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Casetify Unveils Tech Accessories Based on Disney’s Mickey Mouse

The smartphone specialist tech accessory company Casetify is ringing in the New Year with a new collection of tech based on the beloved Disney character Mickey Mouse, who started it all. In collaboration with Disney, the company will be producing this year a wide range of cases and other accessories for iPhones, Samsung phones, AirPods, iPads, and Apple Watches. Included in the collection will be co-branded wireless chargers, 2-in-1 grip stands, and—as a real sign of our pandemic times—Casetify UV Sanitizers. Inspired by the company’s historic cartoon character Mickey Mouse, who kicked off Disney’s decades-long dominance in the entertainment sector, the new collection features bright colors, bold icons and 3D silhouettes throughout. Starting at $35, the Casetify “Mickey Mouse Club” collection will release on Jan. 20 on the company’s web store…. . . . read more

Key Exec Ricky Strauss Leaves Disney

Deadline reports that Ricky Strauss, one of the key executives who launched Disney+ and former head of marketing for Walt Disney Studios, is leaving the company after nine years. The announcement was made internally through a memo obtained by Deadline, and Strauss also reportedly shared the news with his staff. The decision to leave comes as Disney has launched a full-scale overhaul of the entire corporation, in which Strauss was moved to a new role as President of Programming & Content Curation for Disney+ and Hulu. Strauss previously served as President of Content & Marketing, where he was in charge of developing the overall strategic vision for content at Disney+. He also oversaw development of Disney+’s programming decisions, production partnerships, and content acquisitions. Strauss joined the streaming division in 2018, before the… . . . read more

New Lego Sets Create Disney-based Art

It’s said that a single picture is worth a thousand words, but in the case of the new Lego Art series, that single picture is also worth 2,658 plastic blocks. Danish building toy giant Lego is once more expanding its line of Lego Art kits with the addition of two Disney-themed, 2-D mosaics, featuring Mickey and Minnie Mouse. The kits are aimed at older Lego and Disney fans who enjoy the intricate nature of putting together the intricate mosaic-style picture. The kit can be configured to portray either Minnie or Mickey, and measures 15.5 square inches. The mosaic is designed to hang on the wall or sit on a table or mantlepiece, and also includes an immersive story soundtrack, put together by Disney. This is the second mosaic kit for Lego,… . . . 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

NRG Survey Reveals Top 20 Entertainment Franchises

By Gary Symons Editor in Chief, The Licensing Letter If you’re in licensing, your job depends on picking the winning brands and franchises that people will want to see in their toys, clothing and various retail products. National Research Group just made that job easier, releasing their list of the most successful and popular franchises in the entertainment industry, according to an exclusive report from Variety. The massive survey saw NRG conducting more than 350,000 interviews about 700 different entertainment franchises to discover which were considered the “most bold, inspiring and thought provoking by US consumers.” When the dust settled, it came as little surprise that Disney and its Marvel subsidiary dominated the Top 20 results with no fewer than 70 per cent of the list. Netflix came in a… . . . read more

Yogibo Adds To Star Wars Collection With Mandalorian Offerings

Plush toymaker Yogibo says its adding to its already successful line of Star Wars branded plush toys with two new products from the hit series The Mandalorian, streaming on Disney+ Season 2 of the Mandalorian depicts the title character’s struggle to bring The Child (better known to kids globally as Baby Yoda) to the ‘sorcerers’ of The Jedi. On Nov. 23, Yogibo will be releasing The Child Yogibo Mate and the Mandalorian Yogibo Mate; plush toy versions of the show’s titular characters.

Disney+ Partners with Globoplay in Brazil

Viewers in Brazil will now have access to Disney+ content thanks to an agreement between Disney and the Brazilian streaming company Globoplay. Under the agreement, Disney+ and Globoplay content libraries will both be made available as a single service once the offering is launched on Nov. 17. Brazilian customers will pay around $8 per month for the combined offering, but can opt to include all of Globoplay’s live channels as well for $13. Globoplay’s content library features telenovelas, feature-length films, shows and documentaries that come from Globo, locally produced companies and international studios. Through the partnership, Brazilian audiences will now get access to the Disney+ collection of Disney, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic content, as well as original series like High School Musical: The Musical: The Series (pictured) and The Mandalorian. Signing up… . . . read more

Holly Hobbie Series Lands on Disney Channel in Latin America

Nov. 5, 2020 Latin American sales specialist Spiral International has secured a pan-regional deal with Disney Channel Latin America for the live action series, Holly Hobbie. The new music-driven series is produced by Aircraft Pictures and Holly Hobbie brand owner Cloudco Entertainment in association with Wexworks Media and includes two seasons of 10 episodes each. First introduced in 1967, Holly Hobbie™ is recognized worldwide as the bonneted “Blue Girl” in paintings and illustration. Since then, the Holly Hobbie brand has grown into books, crafts and toy lines, and now, into a live-action series, accumulating more than 50 years of fans and $1 billion in worldwide licensed product sales.  The new live-action series, produced by showrunner Sarah Glinski (“Degrassi: Next Class”, “Degrassi: The Next Generation”) stars Ruby Jay as the aspirational, modern-day 13-year-old… . . . read more

Canadian Bill Could Change the Game for Streaming Services

By Gary Symons Nov. 4, 2020 The federal government in Canada has tabled a bill proposing amendments to its Broadcasting Act that will force major changes for streaming services like Netflix, Crave, Disney+, Amazon Prime and Spotify, as well as for non-Canadian licensees.  The changes affect a market of 39 million people – about the size of California – and will result in higher costs for streaming services in the country, and a requirement for more Canadian content.  Bill C-10 essentially brings streaming services under the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, which currently regulates broadcasters, cable providers and telecommunications companies.  The bill would require streamers to contribute up to $830 million annually toward Canadian content by 2023, and would require a significant amount of Canadian content to be made readily… . . . read more


Licensing Industry Loves COVID-19 Masks

US President Donald Trump may not be a fan of masks … but the licensing industry loves them! Reusable COVID-19 masks literally became the world’s fastest growing industry this year, going from almost zero in North America to a multi-billion dollar industry in just months. As it became clear the coronavirus was spreading rapidly in the US and Canada this spring, enterprising licensors and licensees acted fast to create a wide range of new consumer products, designed to put a personal touch on personal protection. Trevco’s was one early entrant in the sector, launching masks with a collection of licenses from major entertainment and toy brands. The company took the unusual approach of launching a monthly subscription service, featuring thousands of mask designs featuring Betty Boop, Sesame Street, Hello… . . . read more