Funko to Launch New Licensed Fabrikations, Hikari Japanese Vinyl Toys

Funko is set to launch two new lines of licensed figures this year. Fabrikations consists of 6-inch soft-sculpted figures featuring a rotating head as well as vinyl accessories. Each Fabrikation is weighted, allowing it to stand securely on a surface.

DC Universe, Marvel, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Star Wars will be the first licenses to be released in the Fabrikations line.

This spring and summer, Funko will also be launching Hikari Japanese Vinyl, a collectible line of clear Sofubi vinyl inspired by Japanese vinyl figures. Each piece will be hand-numbered, limited edition, and come packaged in a clear tube with an on/off LED light for display purposes.

Batman and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be the first licenses in the Hikari line. Star Wars, Marvel, and Ghostbusters will follow this year.

Warner Bros. Consumer Products Brings Godzilla-Sized List of Licensees to Toy Fair

WB Consumer ProductsWarner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) enters this year’s American International Toy Fair with an extensive lineup of global licensees in support of its entertainment properties, milestone anniversaries, and upcoming theatrical releases.

Bandai America Inc. and Jakks Pacific Inc. will each support Godzilla, from Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures, with new toy lines. Jakks’ line of Godzilla products will include an Ultimate Large Scale Godzilla Figure with 12 points of articulation and a length of over 43 inches, making it one of the largest toys in Godzilla history. Other worldwide partners include Rubie’s Costume Co., NECA, and Sideshow Collectibles.

WBCP’s toy partners will also release toys and collectibles based on The Hobbit Trilogy. The Bridge Direct and Vivid Group will support the film series with new figures. Additional partners include Eaglemoss, Funko, Kosmos, and Ravensburger.

The Wizard of Oz will celebrate its 75th anniversary with Mattel‘s new line of dolls for The Wizard of Oz Barbie collection. Enesco, Tonner Doll, and Madame Alexander will each offer collectible figures. Warner Bros. will also continue its There’s No Place Like Home campaign in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. Gone with the Wind will also mark its 75th anniversary with new collectible figures from Madame Alexander and Tonner Doll. Mattel will offer an anniversary Barbie collection and Enesco will introduce a stone resin figure. [Read more...]

Ruckus Media Group Partners with Warner Bros. on Mobile Read-along Titles

Ruckus Media Group has partnered with Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) to offer digital downloads of narrated e-books in the U.S. and Canada, beginning with a seasonal selection of titles via the Ruckus universal app for iOS devices.

The Ruckus/WBCP launch will offer a variety of brands, with more than 100 Read-Along titles rolling out in subsequent months. Multiple narrated e-books will be included from brands such as Batman, Looney Tunes, Scooby-Doo, The Wizard of Oz, and more.

Ruckus titles download directly to mobile devices, and they are also commercial-free and airplay-enabled, allowing users to view them on all iOS devices. Should they register for free, parents are provided with feedback on their child’s experiences within the Ruckus app, and kids and parents can also follow word highlighting, as well as read, record, and save their own voices reading the stories.

COMMENTARY: New Warner Bros. Licensed Games Look at Superheroes in a Different Light

I couldn’t be happier that 99 percent of all current movies—including Thor: The Dark World, due in theaters this week—seem to feature somebody in a cape or a miraculous suit of armor battling evil. Full disclosure: I was way into superhero comics when I was a kid. I managed to amass hundreds, which I kept in cardboard long boxes, re-reading them over and over throughout my tortured adolescence. I didn’t buy them for collecting purposes, thank goodness; years later, I traded in the entire lot for $10 and a key lime pie, and considered myself lucky to have gotten that much.

(Seriously, folks, if you started collecting comics during the 1990s or later, they’re not going to put your kid through college. It just won’t happen.)

My point is, I’m a huge superhero fan. However, I’ve started to feel super-saturated by all the licensed comic book-based movies and TV shows popping up of late. They always seem so serious, with all the world-saving and high drama, the death and epic romance and heroic posturing. It’s great the first time, pretty good the second, but around the umpteenth, I have to fight the urge to stand up and yell, “Hey, grown person in hockey pants! Aren’t we supposed to be having fun here?”

For that reason, I am grateful for the recent trend in video games based on licensed superhero properties, specifically those from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. While its offerings of late include the very seriously toned Batman: Arkham Origins, the company is also responsible for two titles that manage to be respectful of the superhero genre, while simultaneously turning it on its head in ways that are funny and downright fun. Both games are available now and suitable for kids ages 10 and up. [Read more...]

