Lightyear, a Toy Story spinoff centered around Buzz Lightyear, was announced at last year’s Disney Expo. The feature is an origin story for the Space Ranger. Recently, it was announced that toy giant Mattel will be developing products based on the movie in a partnership with Disney. The deal is a licensing agreement between the corporations.
Under the partnership, Mattel has global licensing rights to create toys based on Lightyear. Multiple types of toys can be developed, such as action figures, playsets, role play, vehicles, preschool, games, plush, value figures, novelty, and more. Consumers will not have to wait long to make purchases. Mattel’s items will first become available around the world in June 2022.
Disney and Mattel’s current alliance come as another part of their history of working together. The pair have previous deals involving the Toy Story and Cars franchises. With the popularity of Buzz Lightyear as a character, the new partnership could prove to be another success.
Richard Dickson, President and COO of Mattel explained, “At Mattel, we treat our licensors’ properties as if they were our own. For more than 15 years, Mattel has collaborated with Disney and Pixar to bring their amazing content to life with our innovative products and marketing initiatives. We are excited to further that collaboration by introducing a line of toys and play experiences for fans of all ages to enjoy, to infinity and beyond.”
Animation powerhouse Disney was similarly enthusiastic. Josh Silverman, who works as the EVP Global Third-Party Commercialization, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products said, “We’re thrilled to further our ongoing collaboration with Mattel and bring even more products and experiences to life that delight millions of fans around the world through Pixar Animation Studios’ unique brand of storytelling. With ‘Lightyear,’ there is an incredible opportunity to celebrate everyone’s favorite Space Ranger – along with a new cast of characters – through new and exciting toys, play experiences and more.”
Lightyear is an animated sci-fi action adventure. Unlike the Toy Story series, which featured Tim Allen as the Space Ranger, Lightyear stars Chris Evans in the role. A synopsis for the project talks about “how a young test pilot became the Space Ranger that we all know him to be today.” The director has prior experience working with Disney and Pixar. Angus MacLane, who co-directed Finding Dory, is heading a motion picture by himself this time. Lightyear is heading to theaters on June 17, 2022. The toys are arriving the same month.
A statement from Mattel reads, “Mattel is a leading global toy company and owner of one of the strongest catalogs of children’s and family entertainment franchises in the world. We create innovative products and experiences that inspire, entertain and develop children through play. We engage consumers through our portfolio of iconic brands, including Barbie®, Hot Wheels®, Fisher-Price®, American Girl®, Thomas & Friends®, UNO® and MEGA®, as well as other popular intellectual properties that we own or license in partnership with global entertainment companies. Our offerings include film and television content, gaming, music and live events. We operate in 35 locations and our products are available in more than 150 countries in collaboration with the world’s leading retail and ecommerce companies. Since its founding in 1945, Mattel is proud to be a trusted partner in empowering children to explore the wonder of childhood and reach their full potential.”
A statement from Pixar Animation Studios reads, “Pixar Animation Studios, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is an Academy Award®-winning film studio with world-renowned technical, creative and production capabilities in the art of computer animation. The Northern California studio has created some of the most successful and beloved animated films of all time, including Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., Cars, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, WALL•E, Up, Brave, Inside Out, Coco and Soul. Its movies and technology have won 40 Academy Awards® and the films have grossed more than $14 billion at the worldwide box office. Luca, Pixar’s 24th feature, is currently streaming on Disney+.”