Warner Bros. Consumer Products Lights Up Licensing International Expo 2012 With Major Content Support For Entertainment Licensing Portfolio
Man of Steel and the Two Films Based on The Hobbit Ignite Film Merchandising Opportunities
BURBANK, Calif., June 12, 2012 -- With an impressive marquee line-up - anchored by three tent-pole films, and highlighted by pop-classic favorites, diverse animated fare and the global expansion of its themed entertainment business - Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) brings unmatched content support to this year's Licensing International Expo, offering a rich portfolio of entertainment properties for fans around the world. A powerhouse roster of partners and a myriad of programs will help drive the company's licensing, merchandising and retail business in 2012 and beyond.
Leading the roll-out of WBCP's entertainment offerings are the three highly anticipated theatrical releases: Man of Steel (June 2013), directed by Zack Snyder and produced by Christopher Nolan, Charles Roven, Emma Thomas and Deborah Snyder; and the two films based on The Hobbit from Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (December 2012) and The Hobbit: There and Back Again (December 2013), productions of New Line Cinema and MGM.
"With world-class licensees and retailers as our partners, we expand upon the Warner Bros. entertainment experience by creating merchandising programs that connect to consumers on a global scale," said Brad Globe, president, Warner Bros. Consumer Products. "With tent-pole films, a strong animation slate and the sheer strength of our property portfolio as the foundation for our licensing program, we arrive in Las Vegas for this year's Licensing Show with unmatched opportunities."
As the power of Warner Bros. Pictures' film portfolio shows its strength, WBCP stands tall at Licensing Show with a powerhouse roster of global partners to support Warner Bros. Pictures' upcoming event film, Man of Steel, as Superman soars into theaters in summer 2013—and promises to deliver on fan anticipation and licensing opportunities. Licensing efforts for the DC Comics super hero tent-pole film will continue to build momentum as Man of Steel ignites its licensing and merchandising programs around the world. At the same time, the highly anticipated film will help to drive the Superman franchise to new heights, offering licensees and retailers new opportunities to reach fans of all ages.
Man of Steel will be supported by a renowned roster of partners, including DC Comics global master toy licensee, Mattel, with a wide range toy line including action figures, playsets and collectible figures, highlighted by the fan-favorite Movie Masters™ line. Also supporting Man of Steel will be LEGO, DC Comics global partner for the construction category; Rubie's Costume Company with a wide range of costume products based on the entire DC Comics portfolio, including Man of Steel; Noble Collection with a collectible line for true enthusiasts; apparel collections from Kinetics, Junkfood, Bioworld and global partner for DC Comics, Converse, with a graphically unique inspired line for Man of Steel; and global licensee Hallmark with party goods and ornaments; among many others. The Superman property will also see additional licensee support for fans of all ages, including Cardinals Industries' games and puzzles based on Man of Steel and Superman, and other legendary DC Comics characters; Jakks Pacific with a range of Superman collectible figures and novelty toys; PPW Toys' DC Super Heroes collectible line of Mr. Potato Heads, including classic Superman; Fisher Price's range of DC Super Friends Imaginext® toddler toy line; and Wonder Forge's DC Super Friends games and puzzles.
The Horn of Gondor calls all fans of Middle-earth as WBCP unveils its vast licensing and merchandise program supporting the classic stories of this mystical world as they are once again brought to life and to theaters in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There And Back Again in December of 2012 and 2013, respectively. The two films based on The Hobbit will see an array of programs, including master toy partners The Bridge Direct and Vivid Group with a range of product; HarperCollinsPublishers with the official tie-in books to the two films; WETA Workshop's authentic film prop replicas and collectibles; Noble Collection with high-quality collectibles; United Cutlery with collector weaponry replicas; and global licensee LEGO with a range of fantastical build-and-play construction sets. Also supporting the tent-pole adventure is Pressman Toy with exciting table games; Games Workshop with the leading tabletop hobby wargames; and Ravensburger with the creation of 2D and 3D puzzles and card games; as well as figurine and chess partwork collections from global licensee Eaglemoss, and Rubie's Costumes with a fantastically detailed line inspired by the two films based on The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy; among others.
Looney Tunes - That's Not All Folks!
The Looney Tunes are back and funnier than ever thanks to The Looney Tunes Show, the smash hit television series produced by Warner Bros. Animation. Launched on Cartoon Network in the U.S. and beginning its global domination, The Looney Tunes Show hit international airwaves in September 2011 and is now being watched by fans of all ages in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland, Romania, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Colombia and Mexico, among many others still to come. As the characters' antics continue to surprise and delight new generations with their timeless appeal, this cornerstone property has seen an incredible resurgence. With all-new content—the all-new animated series, highly rated airings of the classic animated series, and a series of newly produced theatrical shorts from Warner Bros. Animation and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures—the Academy Award®-winning Looney Tunes are also driving strong global licensing programs. An array of top-tier licensees are on-board to support the animated antics, including new master toy licensee, The Bridge Direct with a multi-category product line of plush, figures, playsets, vehicles and role play items. Highlighting the universal appeal for the property is a long list of licensees in all key categories, including toys, games, collectibles and even global themed entertainment – with character-inspired areas in various theme parks around the world. The Looney Tunes have also reached a level of elite "chic," as WBCP has partnered with a select list of prestigious licensees in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region showcasing high-end product, including Dolce & Gabbana, Braccialini, ICE Iceberg and Monnalisa. Also supporting Looney Tunes are jewelry designer Worth & Douglas; Seiyu for an exclusive kids apparel line; Rubie's Costume Co. with character costumes; PPW Toy's Looney Tunes collectible line of Mr. Potato Heads; Pressman Toy with exciting games; Lansay with a colorful plush assortment; and French technology manufacturer EMTEC with a line of character-inspired USB flash drives; among many other licensees.
