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From the News Archive
New hope for Star Wars empire - NEWS.com.au

Star Wars might have pioneered the blockbuster, invented movie merchandising and reinvented special effects since it exploded on to the screen a long time ago, in a cinema not too far away.

And it might have spawned a multibillion-dollar industry in its own right, with five subsequent films and countless licensed collectables.
But all good things must end, and with no further big-screen instalments planned by creator George Lucas, the future of the franchise might be looking a little shaky.
While the Star Wars sections of toy stores are shrinking, and licensees such as Master Replicas are ending their relationship with Lucasfilm, moviegoers are going ga-ga over Shrek and Pirates of the Caribbean. Last month it was Spider-Man.
But don't count Star Wars out just yet.

The thousands who flocked to Celebration IV show it still has a huge following, and while the franchise might have run its course on the big screen, it is about to be reinvented as a multimedia concern in TV shows, video games and other media.
One needs look no further than that other space phenomenon, Star Trek, to see how a sci-fi property can survive.
Since the original '60s series was cancelled after three seasons, Trek has gone from strength to strength with five spin-off series and 10 feature films.

It is about to be reinvented again with an 11th film that 'reimagines' the classic series of Captain Kirk and Mr Spock.
Now, having ushered in the age of the modern blockbuster with Star Wars, Lucas is ready to pronounce it dead.
Posted 6/11/2007
Toys 'R' Us May 2007 Puts hopes in new ad agency - NorthJersey.com

Toys 'R' Us puts hopes in new ad agency
NorthJersey.com, NJ -

Wayne-based toy retailer Toys 'R' Us said Wednesday that it has chosen a Boston advertising agency to create the campaigns that will revitalize the brand.
Toys confirmed a report by Adweek.com that Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos Inc. had won the Toys account after a 10-week agency review process.

Hill Holliday competed for the account against DBB of Chicago and The Richards Group in Dallas, said Adweek.
Young & Rubicam, Toys' ad agency since May 2004, did not participate in the review.
Toys 'R' Us would not disclose its advertising budget Wednesday, but the company spent close to $90 million on advertising last year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus, a company that tracks ad spending.
Toys 'R' Us is expected to boost its ad spending under the leadership of Gerald Storch, the former Target Corp. executive hired last year to reverse the retailer's slumping sales. Storch has said he wants the company to return to its roots as the country's leading 'toy authority.'
Toys had its best holiday season in a decade in 2006, but for the full year net U.S. toy sales continued to decline, ending the year at $5.9 billion, down from $6.4 billion in 2005.
Ron Boire, president of the U.S. stores division of Toys, said in a statement that Hill Holliday won the account because 'they clearly understand our business, our customers, the value of our brand heritage and our vision for the future.'
Hill Holliday is owned by the Interpublic Group, a publicly traded company. The agency has offices in New York, Boston, San Francisco, Miami Beach and Greenville, S.C.
Posted 5/27/2007
No doll is hopeless - Midland Daily News
Mary Stevens' motto should be: 'Never say never.'

    The Midlander never thought she'd buy dolls, but now she finds herself with a modest collection of appealing dolls, bears and other toy animals.

    'My mother loved dolls and bought my sister and me lots of them, but I wasn't really interested in them until I was an adult,' she said. 'I was raised with a love of history, and I like to preserve history through collecting antiques.'

    Stevens is a member of the Timbertown Dollology Club of Saginaw. The club is sponsoring its 36th annual doll show and competition at Carrollton Middle School on Sunday. Sixty-five dealers have purchased space, and there will be 300 to 500 dolls in the competition room, said club president Jan Morris.

    Stevens will have one doll displayed in the show, and she has volunteered to help with setup and paperwork at the show.

    'My family took historical tours in the United States when I was growing up,' she said. 'At 17, I went to Europe with People to People International and stayed with families in Austria and France. I began to appreciate Europe's ambiance -- the way things look.'

    Stevens is particularly fond of Schoenhut wooden dolls. For several years she belonged to a Schoenhut club, and she met descendants of the dollmakers.

    'The motto of the Timbertown Dollology Club is 'No doll is hopeless,'' she said. 'It doesn't just refer to dolls being able to be restored. Some antique dolls are beautiful the way they are, even if they're worn or damaged.'

    As an example, she told of a club member who rescued an old German bisque doll from the garbage and came to the club for advice. The doll was valuable and looked quite good. It was just a matter of someone having thrown it away after a death in the family -- someone who didn't recognize its value.

    Stevens joined the Timbertown Dollology Club of Saginaw a year ago, after meeting several members at a big doll show in Gaithersburg, MD.

    'They were so friendly and pleasant, I could see there was a lot of fun to be had,' she said. 'We do want to preserve history, but it all starts with falling in love.'

