Warner Bros. Consumer Products Shakes Up Toy Fair Season With Humongous Licensing Programs, Including This Summer’s Much-Anticipated Film Godzilla From Legendary Pictures
January 31, 2014

UNRIVALED PORTFOLIO OF NEW AND CLASSIC ENTERTAINMENT PROPERTIES TO BE SHOWCASED

BURBANK, Calif., Jan. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) is storming into the 2014 Toy Fair season with an impressive line-up of global licensees in support of the Studio’s beloved entertainment properties, milestone anniversaries and upcoming theatrical debuts. Leading the way this year is the highly anticipated film from Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures, Godzilla, which hits theaters on May 16, and will be supported with an epic toy line-up from master toy partner Bandai America Incorporated, and many more partners around the world.  WBCP will also highlight Middle-earth with the long-awaited finale of The Hobbit Trilogy, The Hobbit: There And Back Again, supported by its strong roster of worldwide licensees. Additionally, The Wizard of Oz will lead WBCP’s milestone celebrations in 2014, which will all see exciting licensing support from a number of cross-category partners this year. WBCP and its licensing partners from around the globe will also spotlight product inspired by fan favorites such as its DC Comics portfolio, including evergreen Super Heroes Batman and Superman, and Looney Tunes, The Big Bang Theory, Harry Potter and more to round out the Studio’s unrivaled portfolio.

“With a host of renowned licensees signed on to support a broad spectrum of entertainment properties, Warner Bros. Consumer Products enters the 2014 Toy Fair season ready to delight,” said Brad Globe, president of Warner Bros. Consumer Products.  “And with fan excitement for Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ Godzilla running high, we’re eager to bring the buzz to Toy Fair with a toy line-up that is fit for the ‘King of the Monsters.'”

Godzilla: A Blockbuster Block-Buster
With a nearly 60-year heritage, Godzilla and his trademark ROAR are recognized throughout the world by fans of all ages.  Master toy partner Bandai America Incorporated will capture the thrills of the motion picture with an innovative line-up of toys inspired by the film.  The highly anticipated film will also see support from JAKKS Pacific, Inc. as it brings this iconic and legendary figure to life with a line of large-scale figures and other toy products inspired by the “King of the Monsters”; Rubie’s will design Godzilla costumes that are sure to delight children and adult fans; NECA will also be supporting Godzilla with a comprehensive line of novelty and collector toys across a variety of price points; and Sideshow Collectibles will offer authentic statues; among many other partners around the world.

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The Hobbit Trilogy Prepares for an Epic Finale
Following the resounding success of December’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, WBCP’s toy partners are continuing the Middle-earth journey’s momentum with an array of toys and collectibles that will satiate fans until The Hobbit Trilogy comes to an epic close with The Hobbit: There and Back Again (December 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 will support the film with added figures to their existing range of products based on the characters in The Hobbit Trilogy.  Additional partners supporting the finale around the globe include The LEGO Group with a range of new fantastical build-and-play construction sets inspired by moments from the film; New Zealand-based WETA Workshop with an array of authentic film prop replicas and collectibles inspired by the trilogy; Rubie’s Costumes with a fantastically detailed line inspired by The Hobbit Trilogy; Eaglemoss with figurine and chess partwork collections; and Funko with stylized figures and plush; among others. Also supporting the tentpole adventure is global licensee United Cutlery with collector weaponry replicas; The Noble Collection with high-quality collectibles; NECA with HeroClix figures; Cryptozoic with an inspired-by board game; Kosmos with branded board games; Ravensburger with the creation of 2D and 3D puzzles and card games; and Winning Moves in the U.K.; Pressman Toy; Games Workshop; USAopoly; and more.

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Licensing for an Empire
Ready to wow enthusiasts at Toy Fair is the epic tale 300: Rise of an Empire, from Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures, to be supported by an array of licensees, including The Noble Collection, Rubie’s Costume Co., Museum Replicas, Trends, Funko and Tonner.

