The collaborations was birthed out of a meeting between Abrams and Mattel president/COO Richard Dickson, who met on the set of Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Beastlies are described by creator and sculptor Leslie Levings as "small monsters with big feelings." The multi-colored creatures will be at the heart of a multi-platform rollout plan spearheaded by film, television and digital content creators Bad Robot with Mattel producing Beastlies toys.
“The Beastlies is a passion project we have been working on at Bad Robot for years with the creator of these extraordinary creatures, Leslie Levings. To finally bring The Beastlies to the world, in collaboration with the brilliant minds at Mattel, is an absolute dream,” said Abrams in a statement.
“He presented this character concept he believed is aesthetically inspiring and creative, and then we got together the character drawings and creative conversations and that brought us to the point where we could reveal the partnership and concept,” Dickson told Deadline of the initial meeting with Abrams.
“The combination of JJ and Bad Robot’s content creator powerhouse abilities and Mattel’s global marketing and branding abilities seemed a strong match for an amazing collaborative effort.”
As reported by Deadline, Dickson believes the Beastlies have the potential to encompass merchandising, gaming and live event platforms.
Levings has sculpted "a few thousand of the little guys," reads a statement from the official Beastlies site.
According to Levings, Abrams and his son first spotted the creatures during a visit to a comic shop where Levings worked part-time. An invitation to Abrams' Bad Robot studio followed, leading to a deal.
"We are very excited to share that in partnership with Mattel, Bad Robot is exploring the world of these tiny, joyful, anxious, enthusiastic, sweet, mischievous, little weirdos," Levings writes.
Levings will continue to sculpt the original Beastlies, for sale in her online shop, "as we invent all the brand new toys and stories that Bad Robot and Mattel will make possible."
Abrams is currently developing Star Wars: Episode IX for Disney's Lucasfilm. The Cloverfield Paradox, produced by Abrams, is now streaming on Netflix.