Quoted from The_Dude_Abides:
I agree with that. I think for the first pin it was a great decision to go with a well know theme. Once that is a hit they would have a reputation and maybe the freedom to do a non-licensed theme. Still might be tough with their competition (Stern) getting top tier licensing for all their pins.
Rumor has it both bid on Hobbit license and JJ is higher. Rumor in the pin community though is worth .02