Sea Monster Toys Flow From Wild Republic At Toy Fair
Company Dives Into Deal With National Geographic for Giant Screen Film
New York, NY - (February 16, 2008) – Wild Republic today announced a global agreement with National Geographic as an exclusive toy product partner for items based on National Geographic's giant-screen film "Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure," a worldwide IMAX® release.
The new products will be unveiled in the Wild Republic Booth #2503 at the 2008 International Toy Fair held in New York City in February. The product line, which will include plush, playsets, craft kits and puzzles, are replicas of the scenes and species of extraordinary marine reptiles of the dinosaur age featured in the 3-D and 2-D fact-based film. From the giraffe-necked Styxosaurus and 20-foot "bulldog" fish Xiphactinus to the T-Rex of the ocean — the 40-foot super-predator Tylosaurus — these wondrous beasts expand the dinosaur fascination and curiosity of children.
Kim Hammeren, Director of Marketing Special Projects at Wild Republic, said, "We are really excited to have the opportunity to be working with National Geographic in conjunction with the Sea Monsters movie. We already know children all over the world are fascinated by dinosaurs. Now, with this film, there is a completely new realm for a child's imagination. Wild Republic is thrilled to feed the natural curiosity and creative imaginations of children through our Sea Monsters play products."
"Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure," narrated by Tony Award-winning actor Liev Schreiber with an original score by longtime musical collaborators Richard Evans, David Rhodes and Peter Gabriel, takes audiences on a remarkable journey into the relatively unexplored world of the "other dinosaurs," those reptiles that lived beneath the water. Funded in part through a grant from the National Science Foundation, the film delivers to the giant screen the fascinating science behind what we know, and a vision of history's grandest ocean creatures.
"This is the first giant-screen film about what lived in the water during the dinosaur age," said producer Lisa Truitt, president of National Geographic Giant Screen Films and Special Projects. "It is perfect subject matter for such an immersive format, one that allows these giants to literally swim off the screen and directly into the audience."
The film follows a family of Dolichorhynchops, also known informally as "Dollies," as they traverse ancient waters populated with saber-toothed fish, prehistoric sharks and giant squid. On their journey, the Dollies encounter other extraordinary sea creatures: lizard-like reptiles called Platecarpus that swallowed their prey whole like snakes; Styxosaurus with necks nearly 20 feet long and paddle-like fins as large as an adult human; and at the top of the food chain, the monstrous Tylosaurus, a predator with no enemies.
"Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure" is a remarkable visual journey that also educates audiences on the "How do we know that?" side of paleontology. Do scientists need full skeletons to learn about these creatures? Not always, as we learn from shark teeth found throughout the central United States, proof that these modern-day hunters were thriving during the age of dinosaurs when Kansas was at the bottom of the sea. How do we know what these creatures ate, and what pursued them? The shapes of jaws and teeth provide dietary clues, and occasionally paleontologists are lucky enough to discover bones of one species inside the remains of another. In fact, one fossilized Xiphactinus, a 17-foot-long predatory fish, was found with an entire 6-foot fish inside — swallowed whole.
From fossil digs to larger-than-life visions of predatory chases in shallow seas, the film immerses audiences in a rarely explored environment during the dinosaur age. Merging ultra-high-resolution 3-D graphics with National Geographic's trademark authenticity, compelling imagery and powerful storytelling, the film is a perfect combination of subject and medium: ancient leviathans of the deep brought to life in the world's biggest film format.
National Geographic Giant Screen Films is part of National Geographic Ventures (NGV), a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Geographic Society, one of the world's largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to "increase and diffuse geographic knowledge," the Society works to inspire people to care about the planet. Building on its global reputation for remarkable visuals and compelling stories, National Geographic Giant Screen Films produces original 2-D and 3-D productions for the world's largest screens. National Geographic Giant Screen Films also retains distribution rights to one of the largest film libraries in the giant-screen industry.
Recently, Wild Republic and National Geographic teamed for exclusive toy products based on the movie "Arctic Tale," the theatrical release and DVD from National Geographic Films and Paramount Classics.
"We are thrilled to be working with National Geographic on the projects," Hammeren said. "It is absolutely a perfect alignment for Wild Republic as our company strives for exemplary, exacting nature themed product that offers educational value and knowledge for children to learn about the world around them."
Like the Arctic Tale products, the Sea Monsters line joins other successful products series from Wild Republic, which includes the famous hanging plush monkeys, Steve Irwin Adventure Series, Morphs, Cuddlekins, Blanket Pillow Buddies, Audubon Birds, Paws & Claws, Vibes, Know & Grow development toys, Garden Accents, adventure box sets, wooden puzzles, wind-ups, wall walkers, and puppets, among other items.
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Wild Republic, the nature toy brand of K&M International, Inc., is a preeminent brand of action-driven, nature-themed toys designed to spark a child's imagination and educate about the wonders of the wild through creative play. K&M International, Inc., headquartered in Twinsburg, Ohio, near Cleveland, is the leading provider of nature-themed toys to the specialty toy and gift markets. The brands' consumer Web site is located at http://www.wildrepublic.com.