WARNER BROS. CONSUMER PRODUCTS, MATTEL AND VEIL TECHNOLOGY ANNOUNCE FIRST- EVER TRULY INTERACTIVE TELEVISION TOY LINE
- Exclusive Technology Brings Batman™ and the Batmobile™ Toys to Life -
"The Batman" Animated Series Will Allow Kids' Toys to Be Part of the Action - EL SEGUNDO, CA – February 11, 2004 – Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) announced today that it has partnered with its master toy licensee, Mattel, Inc. (NYSE:MAT), and VEIL Interactive Technologies to merge action figure and vehicle play with interactive television to create the next generation of entertainment. The technology, exclusive to WBCP and Mattel for 2004, represents the first time a toy line will use the technology to enhance both the toy and TV experience.
VEIL (Video Encoded Invisible Light) technology transmits encoded digital data-- in the form of graphics, storyline components, gadgets and other features--directly from the recently announced "The Batman" animated series. The encoded data, captured exclusively by Mattel's new line of Batwave children's toys based on the series, unlocks new capabilities in the toys and provides more information about the show and its characters. "The Batman" animated series and Mattel's VEIL-enabled toys will debut this Fall.
"The Batwave line is an extraordinary and sophisticated new way for kids to watch and play with their favorite characters – whether the TV is on or off," said Matt Bousquette, President, Mattel, Inc. "This is the kind of toy that really satisfies today's kid because it not only enhances the viewing experience of the show, it actually pulls the child into the storyline in an imaginative as well as interactive way. It's the next generation toy for a new generation kid."
"Batman has long been known for his cutting-edge gadgets and we think these high tech toys perfectly fit the tradition of the Dark Knight," said Dan Romanelli, President, Warner Bros. Worldwide Consumer Products. "With Mattel and VEIL, we are creating products that deliver a real interactive play experience and create a true extension of the entertainment content."
The VEIL encoding technology will be featured exclusively for children's toys as part of "The Batman" animated series, which will debut first on Kids' WB! this Fall 2004 and later on Cartoon Network.
"More than any other superhero, Batman is known for the crime-fighting technology he utilizes in his mission to keep Gotham safe from all manner of evil-doers," said Sander Schwartz, President, Warner Bros. Animation. "From the tech-filled Batcave to the Batmobile, from the Bat-Jet to the Baterang, Batman's use of next-generation technology has always been front and center. It's only fitting that his new show, 'The Batman,' should be the first animated series to employ VEIL's technology to create a one-of-a-kind experience for Batman's vast audience."
Each episode of Warner Bros. Animation's fall 2004 "The Batman" animated series will be encoded using VEIL technology, an invisible data stream embedded in the video picture that is transmitted to and received by the removable module with LCD screen. The module is the component that brings the Batman action figure and Batmobile to life.
While watching the show, the toys can be activated to receive the encoded signal. After the signal is received, engine graphics, diagnostics, gadgets, story line background from the show, character information, power-ups, and more, are activated within the toys. In addition, when the show is on, the Batman action figure and the Batmobile vehicle recognize the show's signal and "come to life" and react with lights, motion, and sound.
"We are very excited that Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Mattel have adopted VEIL as a means communicate with toys," said Edward J. "Ted" Koplar, President and CEO, VEIL Interactive Technologies. " The prospect of a world in which the dynamics of television can capture a new experience for the viewer is the break-through in technical innovation that will stimulate viewer loyalty. The toys are incredible. Every day will become a new adventure for children."
