NewsWire: Sideshow Toy & Weta Workshop Create Unique Partnership for New Line Cinema’s Lord of the Rings - Press Release


Sideshow Toy's Saruman at Orthanc
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Diane Kamahele
Domestic Sales / Public Relation
Sideshow Toy

Sideshow Inc. of Westlake Village, CA has partnered with Weta Workshop of New Zealand to develop multiple lines of polystone collectibles based on the upcoming film trilogy, The Lord of the Rings. Weta Workshop is the Special Effects Company that created the effects for all three Lord of the Rings films. The Sideshow / Weta collaboration will be responsible for the development and marketing of five lines of polystone collectibles: statues, busts, miniature weapons, miniature armor and helmets, and wall plaques.

The Lord of the Rings film trilogy is a New Line Cinema production and is based on the J.R.R Tolkien classic fantasy series of books. The films are currently in post-production in New Zealand with the first film; “The Fellowship of the Ring” slated for a December 2001 release. Peter Jackson, a native New Zealander, whose credits include “Heavenly Creatures” and “The Frighteners”, is directing the trilogy. The international cast features Sir Ian McKellen, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Liv Tyler, and Elijah Wood.

The Sideshow / Weta partnership bring together two respected and talented organizations. Sideshow is the creative force responsible for the highly praised line of figure collectibles based on the Universal Studios Classic Monsters. The Sideshow team has been recognized for its ability to consistently achieve character likenesses in both collectible toys and statues. Weta is New Zealand’s foremost Effects facility, which was established fourteen years ago to support New Zealand’s fledgling film and television industry. Among Weta’s credits are several of Peter Jackson’s earlier films and also television’s popular Xena and Hercules’ series. Weta is comprised of a group of artists united in their love of art and film – from blacksmiths to leatherworkers, skilled prosthetic technicians, miniature makers, painters to wigmakers, casting and molding experts, engineers and swordsmiths.

The Weta Workshop has been immersed for more than four years in the conceptualizing, creation and the on-set operation of the creatures, miniatures, armor, weapons and special make-up effects for the three epic films. Weta’s focus has been to create a unified look throughout the three films while capturing the very essence of the books that are held so dear by millions of readers around the world.

It is the same Weta designers and technicians that have created the different armies and creatures within Middle Earth that have chosen to create the high quality collectibles under the Sideshow / Weta brand. The integrated experience that these designers and technicians have had in the creation of the films and their unique relationship with the actors and director will result in the most authentic figure and miniature collectibles possible. A preview of the upcoming collectibles can be seen at www.sideshowtoy.com where regularly updated info about the collectibles will be available.

The Sideshow / Weta collectibles will be released over a period of eight months beginning with Series I due to be in stores in September, 2001. Each additional series will be released at approximately 45 day intervals. Sideshow / Weta plan to release 24 statues, 32 busts, 16 helmets (also known as helms), 7 environments, 7 wall plaques and 14 assorted weapon sets based on the first film. Each of these items have been meticulously crafted, expertly reproduced to the highest standards, and are meant to bring the discerning collector a lifetime of enjoyment. Series 1 product, as well as future releases can be viewed now at www.sideshowtoy.com.

Founded in 1967, New Line Cinema is the entertainment industry’s leading independent producer and distributor of theatrical motion pictures. New Line licenses its films to ancillary markets including cable and broadcast television as well as to international venues. The company, which is a subsidiary of AOL Time Warner Inc., operates several divisions including in-house theatrical distribution, marketing, home video, television acquisitions, production, licensing and merchandising units.

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