Inside Licensing News and Notes, Jan. 3, 2018

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Bay Tek Games Buys Dimensional Branding Group

Arcade game supplier Bay Tek Games purchases agency Dimensional Branding Group (DBG) in forming a new group to handle inbound/outbound licensing, says DBG’s Larry Seidman. DBG will remain in the San Francisco area and continue with its client roster, one of whom, Skee Ball Industries, was purchased by Bay Tek in 2016. At the same time, Seidman and DBG partner John Leonhardt will license out of Bay Tek’s arcade brands, including Skee Ball, Big Bass Wheel, Hot Shot, Quick Drop and others. Prior to its sale to Bay Tek, DBG landed several licensing deals for Skee Ball (Inside Licensing Jan. 25). Bay Tek plans to extend the brand to licensed tabletop and handheld games later this year, says Seidman. It also licensed Jakks Pacific for its Pull My Finger brand, which was launched in December as a tabletop game at Toys R Us. Bay Tek also unveiled inbound licensed games, including Scooby Doo (animated wheel game, Warner Bros. Entertainment) and Perfection (shape matching game, Hasbro), in late 2017, says Seidman. Under the new ownership, DBG also will offer business development  services in addition to licensing. “Bay Tek has a vault of games with a lot of potential that can be more than arcade games,” says Seidman. “We think it is a good match and will give us a much larger foot print which is important in the market today.” Bay Tek, based in Pulaski, WI, is planning to open an office in Chicago, says Seidman.

Contacts:

Bay Tek Games, Ryan Cravens, Business Development Mgr., 920-822-3951

Dimensional Branding Group, Larry Seidman, 415-595-5610,larry@dimensionalbranding.com

Executive Moves:

Herb Mitschele, ex-Shodogg, named EVP of Global Sales and Operations at Wicked Cool Toys, new position… Kevin LaBonge, ex-Rodale, appointed VP of Global Licensing at Penske Media (Variety, Women’s Wear Daily)… Jared Wolfson, ex-Skyrocket Toys, named SVP of Marketing at Jakks Pacific’s Studio JP joint venture.

Contacts:

Jakks Pacific, Jared Wolfson, SVP Marketing at Studio JP, 310-456-7799, jwolfson@jakks.net

Penske Media, Kevin LaBonge, VP Global Licensing,212-213-1900

Wicked Cool Toys, Herb Mitschele, EVP Global Sales and Operations, 267-536-9186 herb@wickedcooltoys.com

 

Spectrum Weighing Potential Sale Global Battery and Appliance Business

Spectrum Brands Holding is weighing “strategic options,” including a potential sale, of its Global Battery and Appliance Unit, which produces George Foreman grills and Black & Decker appliances. That unit accounted for about 40% ($1.9 billion) of Spectrum’s $5 billion in sales in fiscal 2017 ended Sept. 30. The company (formerly Rayovac) began expanding its business shortly after emerging from bankruptcy in 2009. It bought Russell Hobbs (formerly Salton Inc.), supplier of George Foreman indoor/outdoor grills, Juiceman juice extractors and Toastmaster ovens, in 2010. Russell Hobbs also has had a licensing agreement with Stanley Black & Decker for coffee makers, pressure cookers and other household appliances since 1998. Spectrum also has a Farberware license for home appliances. The move is designed to help reduce its debt, which stood at $3.8 billion as of Sept. 30, and allow the company to focus on higher margin businesses, including hardware and home improvement (Kwikset, Pfister), pet supplies (Tetra, Marineland), auto care (Armor All, STP) and lawn and garden (Hot Shot, Black Flag), the company said.

Contact:

Spectrum Brands, Andreas Rouvé, CEO, 608-275-3340 andreas.rouve@spectrumbrands.com