The product line will be interchangeable and launch with the following products:
Batwave Communicator Handheld Device
: The Batman Stand Alone Module with LCD screen and buttons, features VEIL Technology that allows kids to download items and power-ups from the series, "The Batman" from Warner Bros. Animation. When activated, and in the line of sight of the television, the LCD screen shows engine graphics, diagnostics, weapons systems, as well as allows the child to unlock different vehicle and figure-based games by watching the show. The Batwave Communicator Handheld Device can be used in the vehicle or on the figure to activate different features, or can be removed for use as a handheld game. A.R.P.: $32.99 Age: 4+ Available: October
Batwave Batman™ Action Figure
: This new Batman™ action figure lets kids enjoy real-time play via the Batwave backpack, which features VEIL Technology. When the new animated series from Warner Bros. Animation is aired, the figure "comes to life" as the wings on the backpack pop up and the Batwave chest emblem on the figure lights up when within the line of sight of the TV. The removable module with LCD screen and buttons, allows kids to download items and power ups from the show. VEIL technology also allows kids to unlock different figure- based games and a number of phrases while watching the show. The backpack module can be used to activate a spring-loaded Batarang and LED in the gauntlet, as well as a selection of downloaded weapon sounds. A.R.P.: $38.99 Age: 4+ Available: October
Batwave Batmobile™ with Handheld Device
: This amazing new Batmobile™ vehicle "comes to life" like never before when activated via VEIL Technology while a child views the new animated Batman™ series from Warner Bros. Animation, "The Batman." Once activated, LED headlights turn on, as do its blue side and fin lights, engine lights as well as a "starting up" light and rumble rack. The Batmobile™ vehicle has a "turbo" mode, which sees the rear fenders pop out sideways to expose missile pods and engine details, and the wings popping-out from under the vehicle – all with an accompanying sound and force feedback. The vehicle comes with red LED's in the front to simulate lasers and rockets which are "captured" from the show, and paid- off in lights, sounds and force feedback. The removable Module with LCD screen and buttons, allows kids to download items and power ups from the show. The screen also shows engine graphics, diagnostics, weapon systems, and allows the kid to unlock different vehicle based games by tuning into the show. When left in the vehicle the Module can activate different features, or can be removed for use as a handheld game. A.R.P.: $51.99 Age: 4+ Available: October
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About the Technology
VEIL is an encoded data stream in the video picture that is invisible to the human eye and can be received by a portable handheld device anywhere that an encoded broadcast or video can be seen. The optical VEIL platform is capable of delivering text based data at speeds entirely compatible with display technologies on handheld devices. Optical VEIL's transmission method works with all broadcast standards (NTSC, PAL, and SECAM) providing affordable, leading-edge iTV enhancements to a range of products include toys, games, PDA's, universal remotes, mobile phones, and set-top boxes.
Applications of VEIL technology includes customized promotional events, viewer loyalty programs, interactive gaming and more. VEIL is the logical link to driving consumer acceptance of smart card technologies by providing capabilities such as data transfer of special offers and information, using the power of television content as a marketing locomotive. This ability to send data along with electronic barcodes opens up a whole new world of possibilities, linking TV content from personalized consumer devices through point-of-sale.
About The Companies:
Warner Bros. Consumer Products, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, is one of the leading licensing and retail merchandising organizations in the world. (www.warnerbros.com
Mattel, Inc., (NYSE: MAT, www.mattel.com
) is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products, including Barbie™, the most popular fashion doll ever introduced. The Mattel family of toys and games is comprised of such best-selling brands as Hot Wheels™, Matchbox™, American Girl™, and Fisher-Price™, which also includes Little People™, Rescue Heroes™, Power Wheels™, as well as a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel employs more than 25,000 people in 36 countries and sells products in more than 150 nations throughout the world. The Mattel vision is to be the world's premier toy brands – today and tomorrow.
VEIL Interactive Technologies, www.veilinteractive.com
, is the provider of wireless data transmission delivery systems for interactive television. Through partnerships with content providers, advertisers and manufacturers, the company's technologies allow encoded messages to be invisibly transmitted by a television signal, enabling television viewers to interact with their televisions. The delivery system is unique in that it uses a full-video-image data stream rather than VBI to transmit messages. The technologies have the ability to transform mobile phones, PDAs and numerous other devices into instruments that read encoded messages in the television broadcast signal. Its universal platform supports every international broadcast standard (NTSC, PAL and SECAM).
BATMAN and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © DC Comics.