EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK: CAROL FERRIS BARBIE
You can just hear the glow in the voices of Warner Bros. executives when they talk about adding a major DC Comics superhero to the silver screen. The Martin Campbell-directed “Green Lantern” arrives in theaters on June 17 and Warner has hopes that go well beyond the box office. There will be a massive push into the toy aisles of the world.
“The fact that we have something new to bring retailers and their customers is exciting for us,” says Brad Globe, president of Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “Of course, that newness requires you to make sure your audience knows what Green Lantern is all about so that the toy line is relevant to them. With all of the activity Warner Bros. has in the pipeline for ‘Green Lantern,’ we think they’ll know.”
The costume and powers of the Lantern have a fairly high recognition factor with youngsters after several Justice League cartoon series, all of the Geoff Johns-penned comic books and the Lantern’s prominent appearances in games such as DC vs. Mortal Kombat and the new DC Universe Online. But Globe is right when he says that toy-store relevance is a challenge in and of itself. Just consider “Avatar,” which pulled in a record $2 billion in worldwide box office grosses, but fizzled with toy consumers and collectors. Some observers felt that was because of a Mattel pricing or design issue; others noted that the film simply didn’t have the wide array of distinct and memorable characters that could match the toy-line standards set by mega-successes such as “Star Wars,” “G.I. Joe” and “Transformers.”
Globe said the Green Lantern Corps — the intergalactic peacekeeper assembly that is like a police force of aliens who fit right in with the “Star Wars” cantina scene — and the Aladdin’s-lamp nature of their powers might deliver a signature success.
“For the world of consumer products, specifically toys, Green Lantern offers an amazing opportunity because imagination is central to the character’s power — and there’s no better ingredient to playing with toys than imagination,” Globe said. “The depth of the universe is also a huge plus that allows us to tap into all kinds of characters for collectors and kids. Whether you are a 28-year-old avid fan of the Green Lantern comic books or an 8-year-old soon-to-be fan of the film, we have a whole new superhero world to offer.”
Time will tell. Mattel officials say they will try to match their Batman line in sheer size and range with the Lantern offerings, and this weekend at Toy Fair there will be plenty of attention to their plans. At right, you see an exclusive first-look at the Carol Ferris doll from the Barbie line, which will be seen this weekend at Toy Fair and sold exclusively at Comic-Con International this summer. Blake Lively plays the character in the film while Ryan Reynolds wears the costume of the title character.
— Geoff Boucher
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