Warner Bros. Interactive Launches New Batman: Arkham Origins Games

Batman.ArkhamWarner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment have released Batman: Arkham Origins. Developed by WB Games Montréal, the game is based on DC Comics’ core Batman license, and introduces an original prequel storyline in which a young, unrefined Batman faces the defining moment of his early career, and sets his path to becoming the famous Dark Knight.

Batman: Arkham Origins, in which Batman is hunted by eight of the deadliest assassins from the DC Comics Universe, is available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, and Windows PC. New to the franchise is a multiplayer mode, developed by Splash Damage, which allows friends and foes to engage in online play that blends traditional Arkham gameplay with those of third-person shooter mechanics.

Also available now is Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate, a companion game developed by Armature Studio, which brings core Batman Arkham pillars to the PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS handheld formats. It allows players to continue the storyline of the console game.

Players looking to extend their gameplay experience can buy the Batman: Arkham Origins Season Pass, comprised of five of the game’s upcoming downloadable content packs. The Season Pass is available on the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live online entertainment network from Microsoft, Nintendo eShop, and Steam.

Mezco Unveils Batman Classic TV Series Mez-Itz Toys

mezco_2Mezco Toys has partnered with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, on behalf of DC Entertainment, to produce a Mez-Itz line of toys and vehicles based on DC Comics 1960’s Batman classic TV series.

Mezco will debut Batman toys, including the Batmobile, along with a line of Batman and Robin Mez-Itz based on the actors who portrayed them. Mezco will also produce Mez-Itz of The Joker, Catwoman, The Riddler, and The Riddler’s Thug.

Mezco will reveal these new products to the general public for the first time on June 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Odditorium on 42nd Street in New York City. The first 200 people to come view the display dressed as their favorite Batman classic TV series character will receive a free Mezco DC Universe Mez-Itz, as well as a discount for entry into the Odditorium.

Mezco’s first wave of Batman classic TV series products will hit stores in July, and a sneak preview will be available at San Diego Comic-Con at Mezco’s booth.

Uglydoll Teams up with DC Comics for Superhero Toys and Accessories

Pretty Ugly, LLC and Warner Bros. Consumer Products, on behalf of DC Entertainment, announced that they have entered into a co-branded 1209collaboration with DC Comics Super Heroes and Uglydoll characters. Gund, a division of Enesco, will produce a diverse range of colorful and collectible superhero plush based on the DC Comics and Uglydoll character universes. The initial release this fall will be a trio that includes two versions of Ice-Bat as Batman and Babo as Superman.

The plush characters will be offered at retail and will be available through Diamond Comics and a broad range of retailers. Funko is also set to offer a collection of vinyl figures based on the DC Comics and Uglydoll plush collaboration during the holiday season this year. Additional categories of merchandise and collaborative characters will be announced in the coming months.

Gund will be previewing their new collaborative plush merchandise at the summer Gift Shows and ASTRA show in June. Diamond Comics will be exhibiting at San Diego Comic-Con in July and in their infamous Previews catalog. Funko and others will launch merchandise in time for the holiday season.

Ridemakerz Fuels Support of New Xtreme Customz Line at Mass Retailers

For the first time in the company’s seven-year history, Ridemakerz will launch a national TV advertising campaign to support its new line of Xtreme Customz customizable toy cars, which are available now at Target and Toys “R” Us stores nationwide as well as Toysrus.com.

[Read more...]

Parents Get a New, Not-So-Secret Headquarters with Launch of DC Comics Fan Family Blog

Fans both young and young at heart will get even more of the iconic characters they love as DC Entertainment unveils the DC Comics Fan Family blog. This new family-friendly site is designed to deliver the best of the celebrated super heroes, including Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, with a slew of family-oriented content for parents to share with their kids.

The DC Comics Fan Family blog will serve as an online hub for all DC Entertainment family-friendly news and information and offer readers a variety of content including DC Comics-themed activity sheets, DIY craft projects, guest blog posts featuring DC Comics talent, and the chance for fans to see their own artwork featured with a variety of creative submission contests.

The blog will also feature the recently announced nationwide contest with Capstone, “Be a Super Hero. Read!” in which students in grades three through six are encouraged to write about the real heroes in their lives.

To learn more about the DC Comics Fan Family blog, visit www.dccomicsfanfamily.com.

New Study Shows Girls Increasingly Becoming Fans Of Boy Brands

According to the annual study conducted by Smarty Pants, a youth and family research firm, girls are rapidly becoming fans of boy brands such as construction toys, superheroes, and sports gear. The study, Young Love, is conducted online among a representative sample of U.S. households with children ages 6 to 12. [Read more...]