Warner Brothers Consumer Products Division announced that McFarlane Toys has received the master toy license for the second and third installments of The Matrix Trilogy---The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions -- as well as rights to the original Matrix film. According to the press release the two remaining installments of the trilogy will both be released in 2003. The two films were shot simultaneously, but it still seems strange that after a four-year wait for a Matix sequel, we suddenly get two in one year. However, only The Matrix Reloaded, the second film in the trilogy has a definite release date, which is May 15, 2003. McFarlane's first batch of Matrix toys will debut in conjunction with the movie in the spring of 2003. A second wave of Matrix toys based on the final installment in the trilogy will hit stores in time for the release of the film, whether it actually bows in late 2003 or during 2004.
McFarlane Toys announced that 'the Matrix product line will be geared to the adult collectible market and initial plans call for development of dioramas depicting critical scenes from each of the three movies.' N2 Toys created several series of toys based on the initial Matrix film, but since almost all the major characters are featured in all three films, McFarlane, which now controls the toy license for all three films, can include diorama backgrounds from the first film for use with its figures.
The Matrix earned almost half a billion dollars in worldwide box office and The Matrix DVD was the first DVD to sell over a million units. N2 Toys' Matrix figures were a huge hit in pop culture stores at first, though sales of subsequent series slowed to a crawl without a sequel film to keep the property hot. In addition to the two Matrix sequels, a series of Matrix anime films should also help keep interest in the property high through 2003.
Gentle Giant Studios, who probably provided the scans that McFarlane Toys will use for its action figures, is preparing a series of busts based on characters from The Matrix Reloaded, which Dark Horse will distribute (see 'Dark Horse Adds Film Licenses').