Laika gets in the toybox as filmmaker expands licensing business

Laika is forming a partnership with a major Hollywood licensing firm in a move that will put the Hillsboro-based animation studio's characters on the shelves of toy stores in the near future.

The company will work with Los Angeles-based Striker Entertainment to market characters from its four feature films — "Coraline," "ParaNorman," "Boxtrolls" and "Kubo and The Two Strings" — for use in products ranging from toys to apparel to paper goods.

"We are thrilled to be embarking into the world of consumer products as LAIKA’s rich, vibrant and colorful themes and characters are perfectly suited for multi-category products including toys, collectibles, apparel, accessories, novelties, paper goods, publishing and seasonal items, as well as digital and interactive games," Brad Wald, Laika's CFO and head of business operations, said in a news release.

Wald was hired last year partly to jumpstart Laika's efforts in maximizing its revenue from its arsenal of movie characters. He came to Laika from NBCUniversal in London, where he managed commercial activities for the popular British period drama "Downton Abbey," including a line of consumer products tied to the show.

"We believe there will be a high demand from our fans for LAIKA merchandise of all kinds. And if recent robust results from sales at our shop at the From Coraline to Kubo: A Magical LAIKA Experience exhibit at Universal Studios Hollywood are any indication, we are looking at a significant new revenue stream for the company," Wald said in the news release.

Striker Entertainment is a giant in the world of entertainment licensing. It's currently managing licensing for "The Walking Dead," "Five Nights at Freddy's" and "Orphan Black" and has previously handled licensing for "The Twilight Saga," "Angry Birds" and "The Hunger Games."

Erik Siemers is managing editor of the Portland Business Journal.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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