Globe added, “With new and classic properties, landmark anniversaries, hit television programs and upcoming theatrical debuts, WBCP continues to engage with its valued partners around the world to feature product inspired by fan favorites including DC Comics’ evergreen Super Heroes Batman and Superman, as well as Looney Tunes, The Big Bang Theory, Harry Potter and more to round out the Studio’s unrivaled portfolio.”

Batman and DC Super Friends: Evergreen, Ever Popular
With a multi-generational fan base that follows Batman from the big screen to the small screen and beyond, Batman is one of the most iconic Super Heroes of all time. WBCP is building on the long-standing success of the property by working with a host of licensing partners including Mattel, The LEGO Group and Rubie’s Costumes to create core product that will delight fans of the Caped Crusader in 2014.

Driving its core Batman business, WBCP and Mattel continue to maintain the momentum for the ultimate Super Hero during and in between the unrivaled Studio content with its exclusive evergreen Batman brand that has come to life in toys and at retail.  This year, Mattel will release new and exciting products in the evergreen Batman toy line, including the Lights and Sounds 10ꞌꞌ Core figures, Hot Wheels® Batmobile Assortment, Batman Basic Figures, as well as additional figures and characters to augment the assortment.

Together, WBCP and Fisher-Price continue to introduce the most recognizable band of Super Heroes, the DC Super Friends, to the next generation of preschoolers.  As a key pillar and top-seller within the brand and offering exciting new product each year, the Fisher-Price® Imaginext® DC Super Friends toy line is a huge hit in the U.S., U.K., Brazil, Mexico, Australia and Spain, and continues to expand across Europe and globally.

New product from key licensees also includes The LEGO Group’s expanded LEGO DC Comics offerings with four new Batman sets, as well as new product offerings in The LEGO Group’s new Juniors line; and the debut of the DC Comics brand into the LEGO Duplo program with three new inspired-by sets.

Additional partners supporting the property include Thinkway, with a fresh new line of role play accessories, including a Utility Belt and Sword assortment, a cape and cowl set and complete dress up with gauntlets and gadgets; and Sideshow Collectibles to also enhance the DC Comics portfolio with a range of premium format statues and life-sized busts.

For DC Comics Enthusiasts and Collectors
Mattel is reinvigorating their collector offering with the new 6ꞌꞌ Total Heroes™ line for the gateway collector and the 3-3/4″ꞌ DC Multiverse line of super detailed action figures for the more serious collector – both lines are new for 2014.  Jakks Pacific will also continue to support the DC Universe with its large scale figures, plug & play games and figural flashlights.

Classic Animation Always Delights
WBCP continues to support the Studio’s beloved classic properties with global licensees bringing the timeless appeal to exciting toy lines. The classic animation property slate includes the core Looney Tunes property, and the popular animated television series from Warner Bros. Animation (WBA), The Looney Tunes Show. Bugs Bunny and the gang continue to entertain generations of fans, and U.S. master toy licensee The Bridge Direct continues to grow the licensing program with a multi-category product line of talking plush and collectible figures.  In the U.K., Character Group is the master toy partner for Looney Tunes with 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.  French technology manufacturer EMTEC continues to offer its popular line of Looney Tunes-inspired USB flash drives and MP3 player line around the world. Globally, Rubie’s Costume Co. supports Looney Tunes with a collection of costumes inspired by fan-favorite characters; along with Pressman Toy with puzzles and Allegre HKM with a range of plush product. Rounding out the property’s portfolio are Lansay with a colorful plush assortment; Bestway presenting an assortment of inflatables; Trefl and Hasbro with puzzles; and Dema Stil with an assortment of themed-balls for kids; among other licensees.

