Rubies and Disney team for Star Wars campaign

Rubies is once again collaborating with long-term licensors Star Wars and Disney to bring into the spotlight a brand-new media and PR campaign, ‘The Gift of Play’.

The Gift of Play is a new campaign hosted on a dedicated website [], which is entrenched in Disney’s nearly 100-year legacy of creative storytelling, to encourage adults and children to have more shared imaginative playtime together.

The campaign, which will see a takeover of Rubies social channels and website, has the aim of getting people inspired through unique and engaging Star Wars content and excited for the upcoming releases on Disney+, as well as encouraging consumers to enjoy gifting toys and costumes as a means to play and bond.

To explore the power of the Force, the campaign will see entirely new media created for Rubies social media as well as a strong influencer and press marketing campaigns and retail takeovers.

Rubies Star Wars range in support of The Gift of Play with specially selected costumes includes The Mandalorian, Boba Fett, Deluxe Darth Vader, Grogu, Poe X-Wing Fighter, Rey and even an inflatable Jabba the Hutt, with the majority available in both children’s and adults’ sizes so the whole family can have some Star Wars-themed fun.

Fran Hales, Head of Content and Marketing, says: “We are thrilled to be part of The Gift of Play, working closely with Lucasfilm and Disney on their innovative and exhilarating marketing campaign. The Gift of Play campaign is an opportunity not just to showcase our products, but also to promote dress-up as a key part of Disney’s legacy for creative storytelling, while immersing both adults and children in the shared world of imaginative playtime together.”

Star Wars-inspired costumes by Rubies are available to order now on Stay tuned on Rubies official social media channels to see the intergalactic takeover soon, at @rubiesuk on Facebook and @rubies_uk on Instagram.

British bicycle brand United Wheels lands EMEA-wide partnership with Disney, Marvel, and Lucasfilm

The British bicycle brand, United Wheels UK Limited has detailed a new multi-territory licensing partnership with Disney, Marvel, and Lucasfilm movie properties as the company eyes further growth across the European markets and beyond.

Its latest agreement will see the property rights extended across the UK, Ireland, France, Iberia, Italy, Germany, Benelux, and Africa, building on a partnership that United Wheels’ affiliate, Huffy Corporation, has had with Disney since 1996.

From this month, United Wheels will begin marketing Huffy-designed Disney, Marvel, and Lucasfilm licensed wheeled products for order. These lines will be ready for shipment from early 2022.

The extension of the partnership to include EMEA distribution follows the firm’s establishment of its new EU office last year. United Wheels believes it is now well placed to help ‘drive continued growth of the Disney licenses’ across the regions.

“Our company has had such a long relationship with Disney,” said Jon Tilley, general manager of United Wheels UK Limited. “It was only natural for us to reach out to Disney when we decided to make a concerted effort in Europe, to find mutually beneficial ways to work together.

“It’s been great working with the Disney EMEA teams to bring this project to life, and we are excited to be presenting this to retailers through our Huffy brand of products in the coming months. Our position as a leading global player in the bicycle and wheeled goods categories gives us confidence that with an excellent supply chain and great innovation, we can bring strong growth over the next three years. We couldn’t be more excited about this new endeavour with Disney.”

The United Wheels team will start product presentations in July with a two-week virtual trade open event in which potential retailer partners can meet the team and preview some of the new Disney products that will be available for sale in January 2022.

The collection will cover all properties and wheel sizes, ranging from balance bikes to 16” wheel sizes.

Flowhaven bolsters is US sales team with a suit of licensing expert new hires

The licensing relationship management platform, Flowhaven, has strengthened its US sales team with a raft of new leadership hires, including the appointment of Adam Christensen as the US sales director, and Chris Davlin and Rebecca Dennis as US sales managers.

The new additions to the growing Flowhaven team will report directly to Jessica Trinca, the firm’s US general manager.

This suite of new hires is just the latest in a series of developments to sustain the company’s accelerated growth. Flowhaven had a record-breaking first quarter in 2021 with a number of customer acquisitions across new verticals including universities, record labels and more.

In the last year, Flowhaven raised $16M in funding led by Sapphire Sport, and more than doubled its team in Helsinki, Finland, Los Angeles and London. The company also has plans to open offices this year in New York, Berlin and Tokyo to support customers locally.

“Hiring the best and brightest leaders has always been core to our company’s success, and Adam, Chris, and Rebecca are the perfect example,” said Kalle Torma, Flowhaven.

“Not only do they have proven expertise leading teams at companies like Electronic Arts, Disney, and Lucasfilm; they also embody Flowhaven’s values of collaboration, community and trust. Their contributions will be key for us as we continue to innovate and expand globally.”

Christensen brings more than 15 years of sales and operations experience to Flowhaven. As US sales director, he will be responsible for the company’s national sales strategy and execution. Most recently, he served as Director of Alliances and Partner Sales at Claravine, where he led the company’s strategic channel efforts. Previously, he was senior licensing business development manager at Electronic Arts managing the company’s strategic brand licensing initiatives.

