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Amazon to Publish Holiday Toy Catalog


Following Toys “R” Us closures, Amazon will reportedly publish a holiday toy catalog to corner the open market left by the former Toys “R” Us’ Big Toy Book catalog. The catalogs will be mailed to homes and handed out at Whole Foods Market, the grocery chain Amazon purchased last year.


Disney Raises Bid to $71.3 Billion for Twenty-First Century Fox Assets

Disney_FOXAccording to a CNBC report, The Walt Disney Co. raised its offer for Twenty-First Century Fox (21CF)’s movie and TV assets to $71.3 billion. The new bid is for $38.00 a share, which rivals last week’s offer from Comcast for an all-cash $35.00 a share.

Disney and 21CF entered into a definitive agreement in December for Disney to acquire 21CF, including the Twentieth Century Fox Film and Television studios, along with cable and international TV businesses, for approximately $52.4 billion in stock.

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MindMix 2018 Kicks Off Next Week In London

lima_mindmixMindMix, a one-day, C-level event that brings together business and thought leaders for high-level dialogue around Licensing: 2025 – The Technological, Social, and Commercial Forces Shaping Our Business World, will take place on June 27 in London.

The day will include four formal presentations: Vanella Jackson, CEO of the strategic brand consultancy Hall and Partners, will address The Intersection of Consumer & Brand – How and Why It’s Changing; Stephanie Wissink, managing director, research analyst, and consumer for the investment firm Jefferies LLC, will present FutureThink: Breaking Down the Characteristics of Successful, Adaptive Companies; Taco Ketelaar, co-founder of digital content and platform creators Dffrnt Media, will present Adapting to Ever-Changing Platforms and Technology; and Boris Planer, director of Go-To Market Insights at the consultancy Planet Retail, will present Future Disruptions in Retail – Drivers of Change.

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9 Story Media Group Appoints Angela C. Santomero as Chief Creative Officer

9 Story Media GroupAngela appointed Angela C. Santomero to the newly established role of chief creative officer (CCO). As CCO, Santomero will report to president and CEO Vince Commisso to lead the creative content strategy across 9 Story Media Group. The appointment follows 9 Story’s recent acquisition of Out of the Blue Enterprises, which was co-founded by Santomero.

With Santomero’s appointment, Out of the Blue will be rebranded as 9 Story USA. The New York-based creative studio will be the anchor of 9 Story’s creative development, formative research, and creative stewardship across current series, and the studio will continue to be supported by key development staff and operations in Toronto and Dublin.

NRF Responds to Potential Tariff Raise on Chinese Goods

National Retail FederationThe National Retail Federation (NRF) president and CEO Matthew Shay issued the following statement after President Trump said he will consider tariffs on an additional $200 billion in Chinese goods if China does not yield to U.S. demands:

“This is just what we predicted—a tit-for-tat trade war has erupted and American families are caught in the middle. Higher prices for everyday essentials and lost jobs threaten to sap the energy out of the strong U.S. economy, just as most Americans are starting to enjoy the benefits of historic tax reform. This reckless escalation is the latest reminder that Congress must step in and exert its authority on trade policy.”

A study conducted earlier this year for NRF and the Consumer Technology Association found that tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports would reduce gross domestic product in the U.S. by nearly $3 billion, and lead to the loss of 134,000 jobs in the U.S., with four jobs lost for every job gained. Imposing tariffs on an additional $100 billion of Chinese imports would bring the total impact to a $49 billion reduction in GDP and the loss of 455,000 jobs.

AT&T, Time Warner Merge for TV Deal

ATT-logo-2016-640x480According to CNBC, AT&T will launch a skinny bundle of TV programming free to its mobile customers, which comes a day after the company closed its $85.4 billion purchase of Time Warner. AT&T’s unlimited wireless customers will get the service for free, or interested parties can buy it for $15 a month on any platform. The service will be ad-supported, and AT&T will be ramping up an advertising platform. The company expects to make smaller acquisitions to enable those ad efforts in the coming weeks.

The Justice Department attempted to block the merger on anti-competitive grounds, however, Judge Richard Leon ruled against the government last week, clearing the way for the deal to go through. Time Warner’s properties include Turner Broadcasting’s CNN as well as HBO and the Warner Bros. movie and TV studio. AT&T, the nation’s second-largest wireless firm, also owns DirecTV and offers broadband internet service.

Comcast Makes $65 Billion Proposal to Acquire Twenty-First Century Fox

Comcast_LogoComcast Corp. delivered a letter to the Board of Directors of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (21CF) setting terms of a proposal for Comcast to acquire the businesses that 21CF has already agreed to sell to The Walt Disney Co. The proposal reflects a $65 billion equity value, or $35.00 per share in cash, which represents approximately 19 percent to the value of Disney’s all-stock offer.

The Walt Disney Co. and 21CF entered into a definitive agreement in December for Disney to acquire 21 CF, including the Twentieth Century Fox film and TV studios, along with cable and international TV businesses, for approximately $52.4 billion in stock.

21CF’s vote on the Disney merger proposal is scheduled for July 10.

Toy Collector Hall of Fame Becomes Pop Culture Hall of Fame

PopCultureHallofFameFormerly known as the Toy Collector Hall of Fame, the Pop Culture Hall of Fame presents awards in the collectible and entertainment world. So far the Hall has inducted notables such as Marc Mostman, Randy Falk, and Todd McFarlane, plus characters such as Deadpool, Transformers, and Wonder Woman. Now, as the Pop Culture Hall of Fame, it has made room for even more brands, films, toys, and people that tell the best stories in pop culture. News about the 2018 awards season will be coming soon. The organization invites everyone to join its Community Supporter Program. For more information, visit

LIMA, NPD Group Host Executive Breakfast Series on the Power of Kid Fans

LIMA_NPDGroup_ExecutiveBreakfastSeriesThe Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) and The NPD Group will host their Executive Breakfast Series: The Megapower of Kid Fans on Tuesday, June 12 in New York City. The event will discuss how today’s digital-savvy kids are upending the traditional model of content, and what it means for the licensing business.

NPD Entertainment’s Kristen McLean will explore how kids upend the traditional models of content distribution and discovery, and share data from across the children’s industry on how licenses and brands are measuring up.

The breakfast will be held at Steelcase’s NYC terrace showroom in Columbus Circle. Click here to register for the event.

SYBO Games’ Naz Amarchi-Cuevas to Serve on LIMA Board of Directors

SYBOGames_NazHeadshotNaz Amarchi-Cuevas, head of licensing at SYBO Games, was appointed to the Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA)’s board of directors. Amarchi-Cuevas will begin her term on July 1.

Nominated earlier this year and voted on by LIMA membership, results were announced in May at the Annual LIMA Membership Meeting held prior to Licensing Expo. Nominees must demonstrate an enthusiasm and passion for the licensing industry, be an active LIMA member, and illustrate a proven commitment to the industry.    Read the rest of this entry »

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