the field. Daniel was regularly featured on “Attack of the Show” on the G4 network as the primary contributor to their “Mint On Card” segment, and our front page has been linked to from USA Today’s “Pop Candy” Blog twice. Daniel’s content has also been featured on MSNBC.com, Time.com, The Wall Street Journal, The Saturday Evening Post, CNN.com, AssociatedPress.com Wired.com, Fark.com, Boing-Boing, Gizmodo.com, Ain’t It Cool News, the Official Star Wars blog, Geekologie, G4, CNet and Toy Fare magazine, among many others. He has consulted on toy lines, books, documentaries and TV shows. But all of that really just sounds snooty and “tootin’ his own horn” – the long and short of it is that Daniel loves toys and he LOVES talking about them.
Read other articles by Daniel Pickett.




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