There, Christensen closed seven-figure partnerships with household brands such as Walmart, Toys-R-Us, Barnes & Noble, GameStop, Target, Liverpool and many more. Previous roles included Disney Interactive, among others.

As US sales manager, Dennis will be responsible for scaling revenue operations across the Western United States. Prior to joining Flowhaven, she held several positions at Global Licensing Group, a division of Informa, with a focus on Licensing Global Magazine.

She also worked on the company’s Licensing Expo and Brand Licensing Europe events. Prior to joining Flowhaven, Rebecca spent nearly a decade in sales and revenue operations positions within the fashion industry.

Chris Davlin joins Flowhaven as US sales manager and will oversee the brand’s continued growth across the Eastern United States, with a focus on New York City where Flowhaven plans to open offices by end of year. Her responsibilities will include synergizing the company’s sales efforts with centralized marketing support to deliver curated content to experts in the licensing space.

Previously, Davlin held a number of sales roles at such companies as Hint, and ran her own licensing and business development consultancy. She also held licensing roles at prominent brands, including Lucasfilm for Disney Consumer Products, where she acted as Project Manager for Star Wars Day 2014. There, she successfully executed Maythe4th campaign, performed all preparation for Disney Consumer Products division, and doubled Star Wars Day social media presence by exceeding 2.1B impressions and 1.1M global posts.

Zynga and Lucasfilm announce Star Wars: Hunters for Nintendo Switch and mobile

The mobile gaming goliath, Zynga is making its first move into the console arena, having been unveiled as the newest partner for Lucasfilm’s renewed, post-EA push into the video games space.

In a virtual event hosted by Nintendo this week, details of a new Star Wars console game for the Nintendo Switch were finally announced, with Zynga taking the lead on the cross-platform title and its own first steps in the previously unexplored segment.

Under the new partnership with Lucasfilm and Nintendo, Zynga will launch the free-to-play Star Wars: Hunters across the Switch console and mobile platforms. The deal is yet another development for the Star Wars franchise and its activity in the gaming market, following the recent news that Lucasfilm’s exclusivity deal with EA for console games would not be renewed.

During this week’s Nintendo Direct, a virtual event in which the video games company detailed a swathe of upcoming releases, Star Wars: Hunters was described as “a competitive arena combat game… coming in 2021.

“Star Wars: Hunters will bring players together to engage in thrilling, squad based, multiplayer battles featuring a diverse array of distinctive new Star Wars characters.”

Bernard Kim, president of publishing at Zynga, said: “Bringing Star Wars: Hunters to the Nintendo Switch and its passionate fan-base marks an exciting milestone for Zynga.

“We created Star Wars: Hunters for every fan who has ever dreamed about playing a high-intensity action game set in the Star Wars galaxy and are excited to see Switch players embrace our foray into console gaming.”

Star Wars and Disney reveal new brand identity for all official videogames, Lucasfilm Games

Lucasfilm, Star Wars, and Disney have revealed a new brand identity for the home of all officially licensed Star Wars video games, a legacy that now crosses the decades, with the unveiling of Lucasfilm Games. The new unit isn’t a publisher or development studio, but will be acting as a unifying brand name and licensor.

It has been widely speculated that the move arrives in preparation for 2023, when the current Star Wars video game contract with EA comes to the end of its ten years. It’s expected that Disney will then begin licensing out the Star Wars brand to various publishers and developers under the Lucasfilm Games title.

Marking the ‘new era’, Lucasfilm Games has now launched social channels across Twitter and Facebook that will act as a means of delivering news directly to fans.

“[Luscasfilm is] a name that encompasses the company’s rich catalog of video games and its eye toward the future,” read an announcement released via

“Lucasfilm’s legacy in gaming stretches back decades. And with Lucasfilm and the galaxy far, far away entering a new and unprecedented phase of creativity, so will the world of Lucasfilm Games — developed in collaboration with the finest studios across the industry.”

Disney invests heavily into streaming as it details new Star Wars, Marvel, and Pixar content slate

UK Disney fans could be forgiven for thinking it was Christmas morning as they woke up to the news that the entertainment studio had detailed a raft of some 35 new television series, including ten from Marvel, ten based in the Star Wars universe, new Pixar animations, as well as 15 new movies to be released on Disney Plus in the next few years.

It was possibly the spoonful of sugar needed to help the digestion of the concurrent update that over in the US, the Disney streaming service was to up its prices, while forecasting that the platform will attract between 230m and 260m subscribers by 2024. The surge will, no doubt, be fuelled by the latest scheduling of releases.

Amid the announcement, Lucasfilm confirmed that multiple new Star Wars shows are coming to Disney Plus, including two spin-offs of its The Mandalorian series with Star Wars: Rangers of the New Republic and Star Wars: Ahsoka, with Rosario Dawson – who having just appeared in The Mandalorian in the role of Ahsoka Tano – taking on the lead role.

