With Higher Profile Via Streaming Services, Anime Earning A Spot at Mass

With anime taking hold at mass merchants, characters and stories that once were relegated to specialty and niche distribution is moving into the mainstream. The shifting fortunes of anime are being driven by the increasing availability of content through streaming services, TV and mobile devices and the sheer volume that is being produced. For example, Ellation’s Crunchyroll streaming service has

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Aardman Founders Selling 75% To Employees

Aardman Animations’ founders are selling a 75% stake to their 140 employees in an effort to maintain the company’s independence. Peter Lord and David Sproxton, will control the remaining 25% of the company. Sproxton will remain managing director while the company seeks a replacement during the next year. Lord will remain creative director for up to five years, but a new

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New Iconix CEO Seeking ‘Global Voice’ for Brands

Iconix Brand Group is revamping its brand strategy with plans to develop a “global voice” for them that stretches across markets and regions, CEO Robert Galvin said as the company released Q3 earnings. Galvin, speaking to analysts and investors for the first time since being hired as CEO this fall, stressed the need for “global collaboration” in developing brands that

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Funko Expanding Distribution, Adds Footlocker

Funko is expanding distribution, landing an order at Footlocker and bolstered its presence at Walmart, CEO Brian Mariotti said as the company released Q3 earnings. The company’s Pop! vinyl figures are part of a new collectibles display at Footlocker that is being expanded to 60 locations and represents the chain’s first venture into toys, Mariotti said. Footlocker launched the displays

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Disney Q4 Licensing Income Declines on Lower Star Wars, Cars Product Sales

Operating income at Disney’s Consumer Products and Interactive Media division fell 10% to $337 million in Q4 ended Sept. 30, due partly to a decline in licensing income tied to decreased sales of Star Wars- and Cars-related products and “lower minimum guarantee shortfall recognition.” The decreased revenue was partly offset by increased sales of Spider-Man related products. Overall, Disney’s net

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Executives

Marianne James, VP Viacom Nickelodeon Consumer Products for UK and Ireland, expands role to include the Nordics, Central and Eastern Europe and Russia… Lauren Fields Conlon, ex-Digital Brand Products, named VP of Brand Development at The Lisa Frank Co., replacing Janice Ross, who has joined Brand Fresh Management as Managing Partner… Changes at CPLG: Stacy Scimia, formerly Senior Category Mgr.-softlines,

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Mego Readies Expanded Distribution

With a third wave of its licensed classic action figures launching at Target this week, Mego Corp. plans to expand distribution to other retailers by year-end, says Mego’s Kris Lynch. The new figures – Woody Boyd (TV series “Cheers”), Chachi (“Happy Days”, Lon Chaney, Kiss and others – are part of a series that is exclusive to Target through year-end.

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Nathan’s Famous Q2 Royalty Revenue Declines

Nathan’s Famous’ revenue and operating income from product licensing remained essentially flat (off less than a percentage point) in Q2 ended Sept. 23. Revenue stood at $5.75 million, while operating revenue was $5.7 million. Royalties from the company’s largest licensee by far, John Morelli & Co. (hot dogs) dropped 5.6 percent to $5.25 million, as the average selling price fell

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Sutikki’s “Moon and Me” Due in February

The release of Sutikki’s preschool “Moon and Me” series on the BBC’s Cbeebies has been slated for February, with product expected to arrive in the UK from master toy licensee Hasbro and Scholastic in fall 2019, Sutikki’s Andrew Kerr. The 50-episode, 22-minute TV series is the first to emerge since Sutikki was formed in 2016 as a Bento Box Entertainment

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Zynga Readying Five Licensed Games

Zynga will release five licensed mobile games through 2020, including Star Wars, Game of Thrones and Harry Potter, with plans to leverage the platforms that power its existing titles, CEO Frank Gibeau said in releasing Q3 earnings. The game developer, best known for ‘Words With Friends”, and “FarmVille”, plans to release games based on Game of Thrones and Harry Potter

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