Disguise Inc, the costume division of the global toy company, JAKKS Pacific, has tapped industry veterans Tony Lewis and Lynda Morris to head up its expansion and recruitment efforts across EMEA, as it looks to build a team of costume experts across sales, design, and marketing within the region.
David Carscadden, currently managing director of JAKKS EMEA and a 12-year executive at JAKKS, will now lead both Disguise and JAKKS teams across the market. He will focus on leading both divisions and strengthening distribution channels and retail partnerships for the firm’s range of costumes.
Carscadden’s UK-based teams will be led by Tony Lewis for sales and marketng, and Lynda Morris for design and development.
A costume industry veteran with 30 years of experience with companies like Christy’s, Amscan and Character World, Lewis will bring extensive expertise to the Disguise division. He will be working closely with JAKKS to build and develop retailer and buyer relationships across the whole of Europe, while growing the list of dress up clients for both Disguise and the JAKKS team.
Lewis heads up all forecasting, planning and joint ventures as well regional and local sales teams, building and developing the customer and wider distribution base. He is currently recruiting an experienced costume sales and business development team for the UK and EMEA.
Meanwhile, Morris will be bringing decades of design and management experience within the children and adult apparel space as well as seven years experience in Halloween with Rubie’s to her new role as Design Lead for UK and EMEA.
She will work in tandem with Lewis and JAKKS teams on forecasting, safety testing and presenting concepts and styles to licensors and customers. She will also build out a creative and development team in the UK to ramp up for design this year and production in 2022. Her new team will take on the task of creating hundreds of innovative styles for Disguise’s existing and new licenses.
“We are excited to continue to expand our presence in EMEA. An enhanced dress up and role play line is a natural complement to our strong toy portfolio,” said Dan Cooney, EVP JAKKS Pacific.
Tara Hefter, president and GM, Disguise Inc, said: “This year we have been focused on maximizing our existing licenses and building structure for new brand acquisitions to be announced soon. With the recent awards of some large licenses with a global scope, it made sense to hire in industry talent and start growing our team now.
“With Tony and Lynda leading the business, we have the ground work ready to develop and expand into new regions and countries quickly. We can activate faster on new licenses and brands and bring these incredible new costumes and accessories to retail for all major dress up holidays in EMEA.”