Twentieth Century Fox Licensing & Merchandising (Fox L&M) has selected Mattel, Inc. to develop a toy line inspired by one of the most anticipated films of the year — James Cameron’s Avatar. Tapped as master toy licensee for the epic sci-fi film property, Mattel will create a line of action figures and vehicles scheduled to hit retail nationwide in October 2009, months in advance of the film’s release in December 2009. The announcement was made today by Elie Dekel, Executive Vice President of Fox Licensing and Merchandising.
Mattel’s Avatar toy line will feature heroes, creatures and vehicles straight from the blockbuster film. Each action figure or vehicle will come with a 3D web tag, bringing a new level of interactivity to Mattel’s newest action play line. Utilizing a computer’s webcam, consumers can “scan” the web tag, unlocking special content unique to the product, like bio information on action figures and creatures, virtually on a home computer.
“‘Avatar’ is one of the biggest and most anticipated films of 2009,” said Dekel. “The new universe created in the film is everything one would expect coming from the mind of James Cameron, one of the most accomplished creators and filmmakers of our time. In bringing this fantastic new universe to life in toys, it was essential that we partner with the world’s biggest and best, Mattel. Mattel’s abilities to continually innovate and strategically grow a toy brand over many years will be core to our long-term strategies.”
“Mattel has a long history of teaming up with some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters, and it continues with our partnership with ‘Avatar,'” said Tim Kilpin, GM for Boys, Girls & Games, Mattel, Inc. “Developing toys for a movie as anticipated and innovative as ‘Avatar’ allows us to push the envelope with our own innovation and design to produce an exciting, engaging lineup of products.”
Jon Landau, producer of Avatar added, “I am a firm believer that a great toy program, done right and with the right creative collaboration can extend the movie experience. Jim and I have been working intimately with both Fox L&M and Mattel to ensure that this will be a top-notch innovative toy line-up. We have seen the products and can’t wait for their release.”
More than 10 years in the making, Avatar marks Cameron’s return to feature directing since helming 1997’s Titanic, the highest grossing film of all time and winner of eleven Oscars® including Best Picture. Avatar is an epic adventure film where ex-marine Jake Sully is torn between duty and honor when he finds himself caught in a battle between the heavily armed forces of Earth’s most powerful star-faring consortium and an exotic, noble alien race whose entire world is threatened by the human invaders.
The Avatar cast includes Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, and Sigourney Weaver. Academy Award-winning visual effects house, WETA Digital, renowned for its work in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and King Kong, will incorporate new intuitive CGI technologies to transform the environments and characters into photorealistic 3D imagery that will transport the audience into the alien world rich with imaginative vistas, creatures and characters.