Following the property’s huge success at San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC), a worldwide event for comic book and pop culture fans that took place in July, many of WBCP’s best-in-class licensees from across the globe continue to answer the call to Middle-earth to support the three films based on The Hobbit, generating online and onsite buzz for the classic stories.
During San Diego Comic-Con, LEGO revealed pieces of its LEGO The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey range of fantastical build-and-play construction sets and fans of the classic adventures rallied to support the much-anticipated line. Retailers are also following suit, including the UK’s toy destination Hamleys, ”The Finest Toy Shop in the World,” which listed LEGO The Lord of the Rings The Battle of Helms Deep construction set in its Top 10 best seller predictions for Christmas 2012. Angie Tutt, Brand Director at LEGO Group comments, “Inevitably, there is already a lot of buzz surrounding the much-anticipated release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The LEGO Group is delighted to be part of the franchise. The LEGO THE LORD OF THE RINGS range has been met with great excitement and we are looking forward to bringing the legendary Middle-earth adventures of Bilbo Baggins and friends to life with new LEGO THE HOBBIT construction sets which will allow children and adult fans alike to build and play in the fantasy world.”
“As anticipation mounts for the release of the first film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, WBCP is committed to selecting a world class lineup of licensing partners that will serve as the foundation for a strong merchandising programme,” said Bruno Schwobthaler, Senior Vice President of Sales and Business Development, WBCP EMEA. “The responses from licensees and retailers throughout the EMEA region have been phenomenal as they embrace the unique opportunity that this property presents.”
In addition to LEGO, Vivid Group, along with co-master toy partner The Bridge Direct, will launch a comprehensive range of collectibles including Mini Collectible Figures, Basic Action Figures, Adventure Packs, Beast Packs, Playsets and highly detailed Collector Figures, which will be a favourite among boys and collectors. Fans can also re-enact Bilbo and friends’ daring adventures with the role play product line, including a Sting Sword, a Dwarven Battle Axe, and a Deluxe Sting Sword, which features a blue glow just like in the movie. A wider product range will be introduced to support The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and The Hobbit: There and Back Again with more collectible characters for fans to enjoy. Emma Weber, Marketing and Licensing Director at Vivid said, “The quality and detailing of the figures will delight collectors and new fans of The Hobbit Trilogy and we anticipate the same successful levels of sell out experienced with The Lord of the Rings Trilogy toy sales.”
Also supporting the tentpole adventure is Ravensburger with the creation of 2D and 3D puzzles and card games; as well as Rubie’s Costume Co. which has created a fantastically detailed line inspired by the The Hobbit Trilogy and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Holly Oldham, Rubie’s Media and Licensing Managing Director, commented, “The Lord of the Rings license has been a huge success for Rubie’s with continuous great sales – and we are sure that costuming for films The Hobbit Trilogy will be as big a success, if not bigger!”
Harper Collins Publishers will be launching the official tie-in books to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and The Hobbit: There and Back Again; and global licensee Eaglemoss will be releasing figurine and chess partwork collections. This is in addition to the myriad of local licensing deals that will support all things related to The Hobbit Trilogy.
Source: Warner Brothers Consumer Products