Disney Reveals Innovative Cars 2 Toy Line & New Film Characters At 2011 American International Toy Fair
NEW YORK, NY — Feb. 14, 2011 — Disney revved its engines and kicked off American International Toy Fair today as it unveiled the all new Disney·Pixar Cars 2 toy line of more than 300 toys before a capacity crowd of toy industry insiders and members of D23, Disney's official fan community. Academy Award®-winning actor Michael Caine, voice of the charming and eloquent new Cars 2 British agent Finn McMissile and actress Emily Mortimer, voice of his spy-in-training Holley Shiftwell, were on hand for a panel discussion and were presented with custom-built toys celebrating their Cars 2 characters. From toys that interact, speak, and climb up walls to new collectable die-cast and buildable play sets, the new Cars line-up is packed with creativity and innovation. The hottest toys at Toy Fair and this year's most anticipated, new Cars toys unveiled at the event included: Mattel's Lightning McQueen Alive, The LEGO Group's Spy Jet Escape, and Spin Master's Zero Gravity Finn McMissile radio control vehicle. The event culminated with a reception showcasing the hundreds of new toys that will release this May and into the holiday season, plus a sneak peek at the upcoming multi-platform Cars 2: The Video Game and a first look at a life-size Finn McMissile car. Cars 2 hits the track June 24 and will be presented in Disney Digital 3D™ and in IMAX® 3D in select theaters.
In less than five years since the film's release in 2006, the Cars franchise has generated global retail sales of more than $8 billion -- making it among Disney's top franchises and quickly establishing itself as a true classic. This momentum will go into high gear as Cars 2 becomes what Disney Consumer Products expects to be its largest licensed film merchandise program ever. The program is anchored by an array of innovative toys featuring the film's World Grand Prix race and international espionage themes. Cars 2 will also be supported with unprecedented product lines from stationery, apparel and accessories to home décor, books, and food, health and beauty, and an exclusive range from Disney Store and DisneyStore.com.
Returning to the driver's seat to direct Cars 2, John Lasseter, surprised guests via a special videotaped greeting and revealed John Turturro as the voice of new character and Lightning McQueen rival, Francesco Bernoulli. "The idea for Cars 2 began when I was traveling around the world doing publicity for Cars. I found myself looking out at these amazing cities and imagining, 'what would Mater do?' I couldn't help but laugh thinking about Mater lost in the maze of Tokyo streets, driving on the wrong side of the road in England or navigating the gigantic roundabouts in Paris," Lasseter said. "I'm sure fans and collectors will be as thrilled as I was to see these new adventures come to life in this exciting toy line, which features some of the most amazing technology out there."
At the event, Disney also revealed two additional new Cars 2 characters: Miles Axlerod, voiced by the talented Eddie Izzard, is a former oil baron who has sold off his fortune, converted himself into an electric vehicle and devoted his life to finding the renewable, clean-burning energy source of the future — he's also the car behind the World Grand Prix; and Nigel Gearsley, an Aston Martin DB9R racer bearing #9. His cool British refinement makes him an imposing presence on the World Grand Prix courses.
With more than 200 million Cars die-cast vehicles sold worldwide to date, innovation was critical to keep the new Cars toy line fresh. Disney challenged the best in the toy industry including Mattel, The LEGO Group, Spin Master and Hasbro to deliver the next generation of Cars toys. The resulting line includes new innovations such as Lightning McQueen Alive (sneak peek demo video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djVlI-pqtVM) which which was unveiled at the event and is the first toy of its kind to utilize touch sensors and cutting-edge micro technology to capture the look, sound, moves and animated personality of everyone's favorite red racer with never-before-seen features in a 1:55 scale car.
"The first Cars film has been a phenomenon because kids love the characters and racing. Cars 2 not only has great racing, but it also has a spy twist that is pure toy bliss," said Vince Klaseus, senior vice president of Global Toys, Disney Consumer Products. "Cars 2 is our largest toy line yet with more 300 new toys and it offers something for everyone — we have cars that can be dramatically customized in wild and expressive ways, cars that transform and even cars that climb walls."
Key innovations from the new Cars 2 toy line include:
- Mattel will introduce more than 150 toys including Lightning McQueen Alive. Fans will be in awe to see Lightning McQueen's big personality captured in a small package as he drives around by himself — both forward and backward and in complete 360s, moves his eyes, shrugs his shoulders and moves his life-like mouth to speak signature phrases voiced by actor Owen Wilson (SRP $59.99, available Fall 2011; on pre-sale now at http://www.mattycollector.com/LightningMcQueen). Plus, fans will enjoy a collection of more than 70 new collectible die-cast cars (SRP $3.99 - $9.99, available May 2011).
- The LEGO Group will introduce its first full line of Cars toys consisting of 20 versatile and action-packed play sets recreating key scenes from the film — play sets so detailed that some come with as many as 800 pieces! Among the new line is the Cars 2 Spy Jet Escape, which enables fans to recreate one of the film's most exciting and explosive scenes featuring Finn McMissile, Holley Shiftwell and Mater (SRP $49.99, available May 2011).
