Lego sets, Hot Wheels cars and Grand Prix racing sets are among the toys hitting store shelves this year.
This story first appeared in the Feb. 21 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
A spud version of one of TV's favorite couch potatoes is one of hundreds of items going on sale this year as 20th Century Fox Consumer Products partners with several companies to mark the 25th anniversary of The Simpsons, the longest-running scripted series.
Mattel is offering two Hot Wheels cars based on the one Homer created in a season-two episode, and Hornby Scalextric will release a Simpsons-branded Grand Prix racing set in March. Lego builders can re-create the family's home with a limited-edition construction set -- or wait for the show's entirely Lego-animated episode in May. Springfield residents also will be incarnated as Commonwealth plush dolls, Gemmy inflatables and NECA collectible action figures, the latter of which will include depictions of celebrity guest stars for the first time during the Fox comedy's run. Tony Lisanti, editor-in-chief at License! Global magazine, calls Simpsons "one of the most successful consumer licensing franchises in history, which is incredible after such a long time." Industry sources estimate lifetime worldwide sales at more than $7 billion. "What's so unique is not only its continued relevance, but it continues to broaden its audience," says Fox Consumer Products president Jeffrey Godsick. "In 2014, we are celebrating in a big way."