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Monday, June 07, 2010

Batman, Young Justice, Green Lantern & More at the WB Licensing Show 2010


BURBANK, CA – June 7, 2010 – Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) arrives at this year’s Licensing International Expo with a rich portfolio of entertainment properties to drive its licensing, merchandising and retail businesses. Leading the lineup is the highly anticipated feature film Green Lantern, along with the full breadth and scope of the DC Comics’ expansive character universe.  Other highlighted initiatives include a strong, multi-platform support for the beloved Looney Tunes characters and the continued evolution of the record-breaking Harry Potter franchise.  Rounding out WBCP activity is a number of strategic partnerships and promotional initiatives for other properties in the studio stable.  

“With the super heroes of DC Comics, the antics of the Looney Tunes, the magic of Harry Potter and an entire slate of diverse properties, we are able to offer our partners unparalleled access to merchandisable brands.  This year, we’re especially pleased to have so much content—creating even more momentum for our business,” said Brad Globe, president, Warner Bros. Consumer Products.   

At the forefront of WBCP’s outstanding lineup is Green Lantern and the DC Comics property portfolio.  Green Lantern is set to hit theaters in summer 2011, with master toy licensee Mattel leading the charge on a vast array of film-inspired consumer offerings.  WBCP’s Super Hero line-up also includes DC Comics’ Batman and top-rated Cartoon Network series Batman: The Brave and the Bold, as well as the new Cartoon Network series Young Justice. 

The Looney Tunes property continues to be a cornerstone of the WBCP portfolio, with more than 1,000 licensees worldwide supporting the brand.  The broad appeal of the license has a proven track record of driving sales across multiple categories—apparel and accessories, domestics and home, stationery, publishing, toys, games, gift and novelties and more.   

Additionally, the Harry Potter franchise remains a marquee property with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter making its grand opening next week, on June 18, at Universal Orlando Resort.  The first part of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the final film in the blockbuster series, will premiere in November 2010 followed by Part 2 in 2011.   

The following is an overview of the properties and programs being spotlighted by WBCP at this year’s Licensing Show:  

Lighting up summer 2011 is the highly-anticipated film Green Lantern.  Bringing the enduringly popular DC Super Hero to the big screen for the first time, Green Lantern stars Ryan Reynolds in the title role as the newest member of the Green Lantern Corps.  Each Green Lantern wears a ring that grants him superpowers, but when a new enemy threatens to destroy the balance of power in the Universe, their fate, and the fate of Earth, lies in the hands of their newest recruit, the first human ever selected: Hal Jordan. 
In support of the film, Mattel is launching a comprehensive line of products based on the film for both kids and adult fans alike.  The multi-category toy line includes Basic and Deluxe Action Figures, Figure/Vehicles, Role Play, Playsets, Games, Puzzles and Vehicles. Additionally, each Action Figure toy comes complete with a Green Lantern ring in order for kids to feel as if they too, have been “chosen” to be a Green Lantern.  The Deluxe Action Figures have a special feature that allows kids to truly replicate the elements in the film, and come with accessories that unfold into completely different items for unlimited hours of play.   

In order to fully realize the potential array of Green Lantern offerings, Mattel is supporting the film across key Mattel Brands such as Hot Wheels, Tyco R/C and UNO.  Collectors will also be pleased to discover that Mattel is releasing a Green Lantern “Movie Masters” line of highly detailed figures based on the film, which are sculpted by the “Four Horseman” design team.  Mattel’s Green Lantern product lines hit retail in summer 2011. 

This year, the Caped Crusader teams up with Super Heroes across the DC Universe in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, an animated television series that has dominated the ratings since its debut in 2009. Airing on Cartoon Network, the action-packed series’ licensing program is anchored by DC Comics’ master toy licensee, Mattel, and features other categories such as fashion separates (Isaac Morris and Wear Me Apparel), accessories (Berkshire), back-to-school supplies (Fast Forward), T-shirts (Giant, Trevco and Bioworld) and sleepwear sets (AME and Saramax).  Season 2 kicks off with new episodes slated to air this summer.   

Batman: The Brave and the Bold fans can also prepare for the release of “Total Armor” toys from Mattel. “Total Armor” means Batman and his allies will be equipped with additional, new weaponry and high-tech gadgets.  For example, “Magma Armor” Batman will feature a detachable water blaster with storage tanks.   Items in the “Total Armor” line will be available in spring 2011. 

