TOY BIZ LORD OF THE RINGS
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Toy Biz, a division of Marvel Enterprises, landed one of the most coveted licenses in Hollywood. New Line Cinema named the toy company the master toy licensee for the studio's eagerly awaited fantasy epic The Lord of the Rings. The multi-year agreement provided Toy Biz with extensive worldwide product rights to all three films based on J.R.R. Tolkien's world-renowned literary phenomenon. The deal was announced by Avi Arad, Chief Creative Officer for Marvel Enterprises, Inc., Alan Fine, CEO of Toy Biz and David Imhoff, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Licensing and Merchandising, New Line Cinema.
It’s said that it takes a village to raise a child. In the case of this line of toys, that statement is most relevant and true. Toy Biz was innovative in their approach to not only involve new technology, but to have the tools and resources to create realistic and playable toys. Working with companies like Gentle Giant, WETA, New Line Cinema, Design Force and an array of 3rd party sculptors, it was a team effort in creating these figures.
Back in the year 2000, 3D scanning of actors was in its infancy. Gentle Giant was tasked to work on the Lord of the Rings. In order to maintain quality and deliver on character likeness, the team, along with representatives from Toy Biz, flew to New Zealand during filming to set up their equipment on set. Most of the main actors were head scanned to create a digital file that would be printed, and refined by sculptors at Gentle Giant. As part of the figure making process the body’s of the figures were hand sculpted in action poses that allowed for scene creation. Another point to consider is the amount of weapons, capes and other accessories. Toy Biz also had some diorama options early on, within their Half-Moon offerings. No stone was unturned. Creatures from the films were mostly rendered from the same 3D files used in the making of the movies. Prototypes would then be either refined, or completely sculpted based on artist interpretations. The end product for Toy Biz was an incredible catalog of action figures, that offered action features, great articulation and a likeness to the source material that was ahead of its time.
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