Those wishing the masterminds behind Toy Biz's hugely successful Lord of the Rings figure line would continue the awesome party can quake in despair, as your old pal WB announces The Hobbit license has gone to The Bridge Direct, creators of Zhu Zhu Pets and Justin Bieber action figures. No doubt the cash from the Zhu Zhu craze has given The Bridge deep pockets to handle the Bieb license and now, they have ultimate control over your lords of Middle Earth. Oddly, The Bridge website also lists Power Rangers as an upcoming project. Seeing as how Bandai finally announced the coming of Rita Repulsa this year, it saddens us to think someone else will be starting those lines from scratch. Could The Bridge hire an all star team to crank out the very best Hobbit figures we've ever seen? We can only hope! Here's the press release...
Warner Bros. Consumer Products is pleased to announce today that it has awarded the worldwide master toy and game licensing rights for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again to The Bridge Direct, Inc., the global children's consumer products company. The Bridge will develop an exciting array of products inspired by the two films being directed by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson—who previously brought Middle-earth to life with the award-winning blockbuster The Lord of the Rings trilogy—including action figures, playsets, and role play accessories, which are expected to debut at retail in fall 2012 prior to the December 14 release of the first film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
"We're thrilled about our partnership with The Bridge Direct, which produces engaging products that will recreate the storyline with stunning detail," said Karen McTier, Executive Vice President of Domestic Licensing and Worldwide Marketing for Warner Bros. Consumer Products. "Thanks to many of the same creative minds behind The Lord of the Rings trilogy products, we're looking forward to unveiling a robust toy line for the two films that captures the excitement of the beloved adventure and delights loyal fans of the series."
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again promise a timeless story, a broad range of appealing characters, thrilling action and the incomparable movie magic brought to life by master filmmaker Peter Jackson, all of which will make for an amazing toy line," said Jay Foreman, President and CEO of The Bridge.
Timed to reach consumers prior to the December 14, 2012 release of the first film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Bridge will debut a multi-category toy line. The battle begins with Basic Action Figures, Adventure Packs, Beast Packs, and highly detailed Collector Figures. Fans can become real-life heroes with premium role play items including a Basic Sting Sword, a Basic Orcrist Sword, a Dwarven Battle Axe, and a Deluxe Sting Sword that features a blue glow just like in the film, bringing the thrill and the fantasy of the two films to life. The Bridge will reveal the 2012 product line to key retail partners in the coming weeks.