Five minutes with…Simon Philips, president of Marvel International

Online Staff Writer Gary Rusak sits down for a quick Q&A with the new Euro head of the superhero IP giant.
February 12, 2007

What can we expect from Marvel International in the next 18 months? Marvel really is synonymous with the very best in boys action; nothing sparks the imagination the way that Marvel does. In 2007, you will see more of that with the licensing strategies for our three major movies – Ghost Rider, Spider-Man 3 and Fantastic Four: The Rise of the Silver Surfer. Then you can look forward to us ramping up for our two major 2008 releases, Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk.

What international markets are on the rise? What has peaked? At Marvel, we are seeing growth in all markets. In some cases, such as Turkey, Russia and India, that is related to the general growth of the licensing industry.

What are the biggest challenges for you in the European market right now? I think cross-border trading is one of the biggest issues that the industry has to face. Is it more appropriate to deal market by market, or should we have a pan-European strategy? At Marvel, we review each category independently and act appropriately.

How is Marvel exploring online resources and markets? We believe online is an excellent awareness tool and is a considerable asset. I think you can look forward to a number of new and exciting initiatives being launched by our interactive department in the coming months.

What is the number-one challenge facing the company right now? I look at challenges as occasions that we can rise to. At Marvel, I am looking to continue working closely with our licensees, provide the best possible service and support to our retailers and, of course, strengthen our relationship with our consumers and fan base.

What is the best part of your job? For me, the best part of the job is getting out of bed in the morning and coming in to work at Marvel. It is just so exciting to think that I now have something to do with the future of the characters that gave me so much enjoyment when I read their adventures as a boy.

About The Author
Gary Rusak is a freelance writer based in Toronto. He has covered the kids entertainment industry for the last decade with a special interest in licensing, retail and consumer products. You can reach him at


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