WBCP is also proud to tout the ongoing success of Looney Tunes Active!, an initiative featuring the iconic characters as ambassadors of an active lifestyle for children. Launched in 2008, Looney Tunes Active! has become a dynamic licensing program for WBCP., with WBCP EMEA leading the charge. To date, EMEA has served as a key region for the Looney Tunes Active! initiative with more than 1 billion branded products sold at retail and with global partnerships with Nestle Waters, McDonald's, Intersport and Ferrero, as well as numerous local companies throughout the region complementing this line-up of support. WBCP has also partnered with sports associations such as Lega Basket (Italy), the Spanish (FEB, Men's World and European Champions), UK, Germany and France (Women's European Champions) Basketball Federations, to encourage kids to be and stay active. These partnerships positively promote a more active lifestyle and the participation in physical activities through team sports.
DC Nation Unleashes its Super Hero Powers
Launched earlier this year on Cartoon Network in the U.S. and set to premiere internationally later this year and into 2013, DC Nation is the exclusive kids' television home for original series and additional programming content based upon DC Comics characters. Backed by the production, publishing and marketing resources of Warner Bros. Animation, DC Entertainment and Cartoon Network, the DC Nation programming block is populated with event programming, original animated shorts, interstitials, exclusive behind-the-scenes of theatrical production, and an insider look into the world of all things DC Comics. DC Nation currently features Green Lantern: The Animated Series and Young Justice: Invasion, with upcoming new series Beware The Batman, an all-new cutting-edge CGI take on the Batman franchise, and the all-new character-driven, comedy-action series, Teen Titans GO!, set to join the block.
KAPOW! Batman Classic TV Series is Back
Bursting its way back onto the licensing scene is the fan-favorite classic Batman Classic TV Series. The huge pop-culture sensation from the 60's brought justice to Gotham City with its over-the-top, live-action stunts and endless celebrity cameos as the series still lives on in syndication—entertaining audiences for more than 40 years. WBCP is bringing all the favorite characters back, featuring the likenesses of the actors from the television series as part of the Batman Classic TV Series licensing program. The program will also showcase the vintage styles of the classic series and be highlighted by captured photography from the live-action series, as well as the illustrated character art inspired by the series' animated opening sequence, and will incorporate the vehicles, gadgets and catchphrases that made the show the cultural phenomenon it is today.
WBCP Global Themed Entertainment Brings Properties to Life
Global themed entertainment continues to expand, adding a new dimension to the Warner Bros. experience as WBCP properties enjoy a strong presence at theme parks, international cultural venues and arena stages around the world. Bringing the world of Batman and Gotham City to local communities and audiences of all ages, Batman Live is a visually stunning, state-of-the-art production that brings Batman, a host of iconic characters, and the settings from the famed world of DC Comics, live and on stage for the first time in this unique, action-packed world arena spectacular. A collaboration between WBCP, DC Entertainment and Nick Grace of Water Lane Productions Ltd, Batman Live will debut its North American tour in Los Angeles this fall, following its critically acclaimed runs in Europe and South America.
From the live arena stage show around the world to the tallest drop ride in the world, WBCP continues to thrill fans with theme park partners such as Six Flags, with four new DC Comics-inspired rides, including the world's tallest drop ride at over 400 feet; and with Warner Bros. Movie World Australia, opening three newly themed DC Comics attractions by this September, including the launch of the epic interactive ride experience, Justice League: Alien Invasion 3D, featuring all-new, custom-CG animation.
At the same time, Harry Potter continues to cast a spell with global audiences. The much-acclaimed The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a fully immersive environment for the entire family that faithfully and authentically brings the beloved characters, locations and magic of the Harry Potter books and films to life. The one-of-a-kind theme park experience includes a majestic Hogwarts castle, which is the centerpiece of the land; Hogsmeade village; and multiple attractions. Together with its partner Universal Parks & Resorts, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened in 2010 at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida, and recently announced plans to open another The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood, as well as the first one ever outside of the U.S. at Universal Studios Japan, while also significantly expanding the Orlando theme park environment.
