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Netflix Opening Online Store to Sell Licensed Merch From Hit Shows

Netflix is Becoming Amazon, Amazon is Becoming Netflix By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief Amazon has become the single greatest competitor for Netflix in terms of members, but now Netflix is getting a bit of its own back by moving into the ecommerce space, selling products to its more than 200 million paying subscribers. Netflix on Thursday launched new online store selling products tied through licensing agreements with hit shows airing on the streaming service. For example, Netflix has already prepared a clothing line (along with some live events) tied to its spicy rom-com hit Bridgerton, as well as various consumer products for the upcoming new seasons of Stranger Things, The Witcher, and La Casa de Papel (known in English as Money Heist), and several others. The move is… . . . read more

Wham-O Gets Into Board Games in Deal With Winning Moves Games

Wham-O has been on a licensing tear this year after signing with agency Anjar Co. & Becker Associates, and has now announced another deal to translate classic action toys like Frisbee and Hula Hoop into board games. Winning Moves Games USA is a Massachusetts-based maker of both new and classic board games, card games and puzzles including Pass the Pigs, No Stress Chess, and many more family favorites. “Winning Moves Games USA is proud to announce it has signed a licensing agreement with Anjar and Wham-O to bring back the classic versions of Frisbee, Super Ball, Hacky Sack, Trac Ball and many other classic Wham-O toys,” said Philip Orbanes Jr., President of Winning Moves. “For more than 25 years Winning Moves Games USA has built a positive reputation as a… . . . read more

Collaborations Licensing New Agent For World’s Best Apron Maker

Collaborations Licensing has announced this week a new partnership with Hedley & Bennett, arguably the best and most innovative apron brand in the world. While many people think an apron is an apron is an apron, most Michelin chefs would disagree. Since 2012, Hedley & Bennett has been creating better working, better looking kitchen workwear for both professional and home consumers alike, working to make the most functional, most durable and most beautiful aprons worn by everyone from the most talented professionals in the world to the home cook just starting their cooking journey.  Hedley & Bennett aprons are worn by half of the 3-Michelin Star restaurants in the United States, over 6,000 restaurants worldwide, and across a wide array of entertainment programs including Bravo’s Top Chef, Michelle Obama’s Waffles &… . . . read more

MyFutprint Selects FanGirl As Licensing Agent

Popular manga publisher MyFutprint Entertainment, home of the world’s most diverse manga-inspired creators, and digital publisher of the flagship magazine and brand Saturday AM, has selected FanGirl Consulting & Brand Management, LLC as its official agent. The company says the FanGirl team, headed by Anita Castellar, will be tasked with expanding brand awareness, building licensing/retail partnerships, and more. Seeing the future globalization of geek culture, MyFutprint founder Frederick L. Jones launched the digital, bi-weekly magazine Saturday AM in 2013 as a platform for diverse manga-inspired content. As a former video game executive and a lifelong, comic book and manga fan, Jones says he always recognized the power of fandom. However, as an African American male, he also saw the opportunity to introduce more diversity into the manga space both in the stories being written as… . . . read more

Analysis: Netflix Faces Tough Battle Launching Gaming Service

Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief Netflix is planning a push into the video game market, with Reuters and The Guardian reporting the streaming giant intends to establish a gaming subscription service similar to Steam, Apple’s Arcade service, or Microsoft’s Game Pass. As happened with the model of renting movies on CDs, video games are now being downloaded in increasing numbers, and subscription services have become the fastest growing segment of the industry. Just as Netflix drove a spike into the heart of Blockbuster, so too are subscription gaming services taking marketshare away from struggling physical retailers like Game Stop. Now, the biggest streamer of them all appears to be getting into the act, with Reuters reporting the company is headhunting an executive to oversee its expansion into video games,… . . . read more

African Animators On The Rise With Disney+, Netflix, Cartoon Network

By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief Until now, children in Africa didn’t really see themselves represented in the shows they watched, as the vast majority of television content was produced in North America, Europe and Asia. It’s also a problem for licensees on the continent, as Africa has long lacked home-grown heroes in children’s shows, with virtually all licensed products linked to programs produced outside the continent, and that don’t particularly reflect African experience and culture. But that’s changing, as the Cartoon Network, Netflix and Disney+ have given the green light for series produced by African animators and studios. Most recently, as Kidscreen revealed in a recent exclusive, Cartoon Network Africa will be airing  Garbage Boy and Trash Can, the first ever domestically produced animated series to appear on their… . . . read more

Kids Understand Racism Better Than We Think: Sesame Workshop Study

A landmark study by Sesame Workshop has found the vast majority of children believe that people of different races are not treated fairly in the United States. According to the study Coming Together: Family Reflections on Racism, conducted by Sesame Workshop to better understand how the events of last summer were affecting and being perceived by children, 86% of children believe that visible minorities are not treated fairly in this country. Many noted that they believe this because they have personally witnessed unfair treatment. Sesame Workshop says the study, designed to capture and elevate the voices of children ages 6-11 and their parents, provided a platform and methodology that allowed children’s hopes and fears to come through unfiltered at a time when media and the national dialogue focused almost exclusively on the experience and… . . . read more

We Want to Hear From You In TLL Licensing Royalty Survey

Want to know the average royalty payments in the licensing industry? Since 1978, The Licensing Letter has been providing the inside scoop to licensing professionals on everything from marketing budgets, guaranteed minimums, and royalties paid in a wide range of product categories. Today TLL is launching its annual Licensing Royalty Survey for 2020, with an accent on how the industry has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to hear your opinion on one of the most difficult years in our industry, and what you think is coming for 2021 and beyond. The oldest survey in the industry, the TLL annual licensing survey is a key part of our data offerings for the industry, and the more answers we get, the better and more useful our data sets will… . . . read more

JLKBrand Signs Up For Years Of Misery With Lemony Snicket

By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief There’s never been a series of children’s books like Lemony Snicket: A Series of Unfortunate Events, in which people are either stupid or horrible—or possibly both stupid and horrible—the worst always happens, and happy endings are for saps. But despite all of those warnings, JLKBrand has agreed to represent the Lemony Snicket brand in its first ever licensing program. You can’t say they weren’t warned. If you’ve never read the series by the mysterious and possibly fictitious author Lemony Snicket, they are an unlucky 13 books written for a middle-school aged audience, featuring three likable but particularly unfortunate orphans: Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire. The appeal of the books may be that no matter how bad things get the Baudelaire children soldier on,… . . . read more

Amazon Shakes Up Streaming With MGM Acquisition

By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief MGM’s roaring lion is now purring happily in the Amazon stable, after the eCommerce giant acquired the historic film studio in a critical, $8.45 billion deal. That sum makes the MGM acquisition the second largest in Amazon’s history, but Jeff Bezos and crew are betting their investment will pay off as part of the company’s strategy to become a giant in the world of home and theatrical entertainment. Amazon’s only investment larger than the MGM acquisition was the buyout of the Whole Foods grocery chain for $14 billion in 2017. Like the Whole Foods deal, adding the MGM label to Amazon’s corporate empire was done due to synergies in the business model. Amazon is investing heavily in making its Prime streaming video service… . . . read more