'Ice Age' Toys, Video Games Hit Market Ahead of Movie's U.S. Release

Ice Age Toys - H 2012

Ice Age Toys - H 2012

Toys "R" Us has opened "Ice Age" boutiques to show off more than 50 new licensed toys and video games tied to the July 13 release of the fourth installment in the movie franchise, which has brought in more than $4 billion.

The fourth installment in 20th Century Fox’s hugely successful Ice Age movie franchise, Ice Age: Continental Drift in 3D, doesn’t open domestically until July 13, but the line of licensed merchandise hit stores July 1, including branded boutiques at Toys "R" Us stores nationwide.

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Along with toys, stuffed animals and other items, there will be a new video game from Activision Publishing called Ice Age: Continental Drift - Arctic Games to be launched July 10, which can be played on Wii, Nintendo DS, 3DS, and Kinect.

“Video games and film have an organic connection,” says Fox’s president of consumer products Jeffrey Godsick.

As in the movie, the prehistoric animals in Activision’s Arctic Games face a continental upheaval, pirates at sea and eventually find secret treasure. In order to decide how to split it, characters in the game will go head-to-head in arctic sporting events, which include ski jumping, ice smashing and glacier hopping.

In addition, for a limited time of two weeks beginning July 15, a techno-savvy campaign will target consumers who buy at least $20 worth of Ice Age merchandise at a Toys "R" Us store. That will earn them $5 of in-game currency to play Ice Age Online, produced by Bigpoint, the film's official online game provider. The store will also sell prepaid currency cards for the game from July 10.

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Toys "R" Us has committed the front 16 feet of its stores to display more than 50 new and exclusive Ice Age products. “We believe Ice Age is the next big animated event for consumers,” says Godsick. “We’re coming to the marketplace with a lot of strengths, so we feel there’s not really much competition.”

Among merchandise that Godsick called his favorites is one featuring Scrat, the acorn-crazed squirrel who has starred in all the movies. The toy is called Cracking Bone Scrat. Its bones bend, says Godsick, “in a hundred different ways. And of course, he bends right back because he is indestructible.”

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Another version of Scrat holds a detachable acorn that sends the squirrel into shivers when removed. Godsick says it will all “help tell the story of the movie” as the consequence of his obsessive acorn pursuit drives other characters, including Manny, Diego and Sid, to other continents. The Scrat character will be featured prominently in the collection to reflect his importance in this film.

The fourth film features a returning voice cast that includes Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Sean William Scott and Queen Latifah along with new characters voiced by Jennifer Lopez, Wanda Sykes, Keke Palmer, Nicki Minaj, Drake, Heather Morris and Peter Dinklage, among others.

The first three Ice Age movies have grossed almost $570 million at the domestic box office and almost $2 billion worldwide. Fox estimates the value of the sale of movie tickets, home video and merchandise from the franchise at more than $4 billion.