Appearing on CNBC's Power Lunch on Tuesday, Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White announced the promotion's newest deal with Jakks Pacific, Inc., the maker of fighting action-figure toys.
The toy manufacturer, who has created action figures for World Wrestling Entertainment and the Rocky Balboa film series, signed an exclusive, four-year license agreement with the UFC, with action figures of the promotion's fighters expected to launch in 2009.
According to the Jakks news release, the UFC product line will be collector-focused, and the license covers legend Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell, Brock Lesnar, Antonio "Minotauro" Nogueira, Michael "The Count" Bisping and middleweight Champion Anderson "The Spider" Silva, among others. The license also includes the famed Octagon and role-play items based on the UFC brand and its classic and current roster of star fighters.
"UFC's enormous and growing popularity amongst adults, coupled with the extensive roster of physically powerful star fighters, gives JAKKS a substantial base to work with, and should be a powerhouse combination for the line," said Stephen Berman, President and COO of JAKKS Pacific, in the release. "Our objective is to give collectors an authentic UFC experience."
On June 5, White revealed to ESPN The Magazine he had a major deal in the works that he would reveal to the public June 12. However, as posted on the UFC's website June 10, White planned to announce a big news item on CNBC's business show, and on the show, he debunked all rumors of a major news item beyond the deal with Jakks.
"We are thrilled to have Jakks on board as our first official UFC action-figure partner," White said in the news release on Jakks' website. "The demand for UFC is tremendous, and through this relationship with JAKKS, we can present authentic UFC products and have them available to our loyal UFC fans all around the world."
The last time the UFC and White created a stir with a special announcement was when it signed three-year deal with Anheuser Busch's Bud Light as the exclusive beer sponsor for the promotion. To many, the announcement was lackluster in comparison to the suspense and hype prior to its release.