Hollywood has a long history of introducing iconic cars on screen, from Doc Brown’s DeLorean and the Ghostbusters‘ Ecto-1 to the Transformers and the Weasley family’s flying Ford Anglia. And Jada Toys has recreated all of these iconic vehicles — and so many more! — for its Hollywood Rides series of die-cast collectibles. Now, the company is offering collectors even more with a new site called Next Level. Through Next Level, fans can get their hands on exclusive, limited-edition vehicles, starting with the Batmobile pictured above. We chatted with Jada Toys CEO Bill Simons about starting Next Level, what fans can expect from the platform, and more!
The Pop Insider: What motivated Jada to launch Next Level? Also, how would you describe its purpose and what collectors will find there?
Bill Simons: The name Next Level describes it well in that we are taking our collectibles to the Next Level. Collectors will find limited-edition offerings in both pop culture vehicles and figures. The idea was spawned during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic when Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) was canceled, and we decided that it was time to bring this style execution in a direct-to-consumer (DTC) collector format.
PI: Jada has a long history of offering pop culture-inspired collectible vehicles. What differentiates these Next Level vehicles from other Jada offerings?
BS: The main difference will be that the Next Level products are going to be upscale, with more detail and premium packaging. There will be unique tooling specific to Next Level, as well as special deco to all-time best sellers.
PI: Looking at the 1989 Batmobile and Batman specifically, what makes this version of the Batmobile stand out from others that Jada has offered?
BS: This is the third black, chrome Batmobile in the series. The first two being the 1966 & Animated versions, which were both black chrome and were sold out at SDCC. This is an example of an all-time bestseller that received a premium decoration and packaging treatment. This is the first product to launch on Next Level, and it was initially planned for SDCC 2020. However, when that was canceled, we wanted to find a way to still offer our fans an opportunity to add this to their collection and continue the series.
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PI: What can fans expect to see in the future from Next Level? Are there any additional licensing partners you can share, and will all of the Next Level products be scaled vehicles with figures?
BS: So far, we have launched four products on Next Level. In addition to the 1989 Batmobile, we had three Fast & Furious vehicles in 1:18 scale with working headlights and taillights, plus a figure of the character that drove these cars. These have completely sold out. The next offering from Next Level is a 6-inch action figure of Frankenstein from Universal Monsters that comes with an operating table. So far, this is my favorite item to come out on Next Level, and the packaging is gorgeous. We are currently in tooling for the new Batmobile that will be featured in the 2022 movie The Batman. We will extend the Black Chrome series to include this model next year.
PI: Is there anything else you would like to add about Next Level or about Jada Toys in general?
BS: We have some very exciting launches planned for the second half of next year. Jada joined the Simba-Dickie-Group in 2018, and this has given us access to some amazing product lines. We are currently working on three projects that will be a collaboration with our Hollywood Rides brand and the famous German diecast company Schuco. This will be all-new tooling and bring a level of detail and precision to Hollywood Rides not seen before.