While ITV has yet to announce its scheduling for the new The Prisoner series inspired by the 1960s cult classic, they clearly have high hopes for the show's success, announcing the appointment of not only a book but also a toy figures deal this week.
ITV Studios Global Entertainment has appointed Factory Entertainment the master-toy licensee for multiple categories for The Prisoner and has also confirmed Penguin Group USA will be re-publishing the original version of Thomas Disch’s 1969 novel based on The Prisoner, which will coincide with the USA television premiere of the new series.
The new Factory Entertainment deal not only encapsulates the upcoming AMC and ITV Studios remake of The Prisoner, which stars Jim Caviezel and Ian McKellen, but also the original 1960’s series star Patrick McGoohan.
Factory Entertainment consumer product to be released will include action figures, prop replicas, trading cards and die cast models. The products will begin launching internationally from Winter 2009 and in the UK in Spring 2010.
Genre fans may recall Factory, who also hold licenses for the Magic Roundabout and The Beatles, among others, acquired Star Trek collectibles Master Replicas from Corgi International back in May.
Could a replica of Dinky's classic Prisoner-inspired Mini Moke, pictured above, be on the cards? The fab Prisoner fan site, The UnMutual notes that the original Dinky toy was one of the few merchandise items available at the time of the original showing of the series, and a good condition boxed example can fetch several hundred pounds at auction today.
A free promotional comic produced by Marvel Comics, featuring art by Sao Paulo graphic artist Amilcar Pinna, has already been released for the joint production with US company AMC, which will screen the six hour mini-series from 15th November (see news story). It's unclear whether this is a trailer for a new comic tie-in or a one-off. Information gratefully received!
"There is already a huge buzz about the new The Prisoner, which we believe will be even more successful as the original cult series." commented Darren Epstein, CEO of Elstree-based Factory Entertainment. Talk about raising expectations for the original's army of fans.
"We’re looking forward to releasing the all new range of products that will reflect and target both the new and classic customer fan base," he added.
"We’re excited to bring The Prisoner back into print," says Stephen Morrison, Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Penguin of the new edition of the novel, "attracting new readers to this science fiction classic by Thomas Disch, one of the masters of the genre.
"Our tie-in artwork and collaboration with AMC and ITV will allow us to reach fans of both the original and beloved 1960s series as well as those readers who discover the brand for the first time through AMC’s television event.”
ITV Studios Global Entertainment is set to launch brand new The Prisoner at Brand Licensing Europe earlier today, and at MIPCOM 2009 at the beginning of October. As soon as we have a UK air date we'll let you know.