Activision Blizzard has launched a new consumer products division with the aim of supporting its global growth strategy by creating new avenues for fan engagement with its game franchises and characters. The company has also announced that its Netflix original animated series Skylanders Academy has been renewed for a third season.
Veteran executive Tim Kilpin has been tapped as CEO and President of the new division, which will also include Activision Publishing, Blizzard Entertainment and King Digital’s consumer products team. Kilpin joins Activision Blizzard after serving as President & Chief Commercial Officer of Mattel. He was previously EVP for Mattel’s boys and girls division, leading global brand strategy for Barbie, Hot Wheels, Monster High, et al.
Prior to that, Kilpin was EVP of franchise management at The Walt Disney Company, where he oversaw global cross-category strategy for Disney Princesses, Winnie the Pooh, Mickey Mouse and other franchises.
“Activision Blizzard is a global entertainment powerhouse, and its combination of iconic franchises and massive audience reach offers incredible opportunities for retailers and partners,” said Kilpin. “I’m excited to lead this newly-formed division and join Activision Blizzard’s already incredibly talented consumer products team in delivering powerful new partnerships and even more touchpoints to audiences.”
One of the company’s top brands is getting a third animated series season, as it was announced Thursday that Skylanders Academy has been renewed by Netflix. Production will kick off this month, with the animation again being handled by French studio TeamTO and delivery slated for 2018. The show, based on the $3.5 billion Skylanders game franchise, is the first TV series developed and produced by Activision Blizzard Studios.
“Response to the show has been incredibly enthusiastic, and we’ve taken a lot of creative inspiration from fans’ excitement,” said studio Co-President Stacey Sher, “We have a lot of fun in store for season three and are thrilled to give audiences even more of the characters they love.”
Skylanders Academy follows the heroic adventures of Spyro (voiced by Justin Long), Eruptor (Jonathan Banks), Stealth Elf (Ashley Tisdale), Jet-Vac and Pop Fizz as they travel the vast Skylands universe, protecting it from evil-doers. This year’s Season 2 also sees the return of cast members Norm Macdonald as Glumshanks, The Diamond Minecart (Daniel Middleton) as Cy and Daniel Wu as King Pen.
A new addition for Season 2 is Felicia Day (Supernatural), voicing a new Academy cadet named Cynder with a mysterious past. Additional voices this season are provided by Susan Sarandon, Parker Posey, James Hetfield, Catherine O’Hara, Bobcat Goldthwait, Chris Diamantopoulos, Jonny Rees, Harland Williams and Richard Horvitz. The series features the exclusive song “Harmony” (Skylanders Academy Theme) produced by Grammy winner Timbaland and performed by Timbaland feat. Dalton Diehl.