Fox Licensing & Merchandising taps Mattel for James Cameron’s Avatar

MUMBAI: Twentieth Century Fox Licensing & Merchandising (Fox L&M) has selected Mattel, Inc. to develop a toy line inspired by James Cameron’s forthcoming flick Avatar.

Tapped as master toy licensee for the epic sci-fi film property, Mattel will create a line of action figures and vehicles scheduled to hit retail in October 2009, months in advance of the film’s release in December 2009.

Mattel’s Avatar toy line will feature heroes, creatures and vehicles straight from the blockbuster film. Each action figure or vehicle will come with a 3D web tag. Utilizing a computer’s webcam, consumers can "scan" the web tag, unlocking special content unique to the product, like bio information on action figures and creatures, virtually on a home computer.

Fox Licensing and Merchandising executive vice president Elie Dekel said, "Avatar is one of the biggest and most anticipated films of 2009. The new universe created in the film is everything one would expect coming from the mind of James Cameron, one of the most accomplished creators and filmmakers of our time. In bringing this fantastic new universe to life in toys, it was essential that we partner with the world’s biggest and best, Mattel. Mattel’s abilities to continually innovate and strategically grow a toy brand over many years will be core to our long-term strategies."

"Mattel has a long history of teaming up with some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters, and it continues with our partnership with Avatar. Developing toys for a movie as anticipated and innovative as ‘Avatar’ allows us to push the envelope with our own innovation and design to produce an exciting, engaging lineup of products" said Mattel, Inc general manager for Boys, Girls & Games Tim Kilpin.

Avatar producer Jon Landau added, "I’m a firm believer that a great toy program, done right and with the right creative collaboration can extend the movie experience. Jim and I have been working intimately with both Fox L&M and Mattel to ensure that this will be a top-notch innovative toy line-up. We have seen the products and can’t wait for their release."

More than 10 years in the making, Avatar marks Cameron’s return to feature directing since helming 1997’s Titanic. Avatar is an epic adventure film.

The Avatar cast includes Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, and Sigourney Weaver.