Avatar-themed bird set to fly in China as movie awaits premiere
Avatar Banshee "bird," a flying smart mini drone-tech toy, will debut on the Chinese mainland next month, coinciding with the domestic premiere of the much-anticipated sequel "Avatar: The Way of Water," Shanghai Daily learned on Thursday.
Hanwon Technology has obtained the authorization from Disney, the film's producer, to exclusively produce and sell Avatar-themed Banshee products on the Chinese mainland, the Shenzhen-listed company said in a statement on Thursday.
In Avatar's unique alien world, Banshee is a large and dragon-like aerial predator bird. Hanwon has adopted artificial intelligence and bionic techs to develop the wing-flapping flying bird drone, targeting the toy and collection markets.
Sales of the "bird" on the Chinese mainland will start on December 10, at a price of 359 yuan (US$50), it was revealed.
This fits well with the new movie's premiere in China on December 16. The long-awaited sequel to the 2009 mega-hit "Avatar" is one of the Hollywood films that have been allowed to release in China recently.
In 2009, "Avatar" created a frenzy in China with fully-booked seats in most cinemas and a domestic box office of US$259 million, the highest ever then. Its global box office collections hit a record-high US$2.9 billion, with more than 100 million audiences worldwide.
Hanvon, well known for its main business in the e-book reader and AI education device market, has been developing mini smart "bird" drones since 2015, with a sub-brand Go Go Bird.
Sales of Go Go Bird have reached "several hundred of thousands" units, mainly in overseas markets. The new Avatar movie may help it to expand into the domestic market, the company said.
Besides the Avatar-themed "bird," Hanvon has developed several flying bird toys based on Chinese legendary birds phoenix and bifang.
The technical threshold of the "bird" drones includes limited lift generated by the bionic wings, battery life and lightweight body design. It also adopts intelligent sensors and an onboard flight control system, Hanvon said.