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’80s Toys Are Back and Totally Awesome! Sony Pictures Consumer Products Rides the Time Machine to Success THE 1980S WERE FILLED WITH FUN, FILMS, AND TV. THOSE WHO were lucky enough to grow up in the “neon” decade were able to play with toys from some of the most memorable characters of all time. Fortunately for today’s audiences, the resurgence of ’80s properties continues to steamroll ahead. Fan-favorite film and TV properties endure and Sony Pictures Consumer Products is among the companies riding high with the decade’s biggest brands, including Ghostbusters and The Smurfs. Open up your Trapper Keeper, put on your L.A. Gear, peg your jeans, fling on a slap bracelet, and take note of two of Sony Pictures Consumer Products’ retro properties that have been reimagined for new audiences.

Who Ya Gonna Call?

One of our favorite heroes of the ’80s is the great Peter Venkman from Ghostbusters. The ghost-busting play-pattern was a natural fit for toys, and there was a nice lineup from Kenner, Tyco, and others based on the animated TV show. Looking to get slimed, kids everywhere crossed the streams into retailers worldwide for the Proton Pack and Ecto-1, among others. From 1986 to 1991, an impressive toy line was released, and many of these items are highly sought after by collectors today. The Ghostbusters franchise continues to resonate with consumers across all demographics. Its logo remains one of the most recognizable elements of the brand, followed by Slimer, Stay Puft, the Ecto-1, and the Proton Packs. All of these elements have been carefully woven into the extensive merchandise program that is now taking the franchise’s original fans back to their childhoods. Sony has capitalized on the Ghostbusters excitement with a roster of more than 100 licensees for both the original film and the new movie, due in theaters July 15. In total, there are more

Ghostbusters Pop! Rides Ecto-1 with Jillian Holtzmann Vinyl Figure, from Funko

98  THE TOY BOOK | May/June 2016 | TOYBOOK.COM

Smurfs Brainy Mushroom House Playset, from Jakks Pacific

than 1,000 SKUs across all major categories, including digital and gaming, toys, apparel, and more, set to possess a whole new generation of fans. Mattel, the master toy partner, rolled out a toy line that includes an authentic electric proton backpack and blaster, action figures, an Ecto-1 vehicle, and blind bags with collectible mini figures. Lego has the license for construction toys, allowing fans to build their very own Ghostbusters Firehouse Headquarters. For the new movie, Activision will bring ghouls to life with a third-person action role-playing video game available for Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC, in which four people can play locally. NKOK’s radio-controlled vehicles are ready for action, complete with Slimer behind the wheel. Funko has signed on for vinyl collectible figurines and more for the classic and new programs. Ghostbusters merchandise for the new movie is slated to hit shelves just in time for the U.S. release this summer.

La, la, la, la, la, la; la, la, la, la, la!

Ghostbusters isn’t the only retro property being reignited by Sony. Originally introduced in 1958 with a comic book series by Peyo, The Smurfs became worldwide phenomenons and toy industry stars with the Hanna-Barbera cartoon series in the 1980s. The full-length, liveaction feature film and coinciding licensing program introduced The Smurfs to a new generation in 2011. The next installment of the franchise, Smurfs: The Lost Village, is a new, fully computer-animated feature film hitting theaters April 7, 2017. The new movie finds Smurfette and her brothers trekking through the uncharted Enchanted Forest to find a fabled village before the evil wizard Gargamel does. The movie-based licensing program currently features more than 20 partners across all major licensing categories including digital, gaming, apparel, accessories, and publishing. Jakks Pacific is back as master toy partner with a full line of figures, play sets, and much more. »

Profile for The Toy Book

May/June 2016  

Many of us are traveling to Denver for the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association’s (ASTRA’s) Marketplace & Academy trade show, and in...

May/June 2016  

Many of us are traveling to Denver for the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association’s (ASTRA’s) Marketplace & Academy trade show, and in...

Profile for toybook