WB and WETA Announce New Collectibles for ‘The Hobbit’ Films
June 5, 2012

WARNER BROS. CONSUMER PRODUCTS PARTNERS WITH WETA WORKSHOP FOR COLLECTIBLES FROM THE UPCOMING HIGHLY ANTICIPATED FILMS, THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY AND THE HOBBIT: THERE AND BACK AGAIN

-New merchandise slated for October 2012-

WELLINGTON, New Zealand and Burbank, CA – June 05, 2012 – Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Weta Workshop announced today a partnership under which the innovative design company will develop and market a wide range of authentic prop replicas, collectibles and merchandise based on the upcoming films, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again, productions of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). The licensing agreement grants Weta access to the library of characters, settings, and stories for the two films. The first products in the collection will be unveiled at San Diego Comic-Con at the Weta booth (#3513B) in July 2012, along with a limited number of exclusive pieces that will be available for purchase.

“Weta’s role behind-the-scenes of these two films makes them uniquely qualified to recreate the richly imaginative world of Middle-earth that their workshop helped brought to life,” said Kelly Gilmore, senior vice president, Global Toys and Themed Entertainment, Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “This story will transport audiences to extraordinary new places and we are thrilled to bring fans products that capture the artistry and spirit of these beloved properties.”

The Weta Workshop collection will be inspired by the scenery, characters and adventures Bilbo Baggins encounters on his remarkable journey in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey from Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson, slated for release December 14, 2012. Fans and collectors will appreciate the remarkable craftsmanship behind each element of the collection, which will include collectible statues, dioramas, high-end jewelry and art prints.

“We are excited to be returning to Middle-earth,” said Weta Workshop’s Academy Award-winning Creative Director, Richard Taylor. “We have been working with Peter Jackson and the product team on the design and production of the movies for the last four years, and we now get the chance to share our passion with fans and collectors. Our authentic prop replicas and collectibles are created by the very same artists who have worked on the two films, so effectively they come straight from Middle-earth.”

Weta Workshop will also continue their incredibly popular range of collectibles for The Lord of the Rings, which began more than 10 years ago. They are now featured in the gorgeous art book Weta, The Collector’s Guide.

The full collection from Weta Workshop based on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again will be available for purchase in October at specialty retailers and on Weta Workshop’s website at www.wetanz.com/shop.

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About The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again
From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first of two films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit. The second film will be The Hobbit: There and Back Again. Both films are set in Middle-earth 60 years before The Lord of the Rings, which Jackson and his filmmaking team brought to the big screen in the blockbuster trilogy that culminated with the Oscar®-winning The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be released beginning December 14, 2012. The second film, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, is slated for release the following year, beginning December 13, 2013.

Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the Grey, the character he played in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and Martin Freeman in the central role of Bilbo Baggins. Also reprising their roles from “The Lord of the Rings” movies are: Cate Blanchett as Galadriel; Ian Holm as the elder Bilbo; Christopher Lee as Saruman; Hugo Weaving as Elrond; Elijah Wood as Frodo; Orlando Bloom as Legolas; and Andy Serkis as Gollum. The ensemble cast also includes (in alphabetical order) Richard Armitage, John Bell, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry, Ryan Gage, Mark Hadlow, Peter Hambleton, Barry Humphries, Stephen Hunter, William Kircher, Evangeline Lilly, Sylvester McCoy, Bret McKenzie, Graham McTavish, Mike Mizrahi, James Nesbitt, Dean O’Gorman, Lee Pace, Mikael Persbrandt, Conan Stevens, Ken Stott, Jeffrey Thomas, and Aidan Turner.

The screenplays for both The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again are 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.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again are productions of New Line Cinema and MGM, with New Line managing production. Warner Bros Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television licensing, being handled by MGM.

About Weta Workshop and Weta Limited
Weta Workshop is the multi Academy Award winning conceptual design and physical effects manufacturing facility servicing the world’s entertainment and creative industries. Weta Workshop is based in Wellington, New Zealand and is best known for the company’s design and effects work on award-winning film projects, including The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, King Kong, Avatar, District 9, The Adventures of Tintin and The Hobbit films (in production). Website: www.wetaworkshop.com

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.

About Middle-earth Enterprises
The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Middle-earth Enterprises is the holder of worldwide motion picture, legitimate stage, merchandising, and other rights in the literary works of J.R.R. Tolkien including The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. SZC has been producing and licensing films, stage productions and merchandise based on the Tolkien works for more than 30 years. Its headquarters are located in Berkeley, California and its Middle-earth Enterprises’ website may be found at www.middleearth.com.

© Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved. THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY, THE HOBBIT: THERE AND BACK AGAIN, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and the names of the characters, items, events and places therein are trademarks of The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Middle-earth Enterprises under license to New Line Productions, Inc.

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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