Business Archives - Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources

As ‘Infinity’ grows, Disney merges video game and toy units

disney finity-star wars

Disney is combining its video game and toy divisions, reflecting the increasing overlap between the two with such projects as Disney Infinity, the less successful Imagicademy and the recently unveiled Playmation.

Announced Monday, the restructuring sees Disney Consumer Products and Disney Interactive merge to form Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media, overseen by the heads of the former units. Although some employees will be shifted into new roles, The New York Times reports there won’t be any layoffs.

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Marvel and Popsicle team for crazy (but tasty) ‘Flavor Force’ campaign

popsicle5

I desperately hope that somewhere in the “All-New, All-Different” Marvel Universe there’s room for Ace Cherry, Popsicle Pete and Mandy Orange, the heroes of Popsicle’s new “Flavor Force” promotional campaign.

Designed by Marvel Custom Solutions, the icy trio will battle its arch-nemesis Lord Weathervane — described by the talking, flying minifridge in the video below as “evil” and “not very nice” — in a series of digital comics set to debut June 21.

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Conan the Barbarian rights change hands again

conan

Cabinet Holdings has acquired Paradox Entertainment Inc., which owns the rights to the Conan the Barbarian, Solomon Kane and the rest of the Robert E. Howard library, as well as role-playing games like Mutant and Mutant Chronicles.

Paradox founder Fredrik Malmberg, who left the company a year ago to focus on film production, is the president and CEO of Cabinet Holdings. He produced 2011’s Conan the Barbarian movie and is overseeing the upcoming Legend of Conan.

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Wizard World launches ComicConBox subscription service

comiconboxWizard World is expanding beyond pop-culture conventions and into subscription box services with ComicConBox.

Like Loot Crate and other similar services, ComicConBox offers subscribers monthly shipments containing toys and collectibles, artwork, games, gadgets and apparel. Plus, this being Wizard World, there are also convention tickets and VIP discounts.

The service is priced at $29.99 a month, with the first box shipping around April 30.

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CTM Media Holdings renamed IDW Media Holdings; Ted Adams named CEO

idw publishingCTM Media Holdings, which owns a majority interest in IDW Publishing, has changed its name to IDW Media Holdings, and placed IDW co-founder and CEO Ted Adams at its helm. The move paves the way for IDW to become listed on a stock exchange.

Telecommunications company IDT Corporation bought a controlling stake in the publisher in 2007, and then two years later created the spinoff CTM Media Holdings to house IDW Publishing, travel-based web portal Ettractions, and brochure and digital advertising distributor CTM Media Group.

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Marvel broadens scope with ‘Age of Ultron’ merchandising

hulk buster

Marvel and Disney hope to reach a broader audience with products tied to Avengers: Age of Ultron, which means more items that appeal to women and fans of individual superheroes.

“For the first film, we primarily focused on the Avengers property and the group shots,” Paul Gitter, Disney Consumer Products’ senior vice president of Marvel licensing, tells Variety. “Now we’re broadening the line and scope to create SKUs that focus on the team and the individuals characters, as well.”

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Would you like syrup on your Avengers-themed waffles?

marvel-waffle-maker

Not content with its conquest of cinemas and the direct market, Marvel has now turned its attention to home appliances. Small appliances, but still …

Soon, fans will be able to eat waffles emblazoned with Thor’s hammer, Iron Man’s mask, Captain America’s shield and Hulk’s fist, prepared — where else? — in an Avengers-themed waffle maker from Select Brands. The company is also developing Marvel-inspired toasters, single-serve coffeemakers and more.

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Marvel’s Isaac Perlmutter and his wife give $9M for cancer research

Isaac Perlmutter (file photo)

Isaac Perlmutter (file photo)

Marvel CEO Isaac Perlmutter and his wife Laura have donated $9 million to help fund cancer research at NYU Langone Medical Center and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.

According to an announcement made today by the institutions, $3 million will finance six cancer-focused projects conducted by teams led by investigators from NYU Langone and the Technion. The remaining $6 million be used to establish a state-of-the-art research facility on Technion’s Israel campus that will support these and other projects. Its principal focus will be on the emerging field of cancer metabolomics.

The former co-owner of Toy Biz, Isaac Perlmutter and his then business partner Avi Arad took control of Marvel in 1998, led the  company out of bankruptcy and, within a decade, established Marvel Studios as a major player in Hollywood. A self-made billionaire, the publicity-shy Perlmutter made $1.5 billion in cash and stock from the 2009 sale of Marvel, becoming Disney’s second-largest individual shareholder and one of the wealthiest people in the United States.

