Voltron off to UTA

Agency aims to expand property to several platforms

NEW YORK -- UTA is making a foray into toys, taking on Voltron and its U.S. rights-holder World Events Prods. as clients.

The agency aims to expand the anime-based lion-robot property into several platforms. High on the agency's list of priorities is closing a deal on an animated cable series, which is expected to be imminent. Video game and toy deals also are on the docket.

Voltron also recently was set up as a feature with Charles Roven's Atlas Entertainment and Jason Netter's Kickstart Prods.; UTA is expected to help bring a writer aboard and begin shopping the project to studios.

The agency hopes Voltron's widespread brand recognition and elaborate mythology, which have served properties like "Transformers" well but doesn't necessarily exist with other board games and toy properties in development, will appeal to audiences and executives.

The pitch is expected to include the idea that, unlike other toy brands, Voltron -- in which five robot lions piloted by humans become a giant warrior -- allows for human-centric stories.

Agencies increasingly have become enmeshed in the toy business, finding it in many cases as commission-generating an enterprise as representing A-list talent. WME has found success repping Hasbro toys, and CAA is ramping up efforts with Mattel, owner of the Barbie brand.

Many toy brands already are spoken for -- either part of a conglom that has a studio or have agency representation -- but Voltron remained in play; family-run World Events has tightly controlled the property's rights for years.