Mattel is also rolling out products based on Young Justice, which will premiere on Cartoon Network during the 2010-2011 season.  This all-new series is produced by Warner Bros. Animation and based on characters from DC Comics.  Featuring a team of teenage heroes, the show brings the popular comic to the small screen with favorites including Robin, Aqualad, Kid Flash, Superboy, Miss Martian and Artemis.  Product offerings from Mattel include figures, playsets and other show-inspired lines. 

This year marks a return to the big screen for Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote, two of the most popular Looney Tunes characters of all time.  The studio will present animated 3-D shorts featuring the duo before three of its family features, all to be released this year.  In each new three-minute cartoon short, Wile E. Coyote is as determined as ever to catch the elusive Road Runner, now with an arsenal of state-of-the-art ACME gadgets to snag his quarry—all in stereographic 3-D.  The shorts and films they will appear before are as follows:  “Coyote Falls” (“Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore” in theaters July 30); “Fur of Flying” (“Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole” in theaters September 24); “Rabid Rider” (“Yogi Bear” in theaters December 17).   

The characters also return to television with The Looney Tunes Show, an all-new half-hour animated television series for Cartoon Network.  No longer confined to seven-minute shorts, iconic Looney Tunes characters Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck are out of the woods and living in the suburbs among such colorful neighbors as Yosemite Sam, Granny, Tweety and Sylvester. In addition to each episode's main story, The Looney Tunes Show also features cartoons within a cartoon. The Tasmanian Devil, Speedy Gonzales, Marvin the Martian and other classic characters sing original songs in two-minute Merrie Melodies music videos, and the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote are featured in two-and-a-half-minute CG shorts. 

The Looney Tunes characters also serve as ambassadors of an active lifestyle for children with PSAs, “better-for-you” food products and a global initiative to get kids moving.  WBCP recently announced a partnership with the Ad Council and the Department of Health and Human Services as part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative to combat childhood obesity.  Looney Tunes characters appear in a series of four public service announcements, currently on-air, alongside some of today's most noteworthy athletes, including stars from the NFL, NBA and Olympics (Drew Brees, Kevin Durant, Tony Hawk and Misty May-Treanor).   

The Looney Tunes characters also promote the “Eating Right Kids” program featured in 1,700+ Safeway stores in the U.S. and Canada.  The Looney Tunes characters serve as ambassadors of health and fitness on kid-friendly products across multiple food categories simplifying “better-for-you” nutritional choices for parents and children with foods that also happen to taste great.   

Looney Tunes Active!, a global initiative under the Looney Tunes umbrella, features the iconic characters as ambassadors of an active lifestyle for children.  The naturally energetic nature of the Looney Tunes, one of their defining characteristics, makes them the ideal representatives of a more active lifestyle for kids everywhere.  Launched in 2006, the program has quickly evolved into one of the world’s most dynamic licensing programs, with WBCP Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) helping to lead the charge.   

To date, EMEA has served as a key region for the Looney Tunes Active! initiative with 1 billion branded products sold at retail in three years across multiple categories. WBCP has forged global partnerships with Nestle Waters, McDonald’s and Intersport, with numerous local companies complementing this lineup.  WBCP has also partnered with sports associations, including Lega Basket (Italy), the Spanish (FEB, Men’s World and Europe Champions), UK 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. 

Expanding upon the health and wellness platform this past year, renowned Latina health expert, Dr. Aliza Lifshitz, teamed up with the Baby Looney Tunes to reach Hispanic mothers to promote healthy, happy babies.   

The Looney Tunes also strike a chord in the world of music, with this year seeing the debut of Bugs Bunny at the Symphony, an original concert series that celebrates the 20th anniversary of Bugs Bunny on Broadway, a record-setting orchestra-and-film concert that created a new genre of symphony orchestra concert when it debuted in 1990.  The rechristened and newly-created concert sequel will play in 38 markets worldwide throughout 2010 and 2011, with high-profile, two-tiered world premieres.  The concert debuted in May 2010 with much fanfare at Australia’s famed Sydney Opera House and played to sold-out audiences.  Bugs Bunny at the Symphony will make its U.S. premiere at the iconic Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in July 2010.   

