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Toy License For the Hobbit


Forcehunter
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Okay, now that the Hobbit is officially underway about how long does it take to learn of merchandising licenses? With the release scheduled for 2012, I would assume that we should start hearing toy news some time in mid-2011 at least with who got the rights to make the toys, not any specifics on product, but that's an uneducated guess. When does this kind of stuff start and when should we expect announcements? What process must be undertaken? Arrow, you may know.

 

Also, who should get the toy license? I say anybody but Mattel (refer to DCUC and 200x MOTU distribution). I am torn on McFarlane. Their Halo figures are great, but I also hope that they consider I don't want statues like their SPAWN line. Maybe that's just me being a little paranoid. Still they seem a little more specialized and they won't be as readily available and I may have to go out of my way to obtain them. Hasbro is another good candidate. While I am not their biggest cheerleader with what they did to 6" MLs, they were passable and if they brought that scale to Hobbit they could be blended in with my current LOTR collection if done right. At least I have never had trouble finding a product of theirs and it is a recognizable brand name to all retailers.

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Okay, now that the Hobbit is officially underway about how long does it take to learn of merchandising licenses? With the release scheduled for 2012, I would assume that we should start hearing toy news some time in mid-2011 at least with who got the rights to make the toys, not any specifics on product, but that's an uneducated guess. When does this kind of stuff start and when should we expect announcements? What process must be undertaken? Arrow, you may know.

 

I'm in the dark as anyone.

Best guess is Toyfair 2011, in February next year to find out who has the license--but it might already be in the toy industry news. I don't read their publications anymore, so I'm in the dark. I have some toy pundit friends I could ask though.

 

The processes will involve the usual production pipeline--concepts, then control art, then prototypes of two-ups, then tooling creation, test-shots and then production. Along the way, packaging and marketing will tidy things up for the look.

Control art is probably well along the way at this point, because Jackson said that almost all the pre-prod was done while the MGM matter was in litigation. I'd suspect that prototypes are either done or almost done.......so something will likely be shown at Toyfair.

But it all depends on WHO has the license, and how much they want to invest in it.

We'll find out in just over 2 months.

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Thnx for some insight. If any of your friends can get info please share as much as permitted. Toy Industry News eh?

 

 

You should check out the forums over at thegd.com. They have an ongoing thread in the forums there about this very subject. I'm hoping for a Hasbro 4" scale line and a Neca 6". Hopefully either Side Show or Hot Toys will bring the 12" line. I'm really hopeful for a 4" scale line for armybuilding, Cavalry, Dragons, Fellbeasts and Cave Trolls. Playsets would be the icing on the cake! You can check out those threads here:

 

http://www.thegd.com/forums.php?cid=6&tid=96&page=41

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There should be two lines - one by Hasbro to continue the Toy Biz LOTR line (like what they did with Marvel Legends), and a high-end 12" line by either Sideshow or Hot Toys.

 

I love 4" scale, but 6" seems more appropriate to me.

 

 

I doubt Hasbro would do a 6" line. Neca would be the better choice for the 6" scale. There's no reason that there couldn'tbe a 4" line too and Hasbro would be the best choice for that line the army building potential alone is my main reason for wishing for a 4" line. I seriously want a Balrog, Fellbeast, Smaug, Cave Troll and Mumakil to add to my Middle Earth Armies, and the larger scales seriously prohibit this. I could in no way justify buying a Balrog replica that is the same size as my three year old daughter to my wife! LOL Not without an impending divorce.

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hasbro??? come on guys never heard of the marvel legends? they cant even paint does and they have to do nice and detailed sculpt for the hobbit? forget about hasbro i say. ok i give them credit for the 3 3/4 stuff but only if the star wars crew is behind it. mattel does great movie masters figures. mattel is great for my taste to do it. then again qc is a #@$#@ somtimes. the perfect choice for me would be mezco. neca is good but after wave 1 and maybe wave 2, they are done anyway. so neca becomes the last choice on my counter. mezco does great sculpting and good articulations. look at how awesome the hellboy figures are. mezco even did secondary characters. so i hope that they get the rights. as long as it isnt jakks or playmates or banday or who knows what kiddy company excists.

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Well, thegd.com has closed down. Sad really, I loved going over there. time to continue the discussion here.

 

I can't stand Mattel taking the license since their distribution is so poor. Just get me a company that will copy Toy Biz'z style. I don't care if I have to pay a bit more for the quality, I just need to finish up what was started with LOTR.

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  • 6 months later...

It's now official. Mattel has the rights for The Hobbit. Here's the source:

 

Coolest Toys

 

This means for us to have any hope of getting the figures we will have to stick with online stores or order through the comic shops. My eyes will be glued to BBTS.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Beyond the world of DC Comics, theatrical films based on J.K. Rowling’s literary phenomenon, Harry Potter , and the classic by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, have fans buzzing.

 

I think this is what Forcehunter was referring to. They were talking about Warner Bros. Consumer Products, not Mattel. It does lead you to think Mattel was involved though, if you didn't read carefully. They do seem to talk about Mattel and Warner Bros. hand-in-hand seemingly. It's an honest mistake.

