starshipcat (starshipcat) wrote,

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New American Distributor for Studio Ghibli

It seems that Studio Ghibli has grown dissatisfied with the way Disney has been handling American distribution of their works, and are now turning to Gkids, who have promised to get their films back into theaters as well as having new DVD and Blu-Ray releases.

But will this lead to new merchandise licensing? Studio Ghibli pretty much abandoned all their licensing in the US twenty years ago when they signed on with Disney. Unfortunately, this has created a huge market of American otaku hungry for products, but not able to travel to places where they can buy licensed products. Obviously, there are the vendors who have no qualms about buying bootleg figurines, plushies, wallets, bags, etc from China or other countries with lax or nonexistent IP laws. We'd been buying from an importer who buys from one of the countries where Studio Ghibli does still have an active merchandise license, but this is a gray area in import and IP law, and not all conventions are comfortable with it.

Quite honestly, I think that if Studio Ghibli and/or Gkids would work out an arrangement for legitimate licensed merchandise at reasonable prices, it would dry up most of the market for bootlegs of those properties. Not totally, because there's always someone who'll pay rock-bottom prices for crappy products slopped together by someone who doesn't care. But most people, if given the option of buying a legitimate product at a price they can afford, will happily buy it rather than the bootlegs.
Tags: anime, business

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