The Looney Tunes are featured in variety of complementary global and country-specific initiatives, including 12 Six Flags theme parks, Warner Bros. Movie World Australia and Parque Warner in Spain. Additionally, Butlins Resort in the UK presents the all-new Looney Tunes live show entitled “Looney Tunes Live—The Experiment,” and seven Taubman Mall centers throughout the United States now contain innovative play areas, featuring larger-than-life Looney Tunes favorites that delight generations of fans. 

In the publishing arena, the Looney Tunes have a significant presence, with a number of high-profile initiatives around the world this year.  In the United States, DC Comics releases a set of Looney Tunes comic books, each with three original stories.  Also in North America, Canadian publisher Rofact International Canada produces a series of coloring-and-activity titles featuring the characters.  In Europe, a number of companies including Edizioni Play Press (Italy) and Panini (UK and France) publish a wide range of products for kids. 

Through WBCP’s partnership with Universal Orlando Resort, the world’s most highly anticipated theme park environment, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, will be revealed this month on June 18.  Billed as “a theme park within a theme park,” fans will be able to fully immerse themselves into the world of Harry Potter with features and attractions directly inspired by J.K. Rowling’s compelling stories and unforgettable characters.  Visitors to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be able to walk through the village of Hogsmeade and marvel at the towering Hogwarts castle.  All of the shops, attractions and the restaurant were pulled straight from the Harry Potter books and films – and are brought to life as some of the most sophisticated theme park experiences ever created. 

Also continuing WBCP’s growing global themed entertainment category is Harry Potter: The Exhibition, offering fans a first-hand look inside the famous wizard’s magical world with elaborate displays of authentic costumes, props and artifacts from recognizable locations featured in the films such as those from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  Created in partnership with GES, the exhibition tours major cultural and entertainment venues, museums and institutions in the U.S. and internationally.  The exhibit made its world premiere in Chicago in April 2009 before traveling to Boston, and will reside in Toronto through August 2010.  Additional cities will be announced later this year. 

While fans around the world anxiously await the upcoming premiere of the seventh and final film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 in November 2010 and Part 2 in 2011, WBCP licensees across the globe, including Panini, DeAgostini, NECA, Corgi International Limited, Hasbro, Rubie’s Costume Co., Exhibitgroup/Giltspur, Noble Collection, Artbox Entertainment, Gentle Giant, Giant Merchandising, Jibbitz, BioWorld Merchandising Inc., Andrews McMeel Publishing, and Tonner Doll, among others, will be supporting the film’s release with a wide array of products. 

WBCP will also be supporting a merchandising program for Happy Feet 2, the sequel to the Academy Award®-winning animated smash hit, Happy Feet.  The upcoming film returns audiences to the magnificent landscape of Antarctica, reuniting us with the world’s most famous tap-dancing penguin, Mumble; the love of his life, Gloria; and their old friends Ramon and Lovelace.  Mumble and Gloria now have a son of their own, Erik, who is struggling to find his own particular talents in the Emperor penguin world.  But new dangers are threatening the penguin nation, and it’s going to take everyone working—and dancing—together to save them. 

Happy Feet 2 stars the voices of Elijah Wood, Hank Azaria and Robin Williams, as well as exciting new cast members yet to be announced.  The film is directed and co-written by George Miller, who won an Oscar® as the creator of the original Happy Feet. 

ThunderCats is set to roar back into the mainstream, with a new animated television series, produced by Warner Bros. Animation for Cartoon Network.  WBCP recently announced a powerhouse partnership with Bandai America Incorporated, as the global master toy licensee for ThunderCats.  Under the new agreement, Bandai and their international affiliates will create and distribute products worldwide that will complement both the classic brand property, as well as the fresh take on the animated series, with new television episodes set to air in 2011.     

The new ThunderCats, a 21st century reimagining of the series, will appeal to viewers who have loved the characters all their lives as well as young newcomers to the franchise.  A sweeping tale combining swords and science and boasting ferocious battles with the highest of stakes, the grand origin story of Prince Lion-O’s ascension to the throne – and of those who would thwart his destiny at any cost – takes on epic dimensions in this sharp new telling.  As the forces of good and evil battle each other in the quest for the fabled Stones of Power, Lion-O and his champions learn valuable lessons of loyalty, honor and mortality in every episode.  The series marks a creative collaboration between Warner Bros. Animation and Studio4°C, one of the most vibrant animation studios in Japan.   

