UC MagazineUniversity of CincinnatiUC Magazine

UC Magazine

University of Cincinnati's connection to 2013 Hobbit Toys

Click any photo to enlarge it and launch slideshow.

DAAP grad works to give Hobbit toys homes for the holidays

by Deborah Rieselman

The holidays bring excitement over many things, but two of them include new movies and new toys. As the latest Hobbit movie was released at midnight on Dec. 12, UC grad Daniel Meyer, DAAP ’04, had been helping to make sure his company rose to the occasion. Despite “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” opening date, a new line of Hobbit toys began hitting store shelves in October, thanks to “The Bridge Direct,” where Meyer is director of marketing.

Bridge Direct is a master toy licensee for both Hobbit movies, meaning there is no action-figure competition. Last year, the company released its first line of Hobbit toys to coincide with the first film, and next year, a line will introduce the final film.

New to the line this year are three 6-inch figures: Azog with a battle-axe, Radagast with a staff and hat, as well as Legolas with two swords, a bow and a quiver full of arrows. The Mirkwood Hero Pack includes five 3.75-inch action figures: Thrandruil, Legolas, Tauriel, Kili and Fili. Another addition is the Battle Ready Sting Sword, which turns blue when Orcs are near. The entire line of toys made the Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide Giveaway for Yahoo Movies.

Making it on prestigious lists like that makes Meyer rather proud. Earlier in December, the company won the People’s Play Award for Best Action Figure for its line called “Flying Heroes.”

Designed for children aged 4 and older, the toy consists of a special lightweight Batman, Superman or Spider-Man, which a child places in a launching stand. When the child pulls a ripcord, the superhero soars high. Holiday reviews have similarly flown high for this toy. Bridge Direct’s Pinkie Cooper and the Jet Set Pets is a popular toy line that was among six nominations for Best Fashion Doll in the same People’s Play Awards.

Founded in 2009, the company has produced licensed toys for Frankenweenie, Looney Tunes, Arthur's Christmas, Richard Scarry, Justin Bieber, the Power Rangers and Jackie Evancho. The company has hopes of becoming one of the top toy companies, a goal that shows promise based upon the attention it has been receiving.

Besides the awards, fan clubs and websites for action-figure collectors have been raving about the extensive detail and articulation in the Hobbit figures. Sites like TheOneRing.net, considered the most comprehensive Tolkien fan site, applauded the painting and the “sculpting job” on the new Radagast figure. Comments included the following:

“The Bridge Direct nailed the paintwork on Radagast, giving the character the proper ‘on screen’ look. … I love the sculpting job on him. I really think the likeness on this figure is pretty darn close to a dead ringer for what we saw on screen (at a preview). … The articulation on this figure, as a whole, is really good. You have great movement in the hands, elbows, shoulders, and ankles. … His outfit has some amazing fine points in it, even with little things I didn’t notice in the movie when I’ve seen it several times.”

If it’s the little things that make a difference, Bridge Direct is heading in the right direction.


Photo gallery of Bridge Direct's Hobbit toys

Click any photo to enlarge it and launch slideshow.

Bridge Direct toys other than the Hobbit line