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Jeremy Padawer On His Toy Line Conversation With Mr. McMahon

Jeremy Padawer of Jazwares, who is AEW’s action figure line partner and creator, recently appeared as a guest on an episode of Talk Is Jericho with The Demo God, where he talked about working with WWE to reinvent their action figure line at the time he was still with Jakks Pacific and the conversation he had with WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon.

This is what Jeremy Padawer said:

“When I got to Jakks, my mindset was, let’s not make toys. Let’s make collectables.” “The first thing that I did was I said, there is no exploration of the entire historical roster, the guys that I would go see when I was a kid. There was none.

So I actually had the opportunity to sit down with with Vince McMahon, which was very interesting, especially for a 20 something year old kid, and try to convince him that it was okay for me to go make Ultimate Warrior and some other guys like that.”

“[The conversation] was swift, and it was positive because he recognized that it was good for business. And I had a really good plan. I was able to communicate to him the following things.

Number one, if we don’t do it, someone else is going to do it. Number two, we can structure deals, individual deals with talent, where if there ever is a WWE alumni program, we would lose all the rights immediately to the alumni program, and we would pay the talent 100% of all minimum guarantees owed, so they get double paid.”

“That was really a game breaker. It was good that we actually had that kind of vision because we would win either way. As long as we had the talent, we can make them under that badge. We would win. I didn’t really care if we had to pay a MG (minimum guarantee) out twice. That was totally acceptable.”

Padawer then talked about the promotion increasing their retail sales by 600% over five years and the WWE becoming the number one action figure over every other brand without any change in PPV rates, and without any increase in TV revenue as well as without any increase in butts in seats.

This is what Jeremy Padawer said:

“We increased our retail sales by 600% over five years, and WWE became the number one action figure over every other brand without any change in pay-per-view rates, without any increase in TV revenue [and] without any increase in in butts in seats.” “And it was all strategy. It was all the because we were able to set up a deal that would allow us to leverage the strengths of the historical roster. It was very important. The very first [WWE Legends Deal].”

Padawer then talked about the license for WWE toys and action figures going to Mattel in 2010 after a 15 year run with the WWE and how they did an amazing job, but it was time for them to move on. Jeremy Padawer also talked about having the opportunity to be a partner in a start-up company.

This is what Jeremy Padawer said:

“What happened was the license for WWE went to Mattel in 2010.” “We drove it. We did an amazing job, and it was time for them to move on. I think 15 years was a good run, and that’s how long Jakks had the license. So about three years later, I had the opportunity to be a partner in a start-up and three of us started in 2012-13, and by 2016, we had convinced Pokemon to grant us the global rights to the Pokemon brand to manufacture it globally. And this was right before Pokemon Go hit.”

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