Dilly The Beastlie, one of several Beastlies created by Leslie Levings and being introduced to the world thanks to Bad Robot, J.J. Abrams, and Mattel

J.J. Abrams and Mattel Bring Whimsical Sculptor Leslie Levings’ “The Beastlies” to Multiple Platforms Near You

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Imagine you were a sculptor who also had a job at an L.A. comics shop, and you sold these cute little monster sculptures you made at the register. Now, imagine coming back from your day off to hear that one of TV and film’s biggest producers came in with his son, saw your work, and immediately wanted to inquire about them and you. Artist Leslie Levings doesn’t have to imagine this. It’s exactly what happened to her. The store? Meltdown Comics. The producer? J.J. Abrams.

Levings has been sculpting since she was a kid in Kansas City, MO. Though, as she tells the Kansas City Star, she went to Scripps College in California to study “Serious art, which is not exactly cartoony sculpting,” she says that when she graduated, she didn’t feel right. “I couldn’t find my footing.”

And so, the cartoony sculpting stayed, and she eventually created a whole line of adorable little monsters called The Beastlies, each with its own distinct personality based on all sorts of things, from her mood, to her loved ones. They’re constantly selling out at her online store. It was in 2010 that she took a fateful phone call from Abrams that has led to an ongoing partnership that is finally coming to fruition.

Abrams has announced that his Bad Robot Productions is working in conjunction with Mattel to bring The Beastlies to the world on multiple platforms. While the specifics are still under wraps, having a toy company and a TV/film production company involved gives us a clue as to the possibilities. Toys? Animated series? Live action with puppets? Children’s books? Digital content? All of these things are possible, and they give this talented female artist a chance not only to shine, but to expand her skills and delve into other creative forms.

Abrams told Deadline Hollywood that “The Beastlies is a passion project we have been working on at Bad Robot for years with the creator of these extraordinary creatures, Leslie Levings. To finally bring The Beastlies to the world, in collaboration with the brilliant minds at Mattel, is an absolute dream.”

We can wait to see where these adorable creatures turn up first!

(image: Leslie Levings)

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Teresa Jusino
Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.