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NEW YORK — Walt Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has so far brought in $1.6 billion in global merchandise retail sales, Jo Pascoe, director of toys at Disney Consumer Products, said Tuesday night.
And the Disney unit is looking to add to that haul this year with new toy lines, which the company unveiled Tuesday in a pirate-themed setting, and other merchandise, including publishing, apparel, cosmetics, accessories and stationery.
“Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean is the ultimate pirate franchise bringing to life the fun and adventure in pirate role play that kids just love,” Pascoe said. But she highlighted that collectors and other grown-ups are also target groups.
Tied to the fourth installment of the franchise, which hits theaters May 20, Disney is rolling out Pirates product tied to known as well as new characters and story lines. “Fans, kids and collectors alike are in for a treat,” Pascoe said.
At Tuesday night’s preview for the upcoming American International Toy Fair, Pirates toys from Lego and Jakks Pacific, such as film character-based pirate action figures that turn into zombies under a black light, were on display along with the new Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game.
One of the event’s highlights was the unveiling of a life-sized figure of Captain Jack Sparrow at a full 6 feet tall that was made out of 150,000 Lego bricks.
Ian McShane, who portrays new character Blackbeard in the latest Pirates movie and who posed with the Lego figure, was in attendance along with Academy Award-winning production designer John Myhre.
Myhre told The Hollywood Reporter he was excited about the look of the toys, especially Blackbeard’s ship, the Queen Anne’s Revanche. “I saw the toys for the first time when I walked in here today,” he said. “And they are so faithful. It’s uncanny.”
McShane said he found the toys “extraordinary” and predicted his three grand kids “will love them.”
Asked about the Blackbeard role, he said: “I’m used to playing these bad guys. … It was delightful to do this. I have never done a big, huge action movie before, and it was great. With [Johnny] Depp, who is a total delight, and Penelope [Cruz], it was easy. … It was a great six months.”
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