Just Play is launching an entertainment division and has appointed Stone Newman as chief content officer. Newman will oversee a broad pipeline producing content in the form of TV series, films, gaming offerings and live entertainment.
“The opportunity made sense now because a lot of the historic barriers around creating content have come down,” says Newman. “You can create entertainment that lives in so many places, from traditional broadcasting to streaming to gaming platforms. There are so many avenues.”
In addition to developing original franchises, the entertainment division will let Just Play expand existing properties like Slinky and Shrinky Dinks. This new venture also opens up opportunities for the Florida-based toymaker to create content for licensing partners including Mattel and Disney.
This means that, in addition to serving as a master toy partner, Just Play will also be able to support its portfolio of licensing partnerships with new entertainment and marketing content, Newman says.
Before joining Just Play, Newman served as chief revenue officer for Pocket.watch and was previously president of global consumer products at Genius Brands International. He is working closely with Just Play co-presidents Charlie Emby and Geoffrey Greenberg to develop the division’s long-term strategy.
“If you’re going to build franchises, you have to be open to everything,” Newman says. He encourages writers, producers, showrunners and creators to reach out to the team with pitches, and adds that Just Play will expand the entertainment division with new hires as it continues to grow.