Since its debut in 1985, the ThunderCats pop culture phenomenon has had its paws sunk deeply not only in television, but also toylines, apparel and comic books.  Twenty-five years later, through the Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Bandai America collaboration, the beloved brand is poised to make a new audience of kids feel the magic and hear the roar once again. 

Girls continue to flex their muscles and the iconic power of the Supergirl S-shield remains an unmatched and universal symbol of independence and empowerment for today’s girl. WBCP has partnered with five-time Olympic medalist Nastia Liukin to create Supergirl by Nastia, the first-ever lifestyle merchandise line of its kind for girls available at major retailer, JCPenney.  Supergirl by Nastia will feature trend-savvy, affordable apparel that reinforces a message of empowerment, creativity, strength, intelligence and independence—the symbolic attributes of the iconic Supergirl S-Shield.  The collection, created for today’s girls, will be in stores and on beginning July 20, just in time for the back-to-school season.   

In addition, Warner Bros. will continue its support of female athletes through the 4th Annual Supergirl Jam, the only large-scale, all-girls action sports competition and lifestyle/music festival, designed to promote and celebrate female strength, independence and empowerment.  Event details will be announced soon.   

After more than 40 years, Scooby-Doo continues his reign as TV’s top dog. Building on the popularity of the Scooby-Doo franchise, the television series, Scooby-Doo! Mystery Inc., brings Scooby-Doo and his four buddies, who call themselves Mystery, Inc., together to deliver a mix of comedy, mystery and adventure, as the fearless five solve new, scary mysteries in their seriously haunted town.   

The popular Zoinks Points, the first-ever Scooby-Doo online rewards program, continues to be a success with fans.  For every Scooby product purchased at retail or online, Scooby fans have access to exclusive games, video clips, podcasts, screensavers, wallpapers and more – all for free and only at
This summer, renowned dog behaviorist Cesar Millan will team up with Scooby-Doo to host the Great Dog Adventure Contest.  Contestants have the opportunity to join him and the world’s most famous dog for a lively weekend of canine ‘fun in the sun’ in San Diego, CA.  The contest marks the third collaboration between Scooby and Cesar.    The duo jointly celebrated their 40th birthdays together in September 2009, and most recently they joined forces to find the next “spokesdog” to star with Millan in a public service announcement. 

Scooby and the gang will also star in their next adventure, Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster, an all-new, live-action/CG movie follow-up to the record-setting Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins (2009).  The family feature will premiere on Cartoon Network in fall 2010 and be released on DVD through Warner Home Video in early 2011. 

WBCP continues to be a leader in sports licensing, representing several powerhouse brands and the highest profile football/soccer tournaments. The Company’s portfolio of world-class football/soccer franchise properties include:  FC Barcelona, Manchester United FC, Juventus FC, São Paulo Football Club, Mexico’s National Team (FMF), Club America and the Brazilian National Team (Seleção). 

WBCP is seeking innovative licensing partners to broaden its product offering for the highly popular animated character Pucca.  WBCP’s representation of Pucca has expanded to include Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan (Greater China) region, in addition to previous representation in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Brazil, further advancing the companies’ worldwide strategic partnership.   

Originally introduced online, Pucca debuted as a series of Flash-animated shorts produced by Vooz Co., Ltd. and fast became a true cultural phenomenon. Known for its "silent comedy" factor—creating humor with almost no spoken words—and its universal theme of love, the shorts revolve around 10-year-old Pucca, the daughter of a Chinese restaurant owner in Korea, who is in love with Garu, a 12-year-old warrior. Pucca’s dedicated online following led to its television debut in the U.S. 
This year, WBCP and Vooz launched a specialized apparel collection in the U.S. inspired by Pucca at the stylish Curve boutiques in New York and Los Angeles.
New Line Cinema’s library comprises a wide range of films including the Oscar®-winning The Lord of the Rings motion picture trilogy, one of the most successful film franchises in historyNew Line’s vast property vault also includes two of the most popular horror franchises, Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street, adding dimension to a portfolio that is already amongst the most comprehensive in licensed entertainment. 

Classic characters will remain a linchpin for WBCP at Licensing Show this year. With strong merchandising programs in play, licensees continue to support beloved franchises such as Tom & Jerry and Yogi Bear.  Additionally, everyone’s favorite picnic-basket-stealing bear is coming to the silver screen in 2010 in Warner Bros. Pictures’ Yogi Bear.