With “Godzilla” out in theaters this May and “The Hobbit” franchise ending the run of the trilogy at the end of the year, the two tentpole properties will serve as the cornerstone of Warner Bros. Consumer Products push during 2014 Toy Fair season.
Warner Bros. is looking to rally global licensees and retailers around the films.
For “Godzilla,” produced by Legendary Pictures, WBCP has lined up Bandai America Inc. to serve as the film’s master toy partner. JAKKS Pacific will also create large-scale figures and toys tied to “King of the Monsters,” while Rubie’s will design Godzilla costumes; NECA will have novelty toys; and Sideshow Collectibles will produce detailed statues. Film stomps into theaters May 16.
Images of “Godzilla” products are only being shown in behind-closed-door meetings, Warner Bros. said.
“The Hobbit: There and Back Again,” out in December, has The Bridge Direct and Vivid Group as co-master toy partners; Lego characters and playsets; Workshop’s film prop replicas and collectibles; Rubie’s costumes; Eaglemoss chess collections; and Funko figures and plush.
Other partners on the film include United Cutlery and the Noble Collection with replicas of weapons and other collectibles; toys from Winning Moves, Pressman Toy, Games Workshop and USAopoly; and puzzles and boardgames from Cryptozoic and Ravensburger.
Warner Bros. also has lined up the Noble Collection, Rubie’s Costume Co., Museum Replicas, Trends, Funko and Tonner for “300: Rise of an Empire,” also produced by Legendary.
But WBCP will also turn to Toy Fair to continue to promote the 75th anniversary of “The Wizard of Oz” and its evergreen business built around its DC Comics superheroes like Batman, Superman and the rest of the Justice League, along with Looney Tunes, “The Big Bang Theory,” “Harry Potter” and new “Tom and Jerry Show.”
“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,” said Brad Globe, president of Warner Bros. Consumer Products.
This year, Mattel will release new products for the Batman toy line, including the Lights and Sounds 10-inch Core figures, Hot Wheels Batmobile Assortment, Batman Basic Figures, as well as additional figures and characters to augment the assortment (see above).
Fisher-Price will introduce the DC Super Friends to pre-schoolers. And Lego will expand its DC Comics toy line with four new Batman sets, as well as new products in its Juniors line and the first DC Comics sets for the Duplo brand.
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 later this year, including Leonard and Sheldon’s Apartment, The Comic Center, Howard and Bernadette’s Apartment and more.
“Gone with the Wind” also celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, with Madame Alexander and Tonner Dolls to produce new figures.
“The Polar Express” is also getting new Lionel locomotive sets to celebrate the toon’s 10th anniversary. Lionel is also re-creating the “Harry Potter” franchise’s “Hogwarts Express,” which is being added to Universal’s expanded Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park in Orlando.
New York’s Toy Fair takes place Feb. 16-19 from the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Germany’s Toy Fair is taking place now in Nuremberg and wraps up Feb. 3.