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Among Us Video Game Creators Choose Toikido As Toy Partner

The studios behind the trending video game Among Us have chosen the newly formed British toymaker Toikido as their global master toy partner for a line of collectibles, action figures, plush toys, play sets and more. Among Us has become one of the world’s most popular games since it was first released in June 2018 by InnerSloth and Dual Wield Studios. The game makers say its popularity really exploded during the pandemic in 2020, when it became the most downloaded game in the world. The free multi-player game can be played on multiple platforms, including smartphones, tablets and PCs. Like many games that hit the big time, the popularity of Among Us soared after some of the top gamers on Twitch started to play and live stream the game to millions of… . . . read more

Pokémon Celebrates 25 Years With Music Deal, Licensing Campaign

Katy Perry Headlines ‘P25 Music’, a Year of Surprise Music Events and Superstar Collaborations The Pokémon Company International officially launched its 25th anniversary celebration on Jan. 13, marking a quarter century of fun and games with a massive music collaboration, including a partnership with pop star Katy Perry. The Japanese video game and entertainment franchise created one of the most enduring virtual worlds in the  business of video gaming since its launch in 1996, and was among the earliest companies to see massive success outside the game itself by combining the collectible Pokémon card game with the digital video game experience. The company says, in 2021, Pokémon will continue that tradition by aligning with another universal unifying force: music. Headlined by Katy Perry, the star-studded program created in partnership with… . . . read more

Marvel Launches Year Long Product Campaign for 2021

The wildly successful Disney superhero franchise Marvel is giving its fans plenty of reasons to celebrate the New Year, announcing a full year of new Marvel Studios inspired product reveals spanning toys, games, books, apparel, home décor and more. Mirroring Marvel Studios’ upcoming Disney+ series rollouts, Marvel Must Haves will serve as the preeminent source on Marvel.com for product reveals supporting each new series, beginning with Marvel Studios’ WandaVision, premiering on Jan. 15. The news comes shortly after Disney announced a huge slate of new films and television programming this year, beginning with the new series WandaVision on Disney+ that is seen as the beginning of an all new story arc for the Marvel universe. “Fans tuning into Disney+ this year will experience Marvel like never before with six exhilarating series,… . . . read more

Erve Europe Lands Deal With Blizzard Entertainment

Licensing company Erve Europe has signed a deal with Blizzard Entertainment adding the wildly popular Overwatch and World of Warcraft games to its product portfolio. Erve Europe is a leader in character licenses and brands for the continent, producing branded fashion and apparel featuring TV, film, cartoon and video game heroes. As part of Erve Group, the company has six offices across three continents, and has been in the industry for more than 35 years. The company will now serve the European market with a wide range of branded products for both game franchises, including t-shirts, sweatshirts, pyjamas, shorts, socks, underwear and hoodies, among others. The first collections will launch in spring/summer 2021, the company says. “We couldn’t be happier with these two games in our portfolio,” said Tom Fabes, gaming licence manager… . . . read more

Founders Transition to New Leadership at Spin Master

Max Rangel Joins Spin Master as Co-Founders Ronnen Harary and Anton Rabie Transition Their Roles in Spring 2021 Spin Master has been led by its co-founders since the company’s inception, but next month the company will have its first ‘outside’ CEO in Max Rangel, formerly of SC Johnson & Sons. Spin Master is a major force in the toy and children’s entertainment world, and just this week finalized a key deal with Riot Games for their League of Legends franchise. But founders Ronnen Harary and Anton Rabie felt it was time to transition to new leadership, so Rangel will assume the position of global president effective in January, and will also adopt the role of CEO in April. Rangel will now be responsible for the execution of Spin Master’s long-term strategy,… . . . read more

Spin Master Nets Big Win With League of Legends Toy Deal

The Canadian toymaker Spin Master just logged one of its biggest single deals to date, announcing a  multi-year agreement to become the global master toy licensee for Riot Games’ League of Legends, the most-played PC game in the world. Spin Master will develop products including action figures, playsets and role play items, with an anticipated on-shelf date in the Fall of 2021. LoL’s popularity has gained in strength after more than a decade on the market, generating $1.5 billion in revenue in 2019. Spin Master is a major player in their own sector, with a $3 billion-plus market cap and $571 million in Q3 revenue. Spin Master is also an accomplished producer of digital media content in its own right, producing among other things the popular and very profitable Paw… . . . read more

Deal Summary: Spread Group, Emoji Co., Lucasfilm, League of Legends

Another week, another slate of great deals in our industry, as we lead our coverage today with expansion of an existing agreement with Warner Bros. and Spread Group. Spread Group Expands Warner Bros. Collaboration Beyond Europe Spread Group – formerly known as Spreadshirt – has worked with Warner Bros. in Europe since 2012, developing more than 1,700 designs for the entertainment giant’s many popular brands and characters, and distributing in Germany, France, The Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. The company has notched impressive sales in the Eurozone, and now Warner Bros. is expanding that relationship to allow Spread Group to bring 14 key brands like DC and Harry Potter to new markets in North America, the UK, and Australia. The company expects to release more than 1,000 SKUs for these… . . . read more

Konami’s Bomberman and Contra Sign New Merch Deals

Two iconic … if not historic … Konami video game franchises will be getting some new merch, thanks to a pair of new licensing agreements signed by Konami Cross Media NY. Bomberman and Contra will soon have more product to offer fans with the conclusion of the new licensing agreements, said Jennifer Coleman, Vice President of Licensing and Marketing, Konami Cross Media NY, Inc. Bomberman debuted in 1985 in Japan as a look-down battle game featuring a cute but ferocious protagonist who has since appeared in more than 70 video game titles, and is still going strong. Contra is a ‘run-and-gun’ style video game originally released in 1987 as a coin operated arcade game, and was adapted to the Nintendo platform the following year. A recent licensing agreement with Neamedia morphs… . . . read more

Who’s News Roundup: Week of Dec. 9

Bad Robot Tags Veteran Developer Michael Booth for New Video Game Studio The accomplished Bad Robot studio made a serious move this week, launching a video game division-Bad Robot Games—that will be guided by newly hired industry veteran Michael Booth as its General Manager and CEO Anna Sweet. Bad Robot, founded and led by renowned producer JJ Abrams, will now partner its creative content with Bad Robot Games. Booth is seen as a key hire as he is an extremely experienced and accomplished game developer. He most recently worked as VR director for Facebook, but is best known as the creator and lead game designer for the smash hit Left 4 Dead. The idea is that Bad Robot Games will have one in-house team working on Bad Robot-created properties, and… . . . read more

Super Oops: Why the Snyder Cut of Justice League was Removed from HBO

If you’re a DC Comics fan anxiously awaiting the release of the controversial ‘Snyder Cut’ of Justice League, then you’re likely aware the first epic trailer has been pulled from YouTube and other video or streaming services … and it appears a licensing wrangle serves as the super villain in the plot. While there’s been no official explanation, it appears the trailer was removed due to a licensing issue with the background song ‘Hallelujah’, written by Canadian poet/singer Leonard Cohen, and owned by Columbia Records … and it’s a perfect example of why proper licensing agreements are so vital. For non-DC fans, the Snyder Cut is a new version of the Justice League movie that Zack Snyder was directing until he stepped away after the tragic death of his daughter. … . . . read more


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