Award-winning global independent animation studio ZAG announced the appointment of Gaye Dean, a thirty-plus year veteran of Target Corporation, as Vice President, North America Retail Development. The announcement was made by Jeremy Zag, Founder and CEO, ZAG.
Reporting to Lisa K. Foster, Sr. Vice President, Licensing, North America, Gaye Dean will manage strategic relationships for ZAG across all tiers of retail throughout North America for the roster of properties under the ZAG Heroez label—an umbrella brand franchise that brings together the superheroes from ZAG’s animated properties. These include the global phenomenon Miraculous – Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir, and the latest series Ghostforce, an action-comedy series about three teen students who secretly form a team of superheroes—the Ghostforce—to fight the ghosts of New York. Upcoming properties include Melody, an animated feature starring singer, actress, and songwriter Katy Perry. Dean will help further ZAG’s mission in building best-in-class licensed programs—which are spearheaded by Julian Zag, EVP, Global Operations and Head of Consumer Products—supporting licensees with product placement and promotion. Her initial focus will be to work with retailers on this year’s product rollout for ZAG’s Miraculous, a billion-dollar brand at retail.
“Gaye is an accomplished retail marketing leader and relationship builder with expertise in the entertainment brand marketing and licensing sector, and she brings those skills to her role at ZAG,” commented Foster. “We now have over 100 licensing partners on board in the U.S. for Miraculous, with the lion’s share of new products launching in 2023 and 2024, and we can’t wait to make them available for our fans! We are also currently presenting Ghostforce to our licensees and retailers with toys from ZAG Play and Playmates launching in 2024. ZAG has a strong pipeline of programming in the works including Melody, which is in pre-production, that we want to share news about with our partners.”
“With the outstanding success of their flagship brand, Miraculous, the ZAG name has become synonymous with providing empowering, engaging, and high-quality content and products to fans across the globe,” added Dean. “I am naturally delighted to join ZAG’s team, working closely with Lisa to ensure that we have retail placement with strong visibility for ZAG’s brands across mass-market, mid-tier, specialty, online, and independents.”
Numerous licensed Miraculous products are rolling out this year alongside the new spring 2023 toy line from ZAG Play and Playmates which includes a new line of 10.5” Miraculous Magic Heroez 10.5” Transformation Dolls, and an extended line for Kwami Surprise mini-figures. The new products cover a multitude of categories including costumes and seasonal with InSpirt Designs; apparel with Bentex, Komar, Jerry Leigh, Hybrid, SG and Isaac Morris; accessories with Handcraft, High Point, Accutime, HER, Berkshire, Fast Forward, Ralme and more; craft/activity and stationery with Horizon, Inkology, Kangaru, Mello Smello, Trends and Peach Tree; publishing with Bendon, Crayola, Little Brown and Little Bee; toys, puzzles and games from TCG, Basic Fun, What Kids Want; electronics from Kid Designs; health and beauty from Centric Brands, Aso, and Church and Dwight; home decor from Jay Franco; party goods from Almar; and confections and food from Galerie, Ferrara, Good to Grow, and Crunch Pak. A broad roster of additional new partners will soon be announced with products due to launch in 2023 and beyond.
Before joining ZAG, Gaye served for over three years at Pocket.watch as Vice President, Retail Development. Prior, Gaye was with Target Corporation where she served as Marketing Director overseeing all areas of marketing for the entertainment and brand licensing businesses. She was responsible for the creative development and execution of integrated marketing strategies, leading cross-functional teams, driving new business and growth, and implementing traditional, digital, and emerging media plans.
Gaye Dean – Vice President, North America Retail Development, ZAG