Operation Clambake

Note: Ask yourself! Why is Mike Rinder, the director from the Office of Special Affairs (OSA) from Scientology answering questions to 'Battlefield Earth', if this movie has nothing to do with $cientology?

Tuesday February 15, 2000

Scientology to get ``Earth'' toy money
By Dan Cox

NEW YORK (Variety) - The most intriguing aspect of the toy line based on summer sci-fi epic ``Battlefield Earth'' may not be the ``Ratbastard''-spouting John Travolta doll. It could just be the millions of dollars the Church of Scientology stands to earn from the playthings.
Though the church did not participate in the making of the Warner Bros./Franchise Pictures project, it was included in the merchandising agreement, according to Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder. Any deal for merchandising automatically includes Author Services, the agency that handles all of the works of late writer and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
The toy assembly includes Strike Jets, Psychoblasters and Thunder Battletanks alongside 11-inch figures of Travolta as Terl, the villainous warlord. The Terl doll borrows Travolta voice snippets from the film, including these lines: ``Exterminate all man animals at will,'' ``You wouldn't last one day at the Academy,'' ``Man is an endangered species'' and ``Ratbastard.''
Travolta, an avowed Scientologist, actually made a brief appearance at the recent Toy Fair here to hawk the tiny toys. Though he wouldn't talk to reporters, he posed for a few photos.
Trendmasters, the company responsible for the line of toys, says these types of movie-driven toys can earn as much as $50 million in sales.
Exactly how much will the Church of Scientology recoup from the toys? No one seems to know.
Trendmasters said its deal is strictly with Franchise Pictures, which did not return phone calls.
Warner maintains that the studio is simply the distributor and had nothing to do with the structuring of any of the film's merchandise pacts.
One thing is certain: Rinder told Daily Variety last summer that the church would use the money for a good cause -- its charitable foundations.