The 6" figures look like oversized versions of classic children's Playmobil toys, although in this case the little, most-featureless people are done in the likeness of pop culture icons.
The initial run of figures includes Ghostbusters, Willy Wonka, Doctor Who, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Back to the Future licenses.
The figured include Peter Venkman and Raymond Stantz (Ghostbusters); Willy Wonka and an Oompa Loompa; the Fourth Doctor and the Eleventh Doctor; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles's Leonardo, Michaelangelo, Shredder, and a black-and-white Raphael exclusive through Entertainment Earth; and Back to the Future's Marty McFly and Doc Brown.
Besides a partnership with Funko, Paris-based ON Entertainment, Wild Bunch and Pathe are teaming to develop an animated feature based on the Playmobil toy brand for release in 2017. The production will be set up in Canada at the studio's animation division.
Bob Persichetti, a veteran of Monsters vs. Aliens, Shrek 2 and Puss in Boots, is in charge of developing the property. Most recently, he worked with ON and Wild Bunch on The Little Prince, which will get a global theatrical release in 2015.
Like LEGO, Playmobil doesn't have an immediately obvious narrative or characters, but has sold billions of toys since its inception and is a recognized brand around the world. The success of The LEGO Movie, which currently has sequels and spinoffs in development, has led producers to consider what can be done using existing properties that may not otherwise have been considered as big-budget licenses. Playmobil will reportedly have a budget of around $80 million.