- Spin Master will introduce a collection of over a dozen toys including RC vehicles featuring Zero Gravity technology, such as the Zero Gravity Finn McMissile vehicle. Fans can bring this British spy home for hours of intriguing play as Finn McMissile zips across the floor, and front wheels allow it to transition up the wall to continue the adventure (SRP $34.99 available May 2011).
- Other notable products include: Hasbro classic board games with a twist such as Cars 2 Monopoly with a round board where players can race Lightning McQueen instead of rolling the dice; Ridemakerz which will deliver a new Cars customizing experience giving fans the thrill of a ride as they build their own vehicle; and the new Disney·Pixar Cars Wood Collection from Toys"R"Us, Disney's first Cars-inspired wooden toy line.
Disney Interactive Studios also unveiled Cars 2: The Video Game, allowing Toy Fair guests the first test drive in the Cars universe, complete with a brand new international spy theme inspired by the animated feature film. Cars 2: The Video Game will feature an array of beloved Cars characters competing in action-packed spy adventures, as well as world-class racing.
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About the Cars Franchise
Released in 2006, Disney·Pixar's feature film Cars has become a leading boys' franchise generating an impressive $2 billion in annual global retail sales for a total of $8B to date. Winner of the Golden Globe® for Best Animated Feature, Cars went on to gross $462 million in global box office sales. It's supported across The Walt Disney Company through films including the highly anticipated release of Cars 2 in Disney Digital 3D, consumer products, live theater productions, park attractions including Cars Land planned for launch in 2012, music, a web site http://www.disney.com/cars, TV including the popular series of short form content: Cars Toons, home entertainment, video games — including Cars and the upcoming June release of Cars 2: The Video Game supporting all major platforms, a virtual world http://www.WorldofCars.com, and books — with more than 75 new titles releasing throughout 2011 domestically, in addition to more titles on digital books and mobile applications.
About Cars 2: The Video Game
Slated for release this summer, Cars 2: The Video Game lets players jump into the Cars 2 universe with some of their favorite Cars personalities such as Mater, Lightning McQueen and the newly introduced Finn McMissile and Holley Shiftwell in exotic locations around the globe. Fans can train to become world-class spies at the international training center for CHROME (Command Headquarters for Recon Operations and Motorized Espionage) and take on dangerous missions, compete to become the fastest racecar in the world, or use their spy skills in exciting, action-packed combat racing and battle arenas. Players can race against friends and family in either single or multiplayer modes with up to four players to unlock challenging new tracks, characters, events and thrilling spy missions. Please visit http://Disney.com/CarsVideogame for more information.
About Disney·Pixar's Cars 2:
Star racecar Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) and the incomparable tow truck Mater (voice of Larry the Cable Guy) take their friendship to exciting new places in Cars 2 when they head overseas to compete in the first-ever World Grand Prix to determine the world's fastest car. But the road to the championship is filled with plenty of potholes, detours and hilarious surprises when Mater gets caught up in an intriguing adventure of his own: international espionage. Mater finds himself torn between assisting Lightning McQueen in the high-profile race and towing the line in a top-secret mission orchestrated by master British super spy Finn McMissile (voice of Michael Caine) and the stunning spy-in-training Holley Shiftwell (voice of Emily Mortimer). Mater's action-packed journey leads him on an explosive chase through the streets of Japan and Europe, trailed by his friends and watched by the whole world. The fast-paced fun includes a colorful new all-car cast, complete with menacing villains and international racing competitors.
John Lasseter returns to the driver's seat to direct this follow-up to his 2006 Golden Globe®-winning Cars. Cars 2 is co-directed by Brad Lewis, producer of the Oscar®-winning film Ratatouille, and produced by visual effects industry veteran Denise Ream (associate producer, Up; visual effects executive producer, Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith). The film hits the track on June 24, 2011 and will be presented in Disney Digital 3D™ and IMAX® 3D in select theaters.
About Disney Consumer Products
Disney Consumer Products (DCP) is the business segment of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) that extends the Disney brand to merchandise ranging from apparel, toys, home décor and books and magazines to foods and beverages, stationery, electronics and fine art. This is accomplished through DCP's various lines of business, which include: Disney Toys, Disney Fashion & Home, Disney Food, Health & Beauty, and Disney Stationery. Other businesses involved in Disney's consumer products sales are Disney Publishing Worldwide, the world's largest publisher of children's books and magazines, and www.DisneyStore.com, the company's official shopping portal. The Disney Stores retail chain, which debuted in 1987, is owned and operated by Disney in North America and Europe. The Disney Stores chain in Japan is operated under a license agreement with Disney. For more information, please visit Disney Consumer Products or follow us at www.YouTube.com/DisneyLiving, www.Facebook.com/DisneyLiving and www.Twitter.com/DisneyLiving.