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Alpha Group Announces Launch of Operations in Latin America

AlphaGroupFollowing the launch of subsidiaries in North America, France, the UK, and Canada, The Alpha Group has appointed Jose Antonio Espinoza to head the launch of Latin America operations.

“One of the integral pillars of our growth strategy is international expansion through the establishment of Alpha subsidiaries in key markets. Having successfully worked for some of the top toy companies in the world—Mattel, Kreisel, and MGA—Jose Antonio brings unparalleled expertise to the role,” said Jean-Christophe Pean, president of Alpha Group in the U.S. and Europe.

Alpha will be showcase the new 2018 ranges at its Los Angeles showroom in September and in Hong Kong in October.

Licensing Industry Veteran Jennifer Richmond Passes

jenniferrichmondLicensing Industry veteran Jennifer Richmond passed away on September 12 after a short battle with cancer. She was the managing director of the Richmond Management Group, as well as a former executive at Jakks Pacific. Richmond is survived by her husband Andy and her daughter Bianca. She was 49.

Richmond began her career at Tyco Toys in ‘93, and later held many senior brand manager positions with Empire of Carolina and Equity Toys. She joined Jakks Pacific in ’93 as director of marketing and licensing, and was eventually promoted to  senior vice president of licensing and media. Read the rest of this entry »

Sesame Workshop Names Ed Wells Head of International Media and Education

EDWELLS_SesameSesame Workshop appointed Ed Wells as head of international media and education. In this role, Wells will manage Sesame’s international offices and expansion efforts focused throughout Europe, the GCC, Latin America, and Asia Pacific. He will oversee all production, distribution, themed entertainment, education, and licensing businesses for the Workshop across these regions. Read the rest of this entry »

LIMA Seeks Nominations for 2018 Licensing Hall of Fame

May27LIMA(2)The international Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) is accepting recommendations for the Licensing Hall of Fame. Each year LIMA honors creators, marketers, manufacturers, and anyone who makes outstanding contributions to the global licensing community. This award represents the highest level of licensing excellence, and individuals considered for the award must follow the criteria guidelines listed here.

To be considered for induction into the 2018 Hall of Fame, online recommendations–including a detailed and formal description of the candidate’s contribution and adherence to the criteria—must be received by November 10.

The LIMA Board of Directors reviews all recommendations before making final selections.

Pocket.watch Names Former Genius Brands President as Chief Revenue Officer

StoneNewmanPocket.watch appointed Stone Newman as chief revenue officer. Stone will oversee all of pocket.watch’s revenue generating activities, and he will launch efforts involving licensing and merchandising, sponsorships and brand integrations, and the global sales of premium content.

Stone will focus on sponsorship and brand integration sales of pocket.watch’s YouTube channels and their marquee YouTube creator partnerships. Newman will drive pocket.watch’s initiatives into licensing and merchandising and will be responsible for bringing pocket.watch’s series to TV and streaming distributors in global markets. Read the rest of this entry »

Gaumont Promotes Tim Stephen to Head of Business and Legal Affairs in the U.S.

TimStephen_GaumontGaumont promoted Tim Stephen to head of U.S. business and legal affairs at its Los Angeles office. The announcement was made Thursday by Christophe Riandee, vice, CEO, Gaumont.

Stephen joined Gaumont in 2014 as SVP, U.S. business and legal affairs. His responsibilities encompass TV, animation, and distribution divisions. During his tenure he has worked across multiple projects including Narcos (Netflix); F is For Family (Netflix); Hannibal (NBC); Hemlock Grove (Netflix); High in the Clouds, an animated feature in development based on the book by  by Sir Paul McCartney and Philip Ardagh;  Do, Re & Mi, an animated series in development; and The Star Shards Chronicles, also in development, based on the book trilogy from Neal Shusterman. Read the rest of this entry »

Genius Brands Promotes Two Executives to SVP

GeniusBrands_SVPGenius Brands International Inc. promoted two of its top executives. Kid Genius Cartoon Channel president Deb Pierson was named as SVP, global content distribution and marketing, and Lloyd Mintz was promoted to SVP of worldwide consumer products. The announcement was made today by Genius Brands’ chairman and CEO Andy Heyward, to whom both report directly.

In her new role, Pierson will be charged with oversight of Genius Brand’s global content distribution business for its catalog of animation properties, including SpacePOP, Llama Llama, Rainbow Rangers, Baby Genius, Warren Buffett’s Secret Millionaires Club, and Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab. Read the rest of this entry »

Going Counterculture for the Win

by Ted Mininni, president and creative director, Design Force.TedMinnini_Headshot

It’s an American thing to be attracted to individuals who swim against the cultural tide—artists, rebels, challengers of mainstream groupthink, real and virtual heroes who accomplish amazing feats against overwhelming odds. They are all the purveyors of unconventional viewpoints, lifestyles, and philosophies, forming subcultures within society. They also make significant impacts when their ideas and the brands that they champion are adopted by the mainstream. Read the rest of this entry »

Stanley Weston Passes Away

GI_Joe_Logo copyStanley Weston, the inventor of the G.I. Joe toy action figure, died on May 1 in Los Angeles at the age of 84.

Weston was born in Brooklyn, New York on April 1, 1933. He attended Jamaica High School in Queens and New York University before entering the army shortly after the end of the Korean War. Read the rest of this entry »

LIMA Canada to Host Focus Canada Event with Keynote Speaker from Walmart Canada

LIMAThe International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) will host an evening of education and networking at Focus Canada on May 2 at Corus Entertainment in Toronto. Organized by LIMA Canada, the event will be centered on Canadian shopping habits, licensed merchandise, and the future of retail. Sam Wankowski, senior vice president operations, Western Canada, Walmart Canada will headline Focus Canada with the keynote address titled “The Evolving Relationship Between Retail and Licensing in Canada.” Read the rest of this entry »

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