Friday Lunch Bites #14

Louis Vuitton snaps up Tiffany for eye-watering figure, London’s oversubscribed Pokémon Centre will return, Google’s gaming service Stadia flops, and LEGO buys an unofficial ‘ebay for LEGO’

Written by Rhys Thomas

Posted 29.11.2019

Friday Lunch Bites #14 thumbnail

Diamond as big as the Ritz

The world’s biggest luxury goods group LVMH is to acquire Tiffany & Co. for around approximately €14.7 bn ($16.2 bn).

Owned by Europe’s richest man, the French billionaire Bernard Arnault, LVMh adds the iconic New York jewellery to his growing empire of brands, which includes Louis Vuitton, Hennesy, Moët & Chandon, Bvulgari, Tag Heuer, Givenchy and dozens of others across wines and spirits and fashion.

“We will be proud to have Tiffany sit alongside our iconic brands,” he said in a statement, “… and intend to develop this jewel with the same dedication and commitment that we have applied to each and every one of our Maisons.”

The purchase is expected to close by mid-2020, subject to regulatory approvals and a positive vote from Tiffany shareholders.

London’s Pokémon Centre will return

Thousands of Pokémon fans queued for hours to enter the pop-up Pokémon Centre in London’s Westfield Shopping Centre earlier this year. But even so, such was its popularity that many were unable get in – including some dismayed mega fans in the toy and licensing industry.

Well, good news: a second pop-up will return to the capital next year alongside the 2020 Pokémon World Championships. No news yet on opening dates or where the store will be located.

Perhaps the petition to make the UK Pokémon Centre a permanent London fixture may come to fruition after all…

Image credit: Google

Google Stadia launch flops

Google last week rolled out its first major video games ‘console’ Stadia, a box-free way to play games harnessing the power of the cloud, to almost no fanfare.

Hyped as the next big thing in gaming, the service launched to early backers who paid a premium price to be among the first to start playing.

Instead of buying discs or downloading a game to dedicated device, the promise of Stadia is the ability to instantly stream the latest big-budget games using a Chromecast, mobile phone, or any device that can run a Chrome browser.

Except most of that functionality was missing at launch, games look sub-par, and all but one of the launch titles have been available for sometime – some for three or more years. Early adopters have shared mixed, but largely negative reactions to the service. 

Google says other promised features, such as an in-game video feed of their friend’s game in co-operative modes, will be released in the coming weeks and months as it gears up for a more widespread general release.

LEGO buys ‘ebay for LEGO’ Bricklink

LEGO has taken the surprise move of acquiring a third-party LEGO reselling platform called Bricklink.

The toymaker says it purchase is motivated by a desire to better connect with its adult fanbase, which makes up the lion’s share of the platform's million-plus users and who who LEGO Group CEO Niels B Christiansen classes as “extremely important to us”.

He says the plan is to build on site’s features and “support BrickLink’s active marketplace and evolve BrickLink’s digital studio which allows our talented fans to take their creativity to the next level.”

The acquisition includes Sohobricks, which makes small batches of building elements and ‘interlocking bricks’ that are either not available via conventional means or expensive for collectors to buy due to their scarcity.

image credit: Brinklink user TinyGrowing0106 

Goku hits Manhattan

Dragon Ball brought anime to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for the first time last year and returned this week for a second powered-up, blue-haired float around Manhattan. Millions of Americans tune in each year to witness the department store’s character-filled spectacular.

Thanks to Lisa R. Yamatoya, Director of Marketing and Licensing for the Dragon Ball franchise in North Americam, who shared the above video on LinkedIn.

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