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By Mike Johnson on 2019-06-12 09:00:00

The 2019 Licensing Expo was held last week in Las Vegas.  Some notes from the Expo, which is not open to the public and is the largest trade show for those with intellectual properties seeking to make deals with potential licensors and with retail outlets.

World Wrestling Entertainment had their traditionally large booth at the Expo, but with the Expo falling on the same week as Super Showdown, there were surprisingly no talent appearances.  The Ultimate Warrior’s WWE Hall of Fame statue was on display, but there was a much smaller collection of merchandise being showcased this year.  In fact, there was even an empty display case.

New Japan Pro Wrestling were exhibiting for the first time ever at the Licensing Expo with a small booth showing several currently licensed items.    Senior Manager of NJPW’s Intellectual Property Terry Kamohara, General Manager Takami Ohbari and Atsu Nakayama, an Executive Officer and GM of the International Biz Dev Division and the Digital Content Division Manager of NJPW parent company Bushiroad were at the Expo representing the company.  They were giving away a four-page merchandise catalog to showcase NJPW items.  Merchandise featured in the booth including Funko Pops of the Young Bucks, Bullet Club shirts and hats, an IWGP Championship belt replica, vinyl action figures of Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kazuchika Okada and Tetsuya Naito and an Okada teddy bear.

Masked Republic returned to the Licensing Expo for the third year in a row in conjunction with Firefly Brand Management, bringing in lucha legend Solar (who will hit his 45th year as an active wrestler in 2020) and Solar Jr. appearing to promote MR’s Legends of Lucha Libre brand, which recently signed a deal with Boss Fight Studio to present Legends of Lucha Libre figures.   Boss Fight is a new company founded by four former designers from Hasbro.  The first action figures as part of the deal will be announced this August at the second annual Lucha Expo convention in San Diego.  Solar was signing copies of The Luchaverse: Solar & Super Astro - Los Cadetes del Espacio comic book and also visited the New Japan booth.

During the Licensing Expo, it was revealed that the Boss Fight action figure deal will not only include 6" fully articulated action figures (a size that makes them compatible with most of the current WWE Mattel action figure line), but also accessory packs, and a variety of blind boxes including mini-figures.   Masked Republic was also taking meetings to push gaming/mobile properties as well as new publishing and animated projects.

You can check out photos from all three booths on Page 2!


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