People Profile: Jason Labowitz, President, Entertainment Earth, and Managing Partner, Bif Bang Pow!
The global licensing community is powered by an incredible group of professionals whose diverse backgrounds and creative energy drive innovation and excellence. Each week we’re profiling one of these professionals in this ongoing series developed in partnership with MyMediaBox.
How did you get into licensing (or how did licensing find YOU😊)?
After years of Entertainment Earth successfully selling products from many brands, we noticed that some of our favorite properties, such as The Big Lebowski, Flash Gordon, and The Twilight Zone, had never been made into action figures in the scale or style that our customers asked for. This led us to seek out these (and many other) licenses, design our own products and bring them to market.
What’s your biggest personal and professional accomplishment?
Being interviewed by Licensing International, of course J. In all seriousness and somewhat related, I’m grateful to be recognized as a part of this industry and proud of our contributions as a licensee, retailer and distributor. We are thrilled to be able to satisfy tens of thousands of customers, hundreds of vendors, and provide careers for many team members.
What are the most significant trends or changes that you’ve seen in the business in recent years?
With the explosion of new content and reduction in the toy retail space over the last decade or so, there are fewer “hard to come by” licenses. Previously it might have been a challenge to secure a top license. That’s not the case anymore. Today, getting a customer to buy your merchandise seems to be the larger challenge.
What keeps you up at night? What’s your biggest challenge these days?
I often stay up trying to figure out how to get all of our strategic goals implemented. This is an internal pressure and thankfully doesn’t come from our customers or licensors. We just want to do everything better and there never seems to be enough time in the day to get it all done – even with a large and skilled staff.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? OR What is your favorite quote?
I’ve adopted a small collection of advice that has led to my personal and professional success. Be kind, be patient, be persistent, constantly improve, drop the ego, surround yourself with great people, learn from others and other industries, and put yourself in other people’s shoes.
What is your favorite licensing deal of all time? (doesn’t have to be one that was signed by you)
Even though I should say Kenner for signing Star Wars, I think Mego should get credit for having the foresight to sign both DC and Marvel licensing deals in the early 1970s. Their World’s Greatest Super-Heroes 8-inch action figures, playsets and vehicles (with packaging that had characters from both brands, side-by-side) become the blueprint for successful toy lines that we still see today.
The last licensed product I bought was…
Star Wars The Mandalorian The Retro Collection action figures by Hasbro. I’m still a kid in an adult body!
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