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, offering popular collectible figures, vehicles, playsets, and construction sets, available at retailers throughout the U.S., as well as 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 game and puzzle collections; Trefl with puzzles; and NKOK with its R/C motorized vehicles in the U.S. and Lansay with its remote control car in France; Dema Stil with character-themed activity balls; and Inspiration Works for electronic toys in the U.K. Recent collections from EMEA licensees will also support WBA’s series Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, airing throughout much of Europe.

WBCP is also excited to support WBA’s upcoming all-new animated television series The Tom and Jerry Show, with new product rolling out from Jazwares, Hanna-Barbera’s master toy partner in North America, and 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, playsets and action games.  Tom and Jerry will continue to see support from such licensees as Rubie’s for costumes; Trefl for puzzles; Allegre HKM for plush; and more.

The Big Bang Theory Universe Continues to Expand
Network television’s number one series among Adults 18–49, Warner Bros. Television’s (WBTV) The Big Bang Theory continues to attract a range of licensees. New products from Cardinal Industries, Inc. Quantum Mechanix, Bif Bang Pow!, Dynamic Forces and many others will delight fans in 2014.

Following up The Big Bang Theory Clue Game, USAopoly will release The Big Bang Theory Monopoly Game, featuring iconic places and faces from the show.  The game will feature locations and in-the-know references such as Leonard and Sheldon’s Apartment, The Comic Center, Howard and Bernadette’s Apartment and more.

Adding to its top-selling Big Bang Theory trivia game releases, Cardinal Industries will introduce new products including puzzles, playing cards and more games.  In the ‘Ultimate Genius Party Game,’ players compete in games inspired from the show’s funniest moments – challengers compete for the ultimate genius in their own Counterfactuals, Fun with Flags, Sketch Charades, Celebrity, and more.  And for release later this year…the best of both worlds! “The Trivia Party Game” a new Party Game with trivia included!

Tonner Dolls will showcase Sheldon, Penny and Amy character dolls in 2014.  The dolls will feature characters in their signature outfits, done in Tonner’s signature style.  Wonderland Toys will feature a genius assortment of The Big Bang Theory gifts and novelty items, including talking Sheldon and Howard dolls.

Cult Fans Get Their Supernatural Fix
A huge fan favorite, WBTV’s Supernatural debuts at American International Toy Fair in New York with the launch of exciting new partnerships.  Funko fans will have fun with the new Supernatural collection featuring Pop! stylized vinyls of Sam, Dean and Castiel; Greenlight Collectibles will showcase the Winchesters’ iconic 1960s car in the show, which is sure to be a hit with die-hard fans; and Cryptozoic Entertainment will launch Supernatural trading cards featuring memorable moments, chase cards and other collectible memorabilia cards.  Supernatural will hit the showfloor on the hunt for enticing new opportunities to expand its offerings for fans.

Over the Rainbow for The Wizard of Oz
Celebrating its 75th Anniversary in 2014, The Wizard of Oz is supported this year by a number of licensing partners eager to honor the beloved property’s major milestone. Mattel continues their support of the film classic with new dolls for The Wizard of Oz Barbie® collection. Included in the collectible doll line are classic interpretations of Dorothy, Glinda the Good Witch, the Wicked Witch of the West, Scarecrow, Tinman and Cowardly Lion; Mattel will also create a Fantasy Glamour Dorothy and Wicked Witch of the West, featuring dramatic gowns reinterpreted from their classic costumes. Rubie’s will support the anniversary with new lines of specialty costumes, including collections for kids, tweens and pets; Kurt Adler will offer a The Wizard of Oz-themed mini tinsel tree set; Tervis will offer themed drinkware; and Darice will introduce a fun-filled craft collection. In time for the 75th Anniversary celebration, Enesco will offer a Couture de Force Collection of collectible figurines, featuring the film’s characters in reimagined costumes. Dylan’s Candy Bar joins Warner Bros. in celebrating the anniversary with an exclusive themed-candy collection that will be available at all Dylan’s Candy Bar locations across the U.S. Finally, Tonner Doll will introduce a special limited edition collection of 19-inch collectible figures with hand-painted features and an inspired fashion take on costuming from the film.  Long-time licensee for The Wizard of Oz, Madame Alexander, is joining in on the beloved film’s 75th Anniversary with commemorative product for 2014, including their Limited Edition The Wizard of Oz 75th Anniversary Collection of 8ꞌꞌ figures.  Also new for 2014, Madame Alexander’s brings the Steam Punk aesthetic to their new, limited edition line of The Wizard of Oz 16ꞌꞌ dolls.

