Hollywood on strike: what it means for the toy industry

Published on: 14th July 2023

Richard Gottlieb examines how movie character licensed toy production, revenue and projections will be affected by the Hollywood strike.

Richard Gottlieb is the founder and CEO of Global Toy Experts, a consultancy to US and international toy companies. He is also the publisher of Global Toy News, a web-based magazine founded in 2009 that covers toy industry news and provides resources to the toy industry. Richard co-hosts The Playground Podcast and publishes The Toy Intelligencer report. Here, he shares one of his latest columns with Toy World readers:

The Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers went on strike in May. Negotiations are not set to resume until October. Because there is no writing, there are no scripts, and because there are no scripts, studios are not shooting any new movies or television shows.

If that wasn’t enough, actors (SAG-AFTRA Union) may also go on strike. If they do, and it looks like they will, it will be the first time in 63 years that both writers and actors have been on strike simultaneously.

(Update, on July 14th, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) confirmed that strike action will go ahead after not reaching a deal with major studios. As well as shutting down production, this means that top Hollywood stars will not be able to attend events to promote new and upcoming releases, and events including the Emmys and Comic-Con may be rescheduled or scaled back.)

According to The New York Times, 80% of Hollywood production was already shut down even without an actor’s strike.

Although this will make life a little less enjoyable for those who enjoy movies, television and streaming, it will also significantly impact toy companies. The toy and entertainment industries enjoy a symbiotic relationship in which Hollywood makes the movies and builds the brands, and the toy industry sells the toys based on those brands. If Hollywood hurts, we will hurt.

Read more in Richard’s full article on Global Toy News here.


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