People Profile: Menal McGrath

Meet Menal McGrath, VP Global Licensing for Moose Toys

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’ll be profiling one of these professionals in this ongoing series developed in partnership with MyMediaBox.

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How did you get into licensing (or how did licensing find YOU)?
I was fortunate enough to be discovered by a recruiter at Disney. At the time, I was a brand manager at Mattel who also had a background in sales. It was a perfect fit! I didn’t even think much about licensing at that time…and now I LOVE IT.  It’s really been the most favorite part of my career.

What’s your biggest personal and professional accomplishment?
Personal: In 2011, I went back to school for a Masters in Traditional Chinese Medicine.  It was an amazing journey of self-discovery. I learned pinyin, Chinese herbs, and acupuncture.  I treated patients in the college clinic for 3 years. I’m now an expert in asking lots of uncomfortable personal questions and telling people hard truths.  I didn’t take the board exams, so I can’t legally practice. I can however ask all the uncomfortable questions you want…
Professional: Joining Moose in start-up mode in the US and starting their licensing acquisitions from scratch! It was me, a folding desk, and my conference room that also doubled as my car. Ha! We’ve come a long way!

What are the most significant trends or changes that you’ve seen in the business in recent years?

  1. Media: Constantly changing consumption of media. It’s crazy to think I used to have 7 or 8 “channels” to watch while growing up.  My kids have a wonderland of content at their fingertips!
  2. Gaming: My first gaming system was an Atari and I played alone or with one friend in my room.  Now my kids can play with friends around the world!! It’s insane how much has changed.
  3. Marketing: I don’t envy today’s marketer. Gone are the days of TV and print ads. It’s a whole new world and your marketing needs to be as fragmented as the way consumers engage in content.  A lot more work for the same return!

What keeps you up at night? What’s your biggest challenge these days?
Keeps me up at night: My COVID kittens! They are a handful.
Biggest Challenge: Keeping up with all the trends. Thankfully I have teens, so I’m exposed to most of it.  What I love is watching TikToks because it gives me a good glimpse into what is going on in the moment.  I also love sharing my favorites and Tik Tok Text bomb people every now and then. I always say it’s because I love them. I hope they love me too!

What is the best piece of advice you ever received? OR What is your favorite quote?
“Be brief, be brilliant, be gone.”  I think this was a Woodrow Wilson quote, but the first time I heard it was from Mary Beech when she was heading up Toy Licensing at Disney.  I now use it all the time.
Also pretty much everything my mom and dad told me growing up…there’s just too much to list!

What is your favorite licensing deal of all time? (doesn’t have to be one that was signed by you)
Oooh…I mean there are so many. I like clever and in the moment.  An example that is not necessarily licensed, but taken from real life content is all the mugs, Ts, and hats highlighting the moments of the 2020 elections.  Hilarious!! If only it was that easy to get product out in a hot second!  “Will you shut up, man?”.  Seriously…I could wear that all day long for various reasons. So versatile.

The last licensed product I bought was…
Do obscure band tees count? Ha!
One Piece Luffy figure for my son.

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