We sought out The Bridge Direct, Inc., the master toy licensee for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again at Toy Fair yesterday. Unfortunately, they were not available for any unexpected parties and were not allowing pictures taken of product on display in the back of their hobbit hole.
Luckily for us, we did get to talk to an industry insider who has direct knowledge of the little known toy company, and I’ve put together some of their comments on what we can expect to see when Hobbit toys start hitting shelves in 4Q this year.
Top of mind for me was how toys from the upcoming Hobbit films would fit with the much-beloved Lord of the Rings action figure line from Toy Biz. So I was very glad to hear that not only does Bridge know about LOTR and Toy Biz, the company actually has former Toy Biz folks in their employ – some as part of the company and some on a contracting basis.
Here some more tidbits:
- Will the line skew more towards kids or collectors? As a line that will be available at mass market retailers, of course there will be product oriented at kids. But as a whole, the line will appeal to the collector segment.
- Four or six-inch scale? Both!
- Sculpt detail, paint, articulation consistent with Toy Biz’s LOTR line? Lots of head nodding.
- Shelf dates? Expect toys to hit shelves as soon as October, but in force for the holidays – late November and December.
- They expect a strong lead-in from Lego, who will have LOTR Legos on shelves this summer and Hobbit Legos hitting the same time as Bridge’s Hobbit toys.
Based on these comments, I’m hopeful that we’ll get action figures this fall that will fit nicely on our shelves with our existing collection of hobbits, elves, dwarves, wizards, and men. Dare I hope for an in-scale dragon?