Hollywood hasn't exactly run out of Mattel toys to option into movies, but they recognize the well will run dry at some point, so they're taking the obvious next step: inventing a new toy themselves. Vulture is reporting that producer Neil Moritz and Mattel are teaming up to come up with a new toy line that would simultaneously become a TV show, game or movie.

And they already know what it will be-- an "alien civilization that's been living in the depths of the Earth's oceans," which is different from Hasbro's robots living in disguise as everyday objects, they promise. It's unclear which studio will take it, given that Moritz has a development deal at Sony but will be free to take this one elsewhere. I honestly wonder if studios will be as anxious to jump on this as they might be for existing toys, since the challenge of building an audience and a brand is still there as if you were doing something original. I mean, they are doing something original-- they're just immediately selling it out as a toy line instead. If this gambit works, we may slide even further down the merchandising rabbit hole.

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