Mattel, the toy giant behind such brands as 'Barbie' and 'Masters of the Universe', is attempting to take on the big studios with a cinematic adaptation of its successful toy line, 'Max Steel'. Joel Flynn looks at what the toy maker has in store.
For silverscreen studios, it's comic book adaptations that are currently big business, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles looks set to be this summer's blockbuster. But in recent years the superheroes of the box office have been up against a rather smaller adversary than usual: toys. Movies like "Transformers: Age of Extinction" have seen fans flocking to the cinema in their droves. Based on the 1980s Hasbro toy, the fouth film in the franchise has grossed a billion dollars worldwide since its release in June. And now Mattel want to get in on the movie action, with their toy to movie adaptation of Max Steel. Bill O'Dowd of Dolphin Entertainment is the head of one of the companies behind the movie's production. SOUNDBITE: Dolphin Entertainment CEO, Bill O'Dowd, saying (English): "The Marvel and DC universes are great, I grew up on them as well, and those movies are fantastic but they've been around since we were kids, and I think the opportunity to release a new superhero and say to this generation of teenagers and younger that this is your superhero is something we're excited to do." The toy movie sub-genre is one that's growing. The LEGO Movie raked in half a billion dollars globally this year, while others toy-fillms like G.I. Joe and Battleship have also had success. But the producers of Max Steel say they're confident they've hit on a formula that will make them stand out from the crowd. SOUNDBITE: Dolphin Entertainment CEO, Bill O'Dowd, saying (English): "Max McGrath is not a superhero unless he has Steel with him, right, the alien that can help him control his own energy. So it gave us a natural entrée to insert humour in to the story. So this is the first, we hope, superhero movie that's really a buddy action comedy." Mattel have tried before to launch Max Steel in 2009 but ran into difficulties in casting. O'Dowd and his colleagues will be hoping this time the movie is ready to fly off the shelves.