Worried that Transformers may have inspired a spate of gimmicky movies based on the toys of your youth that'll ruin your childhood nostalgia? You may want to avoid this post, just in case.
Admittedly, the news (via Variety) that movies are planned for the Magic 8-Ball, Barbie, Hot Wheels and He-Man may sound like overkill, but apparently all of the movies will be done with something approaching integrity, according to Mattel's VP for entertainment and marketing, Barry Waldo:
[Hot Wheels is] a billion-dollar brand for us. We want to continue making it relevant for kids [but w]e won't have the cars talk... That would be off brand position for us. It won't be another 'Knight Rider,' I promise that.
Phew, that's a relief... until you read that the movie may be based upon Hot Wheels: Battle Force 5, a new cartoon due to premiere on Cartoon Network this year that apparently sees the non-talking cars fighting "intergalactic" crime.
Getting slightly better treatment is He-Man, whose movie will apparently serve to reintroduce the character and concept to a mainstream audience, without sacrificing what made him the muscle-bound hero of so many children's homo-erotic fantasies. Variety quotes Waldo as saying,
There's a fine line to walk between staying loyal and true to the fan community and doing what we need to do to bring the idea to the masses in a way that's going to be relevant today and be something that hasn't been done before... we always start out not wanting to make a long toy commercial. We want to make a credible story that will make people go to the theater.
A credible story? That'll be a step up from Transformers, then.
Studios tell toy stories [Variety]