Licensing News

Industry Vets Form New Company, Kidazzle, and are Named Master Toy Licensee for ‘Iyanu’

iyanu kidazzle

Kidazzle, a new toy company founded by industry veterans Steve Rosenthal, Don Robbins, and Jeff Jones, proudly launches with the acquisition as master toy licensee for Iyanu, Lion Forge Entertainment’s highly anticipated superhero animated series set to premiere on Cartoon Network and Max.


Iyanu is an adaptation of Dark Horse Comics/YouNeek Studios’ popular graphic novel series Iyanu: Child of Wonder by award-winning Nigerian creator and producer Roye Okupe and is steeped in Nigerian culture and mythology.


This announcement precedes The Licensing Expo, May 21- May 23 at Mandalay Bay Convention Center, where Kidazzle will offer an exclusive sneak peek of the Iyanu toy line.


Steve Rosenthal, CEO of Kidazzle stated, “I’m pleased to join forces with fellow toy industry vets Don Robbins and Jeff Jones to establish Kidazzle. With over 100 years of collective expertise in the toy and entertainment industry, our team is eager to begin production on new and innovative toy collections, and I can think of no better way to launch than with Iyanu.”


Iyanu is an epic superhero tale set in the magical kingdom of Yorubaland, which draws from Nigerian culture, music and mythology. Drawing deeply from the rich tapestry of Yoruba people, the animated series follows a teenage orphan girl, Iyanu, who spends her days studying history and ancient arts but yearns for a normal life. One day, responding to danger, she unknowingly triggers her divine powers, the likes of which have not been seen since the Age of Wonders. With newly discovered superpowers, Iyanu joins forces with two other teenagers, Biyi and Toye, as they embark on a remarkable journey to discover the truth about the evil lurking in her homeland. Throughout her adventure, she’ll uncover the truth about her past, her parents, and her ultimate destiny to save the world.


Under this multi-year partnership, Kidazzle will manufacture and market an expansive array of toys featuring characters from Iyanu including dolls, action figures, accessories, playsets, role play and more. Rosenthal continues, “We are happy to partner with Lion Forge to bring ‘Iyanu’ to life through a diverse line of toys and are looking forward to providing the industry with a sneak peek at the Licensing Expo this month.”


“We are excited to partner with Kidazzle to be the master toy licensee for Iyanu,” stated David Steward II, Founder and CEO of Lion Forge Entertainment. “This collaboration represents a significant step in bringing the vibrant world of Yorubaland directly to kids through innovative and diverse toy collections. With Kidazzle’s esteemed team of industry veterans at the helm, we are confident that ‘Iyanu’ will captivate audiences both on-screen and off, inspiring imaginations and fostering creativity.”


With over 40 years of experience in the toy and licensing industry, Rosenthal assumes the roles of President and CEO at Kidazzle. For 20 years Rosenthal held executive management positions at Remco Toys and currently is at the helm of PowerTown Wrestling. His career boasts numerous achievements, including the successful launch of Marvel Action Figures, DC Action Figures, Universal Monsters Action Figures, Tonka Trucks, Karate Kid Action Figures and Playsets, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Action Toys, among many others. Most recently Rosenthal introduced a new line of original collectible wrestling action figures featuring legends spanning eight decades. Rosenthal was first to introduce and market wrestling action figures in the 80’s, laying the groundwork for what is now a billion-dollar category.


Don Robbins signs on as Executive Vice President at Kidazzle. With a wealth of merchandising and creative experience in the toy industry, Robbins has left an indelible mark, particularly during his remarkable tenure with Toys “R” Us (TRU). As General Merchandise Manager International, he oversaw retail sales approaching nearly one billion dollars. Noteworthy among his achievements is the establishment of TRU’s overseas operations and the conceptualization of licensed private label merchandise for the iconic retailer.


Jeff Jones assumes the role of Senior Vice President of Marketing and Product Development. With over 30 years of experience in the toy industry, Jones has held numerous executive management positions. Notably, he served as Senior Vice President of Marketing and New Product Development at Hasbro, overseeing all Interactive Electronic Toys and Innovations. During his tenure at Hasbro (Tiger Electronics), Jeff played a pivotal role in developing and launching Furby and spearheaded the creation of the FurReal Friends product line. His extensive experience also includes serving as Vice President of Product Development at Tomy, where he managed the Product Development team. Additionally, Jones served as Vice President of Marketing and Product Development at WowWee, where he was responsible for introducing a range of innovative, category-changing products.


The licensing agreement between Kidazzle and Lion Forge Entertainment was brokered by All American Licensing (AAL), a leading full-service brand licensing agency.