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February 2006 | Vol. V - No. 2
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Hollywood Toyboy: The Good, the Bad and the Corgi

WB, Corgi and Universal Prepare for the New Year

WB has picked up the movie rights to Maurice Sendak’s perennial favorite book, “Where The Wild Things Are.”
February: the shortest month. So, what’s going on in the big, bad world of Hollywood? Despite management shakeups in the family and animation realm, Warner Brothers continues to unveil strong product with good merchandising possibilities.

“Aquaman”: From the creators of “Smallville,” and staring Will Toale, this show will try to cash in on the “Dawson’s Creek”-meets-DC Comics thang, but with more shirtlessness (we’re talkin’ lots o’ bikinis and 12-pack abs).

With this new superhero/soap opera, Warners, according to a VP over there, will probably begin development on an animated series that will feature Aqui, too. From there, action figures, video games and a new series of comic books won’t be far behind.

Even more exciting, WB has picked up the movie rights to Maurice Sendak’s perennial favorite book, “Where the Wild Things Are.” A CAA agent (Creative Artists Agency, for those who need to know) mentioned that Spike Jonze is still attached, and Tom Hank’s Playtone company is still producing.

Provided no slip between cup and distribution, look to see plush dolls, a video game, comforter/pillow sets, sleepwear and more. This will merchandise cross-generationally, as the book has been a critical and child favorite since 1963 — this is Baby Boomer heaven.

Similar name, not-so-similar outcome: “The Wild,” Disney’s “Madagascar”-meets-“Finding Nemo” feature starring Keifer Sutherland, Jim Belushi, Janeane “Just Say No” Garofalo and Eddi Izzard, is a big question mark.

Set for an April 14, 2006, release, the movie is neither fish nor fowl. Will kids watch another “animal shipped to the wrong place, friends come to the rescue” CGI movie? This is not Bob Iger’s Disney. An executive who is duck and covering, mentioned that April has no other real kids' releases, and they’re hoping that will be enough. It’s a wait-and-see situation.

Must-have collectibles: Star Trek. Corgi International boldly goes where no die-cast scale model company has gone before. To celebrate Trek’s 40th anniversary, Corgi is coming out with a USS Enterprise NCC-1701 and the Klingon Bird of Prey, followed by a Next Generation Enterprise NCC-1701-D. Each of the three ships will come with a light-up mount.

Fanboys are ecstatic, and, knowing Corgi’s usual attention to detail, they won’t be disappointed.

Speaking of “everything old is new again,” executives at Universal are quite happy with DH Press’ new series of original novels based on classic Universal Pictures characters from the Golden Age of horror films.

The first round of books will feature Dracula, Frankenstein, the Bride of Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, the Mummy, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. For those who don’t remember, DH Press is Dark Horse Comic’s prose-publishing venture.

Look for these books to do well and spark a re-interest in the classic characters, which will spark more movies based on the classic characters, which will spark more merchandising … it all makes my head spin. Hey, it’s Hollywood: We eat our young with ketchup.

Meanwhile, I’m hoppin’ the red-eye to Toy Fair, so stay tuned to hear all about East meets West as Hollywood travels to the Big Apple.

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