    She fell in love with an antique German doll that she named Nicey Melinda. Nicey sits in a wicker rocking chair by the hearth in the Stevens' parlor. The rocking chair once belonged to her husband's family, as did an antique wicker doll carriage nearby. When Stevens and her husband, Tim, built their home, they designed spaces that suited Mary's collections.

    Stevens also fell in love with a Schoenhut elephant, and collected other Schoenhut animal toys.

    A little doll that had some color rubbed off the tip of her nose from being loved and hugged a lot is precious to her. She fixes up a few things on antique dolls but replaces clothing with other antique clothing, in order to maintain the dolls' appeal.

    A lot of club members like newer dolls, Stevens said, including dolls that remind them of their childhood. The show on Sunday features a display of Ideal dolls from the 1950s.
Posted 5/5/2007
Sideshow March 2007 Star Wars Princess Leia: A New Hope 12" figure

Sideshow has posted this teaser image of their 12' Princess Leia figure.  As you can tell, she is in the outfit made famous by the opening scene of Star Wars: A New Hope.  The likeness looks great, and it's more affordable - for those of us who couldn't afford the Premium Format figure.  Look for the priority pre-order to take place March 23rd (10AM PT).
Posted 3/17/2007
Toys'R'Us Feb 2007 A New Hope?

New Hope for Toys'R'Us Stores?

Action figure collectors have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Toys'R'Us stores. It ebbs and flows with how the shelves in '7C' (traditionally the action figure aisle in stores with the 'old' layout) are stocked. Several years ago, the aisle had just about everything an action figure collector might be looking for, but in recent years, the store didn't always carry action figures that perhaps they should have carried. An article on NorthJersey.com profiling Jerry Storch, the new Chairman/CEO of Toys'R'Us, leaves me hopeful for the future of the company. While the article never addresses action figures (or any one single category of toy) specifically, it does indicate that Mr. Storch is aware of mistakes that the company has made in the past and that he is trying to correct them and move the company forward.
Posted 2/17/2007
Master Replicas Spring 2007 Darth Vader (A New Hope) Force FX Lightsaber


Darth Vader, the Dark Lord of the Sith, was the scourge of the Jedi, a Master of the Dark Side of the Force, and one of the Emperors most trusted servants. Originally trained by Qui-Gon Jinn and then Obi-Wan Kenobi, young Anakin Skywalker was thought to be the “chosen one” who would bring order to the galaxy, but was seduced by the Dark Side of the Force. Now with this incredible Darth Vader Force FX Lightsaber, you can relive all of the thrills and excitement of the epic battles between the Jedi and the Dark Side.
Bring home the adventure and excitement of the Dark Sith Lords unforgettable battler and complete the circle with this amazing replica. The sturdy blade is permanently attached to the hilt Durable metal hilt looks and feels like a real lightsaber Features motion sensor controlled sounds: idle hum, swing, and clash Authentic lightsaber sound effects digitally recorded from the movie Glowing, bright red blade ignites with realistic power-up and power-down light effect Official Replica of Darth Vaders lightsaber from Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope

Posted 1/30/2007
Code 3 Collectibles Dec 2006 Star Wars A New Hope Style D Movie Poster Sculpture

Star Wars A New <b>Hope</b> Style D Movie Poster Sculpture 
Bring a classic poster home! This three-dimensional statue captures the original Star Wars Style D movie poster and turns it into a must-have collectible! This hand painted cold cast resin sculpture measures 11-inches tall x 8 1/2-inches wide. It includes a stand for your shelf as well as mounting brackets. Limited edition of 3,000 pieces.
Do you want to capture the buzz and excitement of Hollywood in your own home or office? Legendary Casts bring to life the Artwork from your all-time favorite movie posters in stunning three dimensional depth reality. The sculptures are fraught with exact elements from the actual movie poster. Each cast is showcased within an artistic frame-like edge.
Posted 12/29/2006
Gilliam Hopes For Good Omens
Director Terry Gilliam told SCI FI Wire that he doesn't yet have a project lined up to follow his latest film, Tideland, but that he's still hoping to direct a big-screen version of the fantasy novel Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.
Published 10/9/2006
Furby inventor hopes next hot toy will be a dino baby