 

So does this mean Warner Bros. is distributing the films instead of New Line Cinema? I didn't know that.

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Wow. Suddenly it's the end of the world for some of those guys (maybe it will be by the time the movie comes out...). I will reserve judgment until Toy Fair 2012 when I can actually see the product. I am curious though as to what standards a studio uses to award licenses to toys for anticipated blockbusters and how this smaller firm was able to beat out the veterans of several 3.75" movie lines. Curiouser and curiouser. My only other concern (as this is a relatively new toy company) is if they will recognize that the Hobbit franchise has a large and well established fan base and many of the people buying will be adults and be able to throw atleast a few bones acknowledging them (ie not just solid assortments of Bilbo, Thorin and Gandalf but occasional characters like goblin warriors, Beron). Four months til we know.

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So does this mean Warner Bros. is distributing the films instead of New Line Cinema? I didn't know that.

New Line as a separate entity ended a few years ago. What was left of it was effectively folded into Warner Bros, it's parent company.

 

 

As far as Bridge Direct is concerned, I think it premature to be blasting the company before they've even made the product. What we do know is that it's a fairly savvy company. ZhuZhu pets, even if they're not you're cup of tea, we're a huge hit when they first came out. And making Bieber dolls, again even if you're not a fan, was a sound license to get the jump on. And the Bieber thing probably showed WB that BD can handle hyper accurate face sculpting which will be essential for all those actors in the films. You see a company with no action figure experience. I see a hungry little toy company looking to expand. More power to them.

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Obviously the WB saw something in this companies presentation that impressed them. This is a line that I'm sure the WB would like to see continue for a while, two or three years at the least (since the movie is two parts coming out a year apart). From what I've heard the license includes the LoTR movies too. Should be interesting to see what,if anything, we see at Toy Fair in Feb.

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spystreak, It's not going to be just 12" figures. here's an excerpt from the press release:

 

"Timed to reach consumers prior to the December 14, 2012 release of the first film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Bridge will debut a multi-category toy line. The battle begins with Basic Action Figures, Adventure Packs, Beast Packs, and highly detailed Collector Figures. Fans can become real-life heroes with premium role play items including a Basic Sting Sword, a Basic Orcrist Sword, a Dwarven Battle Axe, and a Deluxe Sting Sword that features a blue glow just like in the film, bringing the thrill and the fantasy of the two films to life. The Bridge will reveal the 2012 product line to key retail partners in the coming weeks."

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  • 2 weeks later...

"Timed to reach consumers prior to the December 14, 2012 release of the first film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Bridge will debut a multi-category toy line. The battle begins with Basic Action Figures, Adventure Packs, Beast Packs, and highly detailed Collector Figures.

 

They seem to be marketing to both kids & adult collectors, that is a pretty good sign IMO.

 

Now we just have to hope the figures are more like ToyBiz's early LoTR figures.

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spystreak, It's not going to be just 12" figures. here's an excerpt from the press release:

 

"Timed to reach consumers prior to the December 14, 2012 release of the first film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Bridge will debut a multi-category toy line. The battle begins with Basic Action Figures, Adventure Packs, Beast Packs, and highly detailed Collector Figures. Fans can become real-life heroes with premium role play items including a Basic Sting Sword, a Basic Orcrist Sword, a Dwarven Battle Axe, and a Deluxe Sting Sword that features a blue glow just like in the film, bringing the thrill and the fantasy of the two films to life. The Bridge will reveal the 2012 product line to key retail partners in the coming weeks."

good then I'll reserve my judgement till we see some prototypes

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  • 2 months later...

Bridge Direct at Toy Fair...

http://www.actionfigurepics.com/2012/02/toy-fair-2012-the-hobbit-what-to-expect-from-the-toys#more-15070

 

"glad to hear that not only does Bridge know about LOTR and Toy Biz, the company actually has former Toy Biz folks in their employ – some as part of the company and some on a contracting basis.

 

Here some more tidbits:

 

•Will the line skew more towards kids or collectors? As a line that will be available at mass market retailers, of course there will be product oriented at kids. But as a whole, the line will appeal to the collector segment.

•Four or six-inch scale? Both!

•Sculpt detail, paint, articulation consistent with Toy Biz’s LOTR line? Lots of head nodding.

•Shelf dates? Expect toys to hit shelves as soon as October, but in force for the holidays – late November and December.

•They expect a strong lead-in from Lego, who will have LOTR Legos on shelves this summer and Hobbit Legos hitting the same time as Bridge’s Hobbit toys."

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spystreak, It's not going to be just 12" figures. here's an excerpt from the press release:

 

"Timed to reach consumers prior to the December 14, 2012 release of the first film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Bridge will debut a multi-category toy line. The battle begins with Basic Action Figures, Adventure Packs, Beast Packs, and highly detailed Collector Figures. Fans can become real-life heroes with premium role play items including a Basic Sting Sword, a Basic Orcrist Sword, a Dwarven Battle Axe, and a Deluxe Sting Sword that features a blue glow just like in the film, bringing the thrill and the fantasy of the two films to life. The Bridge will reveal the 2012 product line to key retail partners in the coming weeks."

good then I'll reserve my judgement till we see some prototypes

As will I.

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