Warner Bros. teamed up with Habitat for Humanity in September of 2013 for “There’s No Place Like Home,” a campaign celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the classic film, The Wizard of Oz. The program will continue throughout 2014, featuring several themed initiatives and events supporting Habitat for Humanity’s work to create decent, safe and affordable housing in partnership with low-income families.

Gone with the Wind
Iconic classic Gone with the Wind marks its own landmark 75th Anniversary in 2014 with striking products worthy of the epic saga.   Long-standing partner Madame Alexander, which has produced Gone with the Wind-inspired products almost as long as the film’s anniversary, will offer new figures based upon the film’s leading lady, Scarlett O’Hara, in their new 75th Anniversary collection.  Tonner Doll will introduce a special limited edition collection of 19ꞌꞌ Gone with the Wind collectible figures with hand-painted features and inspired-by styling.  Mattel also continues to support the classic with a sure-to-be collector-favorite anniversary Barbie® collection. Finally, Enesco will introduce their Scarlett O’Hara Couture de Force 8ꞌꞌ stone resin figurine inspired by the beloved classic.

All Aboard The Polar Express
As the film adaptation of the holiday classic The Polar Express celebrates its 10th Anniversary, WBCP licensing partner Lionel is adding to the festivities with its exquisite The Polar Express locomotive sets.

An industry leader in toy trains, Lionel also offers a toy train replica of The Hogwarts Express and will debut a train themed to Frosty the Snowman. Additionally, Lionel produces The Wizard of Oz and The Polar Express Little Lines sets, as well as Box Cars for The Wizard of Oz and A Christmas Story.

About Godzilla
Toho Co., Ltd.’s Godzilla franchise contains one of the most widely recognized movie monsters worldwide, including more than 25 films, multiple television programs, video games and book series.  Gareth Edwards directs “Godzilla” from a screenplay by Max Borenstein,, story by David Callaham, based on the character “Godzilla” owned and created by TOHO CO., LTD.  Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, Mary Parent and Brian Rogers are producing the film, with Patricia Whitcher, Alex Garcia, Yoshimitsu Banno and Kenji Okuhira serving as executive producers.  Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures present a Legendary Pictures production, a Gareth Edwards film, “Godzilla.”  Slated to open beginning May 16, 2014, the film is expected to be presented in 3D, 2D and IMAX® in select theatres and will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, except in Japan, where it will be distributed by Toho Co., Ltd.  Legendary Pictures is a division of Legendary Entertainment.

About The Hobbit Trilogy
Peter Jackson, the Academy Award-winning director of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, director of The Hobbit Trilogy – The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and the final film, The Hobbit: There and Back Again. The Trilogy features screenplays 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.

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 300: Rise of an Empire
“300: Rise of an Empire” was directed by Noam Murro, from a screenplay by Zack Snyder & Kurt Johnstad, based on the graphic novel Xerxes, by Frank Miller.  Gianni Nunnari, Mark Canton, Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder and Bernie Goldmann produced the film, with Thomas Tull, Frank Miller, Stephen Jones and Jon Jashni serving as executive producers.  Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures Present a Cruel and Unusual Films/Mark Canton/Gianni Nunnari Production.  Opening on March 7, 2014, the film is being released in 3D and 2D in select theatres and IMAX, and will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.  “300: Rise of an Empire” is rated R by the MPAA for strong sustained sequences of stylized bloody violence throughout, a sex scene, nudity and some language.

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.

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, 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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