NEW YORK, NOON, APRIL 1, 2009/AFI NEWSWIRE/ - Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc. (NYSE:MRV) announced today that they will once again join the toy business and open their shudder toy division, Toy Biz, Inc. Toy Biz, Inc., a major pioneer in the male action figure market, was closed when Marvel chose to grant the master license for it's Marvel Comics toy properties to Hasbro in 2006. Due to mismanagement of the properties and declining sells of the formerly hit Marvel Legends line of action figures and the disappointing handling of the Spiderman, Fantastic Four and X-men movie properties, Marvel chose to utilize a performance clause in the license and cancel it and bring all toy properties back in-house under a Newly reorganized Toy Biz brand.
Jesse Falcon, former line manager of the Marvel Legends brand of products for Toy Biz, Inc. has been named Chief Operations Officer and will oversea the development of the Marvel properties in not only male action figure properties but also in ancillary properties such as board games, video games, role playing and children's toys. When asked what his goals are for the reformed ToyBiz brand, Mr. Falcon responded,"We're going to make all our properties profitable again, starting with a complete relaunch of our Flagship Marvel Legends 6" Hyper-Articulated action figure line. Hasbro has done a commendable job of trying to continue this line but could not fully commit it's resources to the line the way customers have come to expect. As a result, sales have diminished because fans of Marvel properties just wouldn't settle for second best. We intend to Kick start this line with an all-star line-up of brand new sculpts done by the best sculptors in the business and include a "Build-a-Quinjet" piece with each of the first 12 figures. More info on the line-up will come but we already have major retailers such as Walmart, Target and Toys R Us commited to carrying the line" Mr. Falcon said the first images will be available to websites and media soon to promote the lines around the time of the San Diego Comic Con.
Other key names that will be part of Toy Biz are Adam Van Wickler, VP of Male Action Figure Design & Development and Damon Nee, VP of Entertainment Property Product Development and newcomer Fred Aczon has been named Senior Designer/Sculptor of all male action properties.
Hasbro, Inc. will continue to manufacture and market Marvel products through December 31, 2009 when the license will be terminated. New Toy Biz brand Marvel products should start shipping on or around January 1, 2010. These products will include both comic and entertainment properties such as the movies "Iron Man 2", "Spiderman 4", "Avengers", "Captain America", "Thor", and all other TV & multimedia properties.
Marvel Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: MVL), is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies with operations in five divisions: licensing, toys, comic book and trade publishing, entertainment and the Internet. Through the ownership of over 4,700 proprietary characters, Marvel licenses its characters in a wide range of consumer products, services and media such as feature films, television, the Internet, apparel, video games, collectibles, snack foods and promotions. Marvel's characters and plot lines are created and developed through the comic book publishing division, which maintains a leadership position in the U.S. and abroad. For additional company information visit the Company's corporate Web site at http://www.marvel.com.