NECA, marketer of licensed merchandise and parent of game company WizKids, has acquired the assets of Movie Gallery, Inc., including the Hollywood Video, Movie Gallery, and Game Crazy brands.  Movie Gallery, at one time the second largest video store chain in the U.S., declared bankruptcy and closed its stores last summer (see “Movie Gallery R.I.P.”).  


NECA has also acquired the assets of, which Hollywood Video once owned.  Hollywood acquired in 1998 in a deal valued at $100 million, but fired all the employees and sold it to two years later.  There is currently no Website; the site links to an Amazon store retailing NECA merchandise. 


NECA has announced plans for genre-specific kiosk launches (“in the spirit of Redbox and Blockbuster”) and streaming content (“in the spirit of Netflix”). 


NECA, at one time only a licensed product marketer, is moving both upstream and downstream in its businesses.  It now has a filmed entertainment segment that is investing in theatrical projects “that will benefit from NECA’s unique and proprietary distribution model.”  And with the acquisition of Movie Gallery and assets, it is moving to use customer lists and retail brands to develop direct relationships with consumers for delivery of content (along with licensed merchandise).  It sees this as an extension of its history of working with its IP partners (licensors) on movie, DVD, and game roll-outs.