For fans who want to relive the films and explore their unique details, Harry Potter: The Exhibition, created in partnership with Global Experience Specialists (GES), offers worldwide audiences a state-of-the-art 15,000-square foot experience and gives fans a coveted glimpse inside the famous wizard's magical world through this interactive exhibit. The exhibition features elaborate displays of hundreds of authentic costumes, props and artifacts straight from the Warner Bros. film sets based on J.K. Rowling's beloved book series. Harry Potter: The Exhibition made its global premiere in Chicago in 2009, before traveling on to Boston, Toronto, Seattle, New York, Sydney, Australia, and is currently in Singapore through September. The exhibition continues its tour to major international, cultural and entertainment venues, museums and institutions.
Scooby-Doo Still Top Dog and ThunderCats Continue to Purr at Retail
WBCP brings everyone's favorite Great Dane and his mystery-solving Gang to life as Scooby-Doo is supported by a range of products from global master toy licensee, Character Group, such as collectible figures, vehicles and play sets, and now including construction toys to expand the toy line and long-standing partnership. Additional licensees supporting Scooby-Doo include Pressman Toy offering exciting games; NKOK with its R/C motorized vehicles to rev-up the mysteries; Lansay with a cool remote control car; and Rubie's with fun, Scooby Gang costumes; all in time to support Cartoon Network's debut of the second season of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. Additionally, ThunderCats, based on the iconic 1980's original, continues to be supported by global toy partner Bandai America Incorporated and numerous licensees as multiple generations of loyal fans enjoy the action-packed toy line and collectors' appeal of the various product lines, including Rubie's inspired collection of costumes, among others.
WBCP Tunes In to TV Licensing
Television licensing is another key component of WBCP's diverse licensing show lineup, featuring current and classic hits being supported by licensing programs designed for the devoted fan bases. WBCP is excited to showcase a wide spectrum of niche licensed and merchandise offerings for many hit series, including teaming up with Cardinal Industries, Inc for The Big Bang Theory trivia and other party games, as well as collaborating with trend-setting retailer Hot Topic for an exclusive Comic-Con edition t-shirt supported by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution with an on-air and online sweepstakes offering one lucky fan the chance to get VIP passes to The Big Bang Theory panel at this year's Comic-Con International: San Diego. Other fan-targeted partnerships include a Gossip Girl–inspired apparel collection, "Gossip Girl by Romeo & Juliet Couture," with high-end couture fashion designer Romeo & Juliet; a high-fashion jewelry and accessories collection with Heather Belle Co. for a Pretty Little Liars-inspired line; a collaboration with Creation Entertainment for a series of highly sought after official The Vampire Diaries fan conventions throughout the U.S.; as well as publishing programs to support Supernatural and Fringe with such licensees as Insight Editions. WBCP also brings the Ewings to licensing show as the all-new series Dallas brings many of the original primetime series stars together with the next generation of Ewings for a new generation of fans. Also supported by ongoing merchandise programs are such perennial hits and global favorites as Seinfeld and Friends, which are among the league of classic television properties that WBCP offers in its television licensing entertainment portfolio.
WBCP is also the home of Warner Bros. Pictures' original classic film library, with such fan-favorites as Caddyshack, The Goonies, and Gremlins, and featuring timeless classics like the original The Wizard of Oz, celebrating its milestone 75th Anniversary with a journey down the Yellow Brick Road highlighted by an exciting licensing program to include designer collaborations, retail exclusives and much more; along with Gone with the Wind also gearing up for the film's 75th Anniversary in 2014 with commemorative product for the film's landmark. Seasonal favorites like The Polar Express, A Christmas Story and Frosty the Snowman will also be presented at this year's show.
About "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"
From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," the first of two films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. The second film will be "The Hobbit: There and Back Again." The screenplay for "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" is by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro. Jackson is also producing the film, together with Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner and Fran Walsh. The executive producers are Alan Horn, Toby Emmerich, Ken Kamins and Carolyn Blackwood, with Boyens and Eileen Moran serving as co-producers.
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" and "The Hobbit: There and Back Again" are productions of New Line Cinema and MGM, with New Line managing production. Warner Bros. Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television licensing, being handled by MGM. "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" will be released beginning December 14, 2012. The second film, "The Hobbit: There and Back Again," is slated for release the following year, beginning December 13, 2013.
About "Man of Steel"
From Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures comes "Man of Steel," starring Henry Cavill in the role of Clark Kent/Superman, under the direction of Zack Snyder. "Man of Steel" is produced by Charles Roven, Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas and Deborah Snyder. The screenplay was written by David S. Goyer from a story by Goyer and Nolan, based upon characters appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. Superman was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Thomas Tull, Lloyd Phillips and Jon Peters are serving as executive producers. The film is slated for release beginning June 14, 2013 and will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.
About Licensing International Expo
Licensing International Expo is the most established licensing event in the world and has become a global marketplace for leveraging brand and property equity for new licensed consumer products. The show's appeal brings together top- level retail and manufacturing executives from more than 90 countries who look to Licensing International Expo to discover new brands and revenue generating opportunities within the $191 billion licensing industry.
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Located at booth #4454, WBCP is one of the largest exhibitors at this year's show.
About Warner Bros. Consumer Products
Warner Bros. Consumer Products, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, is one of the leading licensing and retail merchandising organizations in the world.