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Garfield is top cat at renamed Indiana Farmers Coliseum

garfield-coliseum

Although we’ve become accustomed over the past three decades to seeing the Peanuts characters advertising MetLife, I was unaware that Garfield also moonlights as a mascot for an insurance company. Now that gig is leading to a higher profile for the comic-strip cat — atop the former Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum (aka Pepsi Coliseum).

The Indiana State Fair Commission announced today that the newly renovated arena will be named the Indiana Farmers Coliseum through a 10-year, $6 million deal with Indiana Farmers Mutual Insurance Company. A new sign will eventually be added to the top of the building, along with some version of Garfield, who was present today for the press conference.

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Warner Bros. layoffs expected to begin today

The Warner Bros. mural (photo by Jonah Weiland)

The Warner Bros. mural (photo by Jonah Weiland)

Warner Bros. is expected to begin layoffs today that will result in the elimination of about 1,000 jobs globally as part of company-wide streamlining effort.

Variety reports that the cuts, which amount to more than 10 percent of the studio’s 8,000-person workforce, are anticipated in two waves, with roughly half starting this week. The process will be completed by the end of the year.

CEO Kevin Tsujihara announced last month that the studio aims to reduce costs by $200 million annually, which will be used to fund an ambitious film and television slate that includes at least 10 DC Comics-based films, J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them series, and more LEGO offerings. Film and television production divisions are expected to be spared the brunt of the cutbacks, while home entertainment, marketing, distribution, administration and “other non-production related divisions” will be among the hardest hit.

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Warner Bros. seeks to cut costs by $200 million annually

The Warner Bros. mural (photo by Jonah Weiland)

The Warner Bros. mural (photo by Jonah Weiland)

Although the upcoming DC Comics film slate was the headline-grabbing news from this morning’s Time Warner investor presentation, Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara also announced the studio is seeking to reduce costs by $200 million annually as part of company-wide streamlining effort. That’s about double what some reports indicated ahead of today’s meeting.

How much of that will be a result of layoffs has yet to be revealed, but Variety maintains Warner Bros. is expected to cut between 900 and 1,000 jobs, or about 10 percent of its worldwide workforce.

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Orange you glad Captain Citrus is coming to NYCC?

capt-citrus

Forsaking the sunshine of Florida for the cooler climate of New York, Captain Citrus is making the trip north this week for New York Comic Con.

You remember Captain Citrus, the weird, anthropomorphized orange that served put in three years as the mascot of the Florida Department of Citrus, which turned to Marvel Custom Solutions over the summer to give the character a $1 million makeover. Now he’s John Polk, a Florida orange grower who draws his power from … mysterious solar pods. It’s a little odd, sure, but nowhere near as weird as a giant orange that drinks orange juice.

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Turner Broadcasting to cut 1,475 jobs as Time Warner streamlines

turner properties

Turner Broadcasting has announced it will eliminate 1,475 jobs, about 10 percent of its workforce, as part of streamlining measures by corporate parent Time Warner that will also affect Warner Bros. Entertainment.

The company, whose properties include CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and TNT, will make the cuts over the next two weeks through a combination of buyouts, layoffs and the elimination of unfilled positions. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 975 of the jobs will come from Turner’s metro-Atlanta operations; CNN Worldwide will lose about 300.

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Warner Bros. could slash as many as 1,000 jobs

The Warner Bros. mural (photo by Jonah Weiland)

The Warner Bros. mural (photo by Jonah Weiland)

Warner Bros. Entertainment could eliminate as many as 1,000 jobs — more than 10 percent of its worldwide workforce — as part of studio-wide cutbacks confirmed earlier this month, Variety reports. However, the studio insists that although the cuts will be “substantial,” it hasn’t settled on the exact number of layoffs.

“The plans are still in process,” Dee Dee Myers, Warner Bros.’ new executive vice president of corporate communications, told TheWrap. “We’re reducing costs and it will result in reduced overhead, but the plans are not done.”

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Warner Bros. CEO announces layoffs

warner bros entertainmentWarner Bros. Entertainment CEO Kevin Tsujihara confirmed impending layoffs across the studio in a memo sent Thursday afternoon to employees. Although no date or numbers were given, Deadline suggests the cuts will likely take place in the fourth quarter.

“We are doing our best to minimize staff reductions,” wrote Tsujihara, who was named CEO in January 2013. “However, and it pains me to say this, positions will be eliminated — at every level — across the Studio.”

Warner Bros.’ subsidiaries include DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television, Warner Home Video and New Line Cinema. It also co-owns The CW with CBS Corporation.

Although reports earlier this week indicated the studio would offer buyouts before it resorted to layoffs, there’s no mention of that approach in the memo. In fact, it would seem buyouts are off the table, as Tsujihara’s introduction makes it clear he wanted”to set the record straight” following “misinformation in the press.”

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