The biggest news to emerge from the Star Wars universe, however, is that Darth Vader is returning. Hayden Christensen will be reprising his role, alongside Ewan McGregor for the long-awaited Obi-Wan Kenobi standalone series. Production on the series is set to start in March 2021, and will be set after the events of Revenge of The Sith, meaning that Christensen will be playing the role of Darth Vader, rather than that of Anakin Skywalker.

Disney also confirmed a standalone show based on Lando Calrissian, as well as Star wars Visions, a series of short films from Japanese anime creators. Meanwhile, The Acolyte will be a ‘mystery-thriller that will take viewers into a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging dark-side powers in the final days of the High Republic era’, while A Droid Story ‘will introduce us to a new hero guided by R2D2 and C3PO’

On top of that, two new Star Wars films will be on the way, with Taika Waititi and Patti Jenkins attached to each.

Yet, despite the barrage of announcements to come from the studio, not forgetting the further 10 series from the Marvel franchise, the slate of Pixar films, and 15 movies to be released on Disney Plus, the firm still warns that the unit would lose money until 2024, underscoring, some have commented on the punishing economics of online entertainment.

The Financial Times reports that Disney plans to double its annual content investment to about $15bn by 2024, at which point its streaming business will turn a profit, the company predicted.

Disney’s first Mando Monday reveals swathe of new Mandalorian products, including a new scene-stealing The Child plush

It was a new remote-control plush version of The Child – affectionately otherwise known as Baby Yoda – from Mattel that stole the show when Disney Consumer Products and Lucasfilm finally lifted the lid on a swathe of new Star Wars toys and products during its first ever Mando Monday this week.

Star Wars fans from across the globe tuned into a special Star Wars Mando Monday digital event yesterday (Monday, October 26th) where acting talent from Disney’s The Mandalorian, including Pedro Pascal, Carl Weathers and Giancarlo Esposito, revealed the latest products and digital content to arrive, inspired by the series.

However, it was Mattel’s new plush The Child that outshone them all, as the global consumer product event revealed the latest in products, games, and publishing to arrive from Disney Consumer Products and its global portfolio of licensing partners.

Mattel’s Real Moves Plush allows fans to assume control of the Child through the use of a wrist strap remote control unit featuring a joystick, in order to make him spin around, move his ears, head and arms, play hide and seek, make sounds and more.

The new launch was one among over 60 new toy product reveals that included launches from Star Wars licensing partners Hasbro, Funko, Sideshow Collectables, Bandai, Diamond Select Toy, and more. Mando Mondays is an all new global consumer products, games, and publishing programme that will debut new goods inspired by the Disney+ series every Monday from now until December 21st.

Products now available for pre-order include the Star Wars Retro Collection from Hasbro, the The Child Real Moves Plush from Mattel, a Mandalorian Flying with Blaster bobblehead from Funko and The Art of Star Wars: The Mandalorian from ABRAMS.

A new line of skateboards, accessories and apparel inspired by The Mandalorian are also available now from Element, and starting this week, new themed content is coming to multiple Star Wars games such as the recently launched Star Wars: Squadrons from Motive.

Speaking at the event, Paul Southern, senior vice president, licensing and franchise, Lucasfilm, said: “Today’s global digital event celebrates the first of many Mando Mondays to come.

“Over the course of the next eight weeks, we look forward to unveiling the widest assortment yet of highly anticipated products and digital content inspired by beloved characters and moments from The Mandalorian.”

Fans can check out the full list of products revealed on and catch a replay of today’s event on Star Wars YouTube.

Stay tuned to each Monday through December 21 for the latest new reveals, interviews, videos and more and join the conversation via social media with #MandoMondays.

Disney and Lucasfilm launch Mando Mondays as The Mandalorian returns to Disney+ for second series

Disney and Lucasfilm have given Star Wars fans another reason to dial in their comms systems, with the launch of Mando Mondays, a new global consumer products, games, and publishing programme centered on the Disney+ original series, The Mandalorian, kicking off this October 26th.

After premiering last autumn, The Mandalorian – which went on to take home seven awards last week during the 2020 Emmy Awards – will return for its second season Friday, October 30, streaming only on Disney+. The series will see the Mandalorian and the Child continue their journey, facing enemies and rallying allies as they make their way through the dangerous galaxy in the tumultuous era after the collapse of the Galactic Empire.

Fans will then be able to visit the Star Wars UK Facebook page each Monday to discover what new toys, collectables, apparel, books, comics, and digital content will be unveiled. Mando Mondays will then run for nine weeks, culminating on December 21st.

“When ‘The Mandalorian’ debuted last year on Disney+, the show became an instant phenomenon, with fans of all ages expressing excitement for products related to its iconic characters – particularly the Child,” said Kareem Daniel, president, consumer products, games and publishing.

“This fall, as the world continues to watch the narrative unfold, we will further bring this unique Star Wars story to life through a must-have selection of toys, books, comics, digital content, and more.”

To celebrate this announcement, select pre-orders for the first wave of Mando Mondays products will kick off today at 9p.m. BST across top retailers globally.

Products available for pre-order today include the Hasbro Black Series Credit Collection, new Funko Pop! bobbleheads, the LEGO Star Wars The Child construction set and much more.