×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Lego lands ‘Hobbit’ toy license

Action figures, playsets to include new 'Rings' merchandise

Lego has found its next precious.

Warner Bros. Consumer Products has awarded the toymaker the rights to create action figures and playsets based on “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and the two upcoming films based on “The Hobbit,” the first of which bows at the end of 2012.

The multiyear deal grants Lego access to the library of characters, settings and stories of “The Lord of the Rings,” “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and “The Hobbit: There and Back Again,” all helmed by Peter Jackson.

The first toys Lego plans to produce will hit store shelves in June, tied to “Lord of the Rings,” with new construction sets planned for the weeks leading up to the Dec. 14 bow of “An Unexpected Journey.”

“Only Lego, with their expertise in the construction category, is capable of doing justice to the incredibly imaginative environments depicted in the world of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and the two films based on ‘The Hobbit,'” said Karen McTier, executive VP, domestic licensing and worldwide marketing, Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “These films give life to amazing worlds and characters and we are thrilled to bring fans these products that deliver an imaginative play experience befitting of these beloved properties.”

Warner Bros. has a long history with Lego.

Lego has produced toys around the studio’s “Harry Potter” franchise, the Batman and “Speed Racer” pics and now the entire DC Comics library. Lego also has tied toys to Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Toy Story,” “Cars” and “Prince of Persia” pics, and has long had the “Star Wars” and “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” license.

Warner Bros.’ Lego-made DC toys are also expected to hit store shelves next year, the same time Lego will also release its Marvel line, tied to Sony’s “The Amazing Spider-Man” and Disney’s “The Avengers.”

“Our collaboration with Warner Bros. Consumer Products has delivered numerous worldwide successes in the construction toy aisle, introducing us to loyal audiences who love great stories, strong characters and the toys that they inspire,” said Jill Wilfert, VP, licensing and entertainment for the Lego Group. “It’s particularly exciting to now be able to create sets based on the fantasy worlds and characters from ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy and ‘The Hobbit,’ not only because we know they will foster collectability and creative play, but also because these are two properties that our fans have been asking us to create for years.”

Going after film franchises has paid off for Lego, with “Harry Potter” and “Star Wars” helping the toymaker top $1 billion in sales in the U.S. for the first time in 2010, a figure it’s confident to repeat again this year. Altogether, sales are up 106% for the fourth-largest toymaker since 2006, the company has said.

This year, shipments of Legos to stores between August and October are up more than 65%, according to Panjiva, a New York-based data firm.

More Film

  • Brie Larson

    Brie Larson on Diversity in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: 'We Gotta Move Faster'

    While Brie Larson is thrilled over the success of the female-led “Captain Marvel,” the actress wants more diversity in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Larson sat down with Variety’s Marc Malkin for the first episode of Variety and iHeartMedia’s new film podcast, “The Big Ticket.” “I’m happy to be on the forefront of the normalization of [...]

  • Mammoth Films Festival to Open With

    'In Fabric' to Open Mammoth Lakes Film Festival

    Director Peter Strickland’s “In Fabric” starring “Game of Thrones” star Gwendoline Christie is set to open the fifth Mammoth Lakes Film Festival, the organization has announced today along with their film lineup. The festival in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., will take place May 22-26 and feature several films’ U.S. debuts. In addition to the narrative feature [...]

  • Kristen Stewart'JT LeRoy' Film Premiere, Arrivals,

    Kristen Stewart: 'Charlie's Angels' Reboot Is 'Woke' but Still 'Funny and Weird'

    “Charlie’s Angels” has made the jump to 2019. Kristen Stewart, who stars in the Elizabeth Banks-directed reboot as one of the Angels, says the classic ’70s franchise has been updated to modern times without losing its pulpy action. “At one point I think we said it was woke and grounded, and everyone was like, ‘Wait, [...]

  • Calamity Jane

    Indie Sales Acquires Remi Chayé's Female-Driven Animated Feature 'Calamity' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Paris-based company Indie Sales (“My Life as a Zucchini”) has acquired Rémi Chayé’s animated film “Calamity – The Childhood of Martha Jane Cannary,” the French helmer’s follow up to his critically acclaimed feature debut “Long Way North.” “Calamity – The Childhood of Martha Jane Cannary” tells the story of the 12-year-old Martha Jane who must [...]

  • Scarlett Johansson on 2020 Election, Avengers

    Scarlett Johansson on Running for Office: 'Maybe at Some Point'

    President Scarlett Johansson, anyone? While she may not be running for office at the moment, Johansson says a campaign may be in her future. “Maybe some time in the future,” she says when asked if her political activism has inspired her own aspirations. “I think the greatest way to effect change is in local politics. [...]

  • Circus of Books

    Netflix Acquires Tribeca Doc 'Circus of Books,' Exec Produced by Ryan Murphy (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix has acquired worldwide rights to the documentary “Circus of Books” ahead of its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. Rachel Mason wrote and directed the pic, and also produced it along with Kathryn Robson, Cynthia Childs, Camilla Hall and Adam Baron. Ryan Murphy, Josh Braun, John Battsek, Rhianon Jones and Gerald Herman executive produced. [...]

  • Santa Fe Studios Netflix

    Santa Fe Studios Competes With Other New Mexico Stages for Streaming Business

    Albuquerque Studios entered the spotlight last October when it was purchased by Netflix. While the complex is clearly the jewel in the crown of New Mexico’s production infrastructure, with eight soundstages totaling 132,000 square feet, 100,000 square feet of production offices, a large backlot and support space, it’s not the only modern studio facility in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content