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Toho Appoints Former Crunchyroll Executives as General Manager and Director of Marketing

Duo tapped to lead the development of Toho’s expansion in the U.S. market including first e-commerce platform outside of Tokyo.

License Global

December 6, 2022

3 Min Read
Stacy Burt and Kristin Parcell, Toho International
Stacy Burt and Kristin ParcellToho International

Toho International, the Japanese studio’s U.S.-based subsidiary that brought Godzilla to life, announced the appointment of Kristin Parcell as general manager, and Stacy Burt as director of marketing to lead their expansion in the U.S. The former Crunchyroll executives will focus on building a scalable e-commerce experience catered to fandom for Toho’s Godzilla property and its line-up of popular anime franchises. The platform is set to launch in 2023. In addition, Parcell will also be leading licensing efforts for the company encompassing verticals such as physical and virtual merchandise, video games and live events. With her at the helm, Toho for the first time will be actively collaborating with current partners on managing their own licensing rights across all of Toho’s anime IP.

“Kristin and Stacy bring a wealth of knowledge and skill to building a successful e-commerce platform, but the key differentiator that makes them so successful is their deep understanding of fan communities and visionary thinking,” says Hiro Matsuoka, president, Toho Co. “They are constantly a step ahead of what is likely to delight fans and then they make it happen. With this team on board to lead Toho’s e-commerce effort, we are sure that we’ll be bringing to market an offering that is absolutely unmatched.”

At Crunchyroll, Parcell led the team that built the company’s e-commerce platform, while Burt oversaw integrated marketing for Crunchyroll’s e-commerce and events. In less than three years, Parcell and her team built an e-commerce platform that drove tens of millions in annual revenue with more than a 65% annual growth rate. Parcell and her team were also responsible for developing and marketing the breakout Crunchyroll Store brand CR Loves, which featured exclusive apparel capsules with celebrities like Megan Thee Stallion and Lady Gaga, as well as fandom properties like Godzilla and anime IP like “Jujutsu Kaisen.”

The new Toho e-commerce platform will feature both existing products and exclusives. While the e-commerce platform will initially focus on Toho-owned IP, the team is planning to expand to outside IPs soon.

“Stacy and I are incredibly passionate about this business, fandom and community,” says Parcell. “We are approaching this new challenge not only from a place of knowledge and experience but also from a place of authenticity. Being big fans of these IPs ourselves and really understanding the fandom will enable us to tailor an e-commerce experience that will hopefully make fans of Toho’s IPs feel like we get them.”

Parcell spent 25 years working in merchandise, e-commerce and licensing across multiple subcultures and fandom-focused industries including music, skateboarding, gaming and anime. Prior to her tenure as vice president, e-commerce, Crunchyroll, she worked in licensing for Netflix, Sega of America and Viz Media. She started her career in music at ARTISTdirect working with acts such as Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, Radiohead and Green Day.

“As an anime fan, I’m thrilled to be part of this endeavor with Toho,” says Burt. “I’m looking forward to building out an e-commerce platform in tandem with Kristin and the Toho team that provides fans with more of what they love straight from the source.”

Burt, who is a lifelong anime fan, not only supported the growth of the e-commerce platform during her tenure at Crunchyroll but also grew the global presence of the Crunchyroll Anime Awards, leading worldwide marketing campaigns and fan engagement. Prior to Crunchyroll, Burt worked in marketing at First Republic Bank.

Parcell and Burt are also supported by Joanne Waage, who has been tapped by Toho in an advisory role. Waage has deep expertise in the Asian entertainment landscape and anime having previously served as general manager, Crunchyroll.

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