EAGLE, Idaho - Say hello to Pleo, a week-old Camarsaurus dinosaur from the Jurassic era. If you startle him, he gets scared. If you talk softly and pet him, he feels better. Play with him, he's happy. Keep food away from him and he gets cranky. And if you think you can trick him into walking off a tabletop, think again. At a coffee shop in the Boise suburb of Eagle, Pleo charmed people at ..
Caleb Chung, the creator of Pleo the robotic dinosaur, demonstrates his new toy to onlookers at an Idaho coffee shop. The toy will hit the market next spring, at a cost of $250. Chung intends Pleo to be as lifelike as possible. (Ken Day/The Idaho Statesman)
Posted 10/7/2006
'Dreamblade' Maker Hopes To Cut Into Crowded Game Market
The company responsible for marketing successes like Dungeons & Dragons and Magic The Gathering is betting its newest game will develop the same cult-like following.
Published 8/14/2006 by  The Day 
Japan Hopes to Harness the Soul of the Machine
Technology firms have made large investments in humanoid robots. They are thought of as friendly and lovable, but will they ever be productive?
Posted 7/10/2006
Toy biz hopes ride on ‘Cars’ - Kansas City Star

Toy biz hopes ride on ‘Cars’
Kansas City Star, MO -
Disney-Pixar’s animated film leads a crowded field of movies that have toy store tie-ins. By SARAH RABIL. The toy industry hopes ...
Published 6/14/2006
Canada: Supreme Court of Canada Gives Hope to Owners of Famous ... - Mondaq News Alerts

Canada: Supreme Court of Canada Gives Hope to Owners of Famous ...
Mondaq News Alerts (subcription), UK -
While the Court ultimately dismissed the appeals in Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin v.Boutiques Cliquot Ltée, 2006 SCC 23, and Mattel, Inc . ...
Published 6/14/2006
With Nascar hot, Pixar and Disney hope to create a 'Cars' culture
Pixar Animation Studios has brought toys, bugs, monsters, fish and superbeings to compelling and highly profitable life. The flopless outfit has been so successful that some view its recent merger with its feature film distribution partner, the venerable Walt Disney Co., as more of a takeover.
Posted 6/5/2006
Bonnie Henry : Let's hope they don't carry this to extremes - Arizona Daily Star

Bonnie Henry : Let's hope they don't carry this to extremes
Arizona Daily Star, AZ -
... For more than a year now, 40 McDonald's around the country have been routing customers ... d like ketchup with that and what toy you'd prefer with your Happy Meal. ...
Published 5/8/2006
Grunberg Has Hopes For Heroes
Greg Grunberg (Alias) told SCI FI Wire that he gets to play an Everyman superhero in Heroes, an SF drama pilot for NBC from writer Tim Kring (Crossing Jordan, Providence).
Published 5/5/2006
Good Hope - Jamaica Observer

Good Hope
Jamaica Observer, Jamaica -
BY NOVIA McDONALD-WHYTE Contributing editor. ... to drag ourselves away from Sandy Lane's opulence but we're happy to be back ... This is definitely a 'no-yawn' meal. ...
Published 4/9/2006
'Japan's Eton' opens with high hopes - The Japan Times

The Japan Times
'Japan's Eton' opens with high hopes
The Japan Times, Japan -
... credit card. 'Manga,' magazines, cell phones, bicycles, action figures and audio and gaming equipment are prohibited. Students are ...
Posted 4/9/2006
Hope Author Feintuch Is Dead
David Feintuch, an award-winning SF writer and antiques entrepreneur, died March 16 in his hometown of Mason, Mich., the Lansing State Journal reported. He was 61.
Published 3/29/2006
Revival through creativity: Ohio Art pins hopes on return to toy ... - Toledo Blade

Revival through creativity: Ohio Art pins hopes on return to toy ...
Toledo Blade, OH -
... Mr. Silver, of Toy Fair and Toy Wishes, said preschool toy lines are highly competitive and dominated by Fisher Price, Playskool, VTech, and LeapFrog at mass ...
Published 3/26/2006
Revival through creativity: Ohio Art pins hopes on return to toy roots
BRYAN - For too long, Ohio Art Co. has been re-inventing the wheel, and not in a good way, with product development.
Posted 3/26/2006
Revival through creativity: Ohio Art pins hopes on return to toy roots
For too long, Ohio Art Co. has been re-inventing the wheel, and not in a good way, with product development.
Published 3/26/2006 by  Toledo Blade 
A Resting Place Incongruously Called Hope - New York Times

A Resting Place Incongruously Called Hope
New York Times, United States -
... land they share with other infants and children who died too soon, and the pinwheels and teddy bears, toy cars and Incredible Hulk action figures people have ...
Published 3/8/2006
LeapFrog Hopes the Fly Will Multiply
Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. The Fly...LeapFrog's pentop computer....which swept the industry's Toy of the Year honors...can multiply.
Published 2/27/2006 by  Bootcamp 
Ken gets a makeover, hopes to win back Barbie
NEW YORK - He's been to the gym, looks buff and stylish, and now Barbie's boy toy Ken wants to win back the doll he split from two years ago.
Published 2/11/2006 by  Yahoo 
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