Thunderbird unveils global distribution and consumer products division

Richard Goldsmith
A significant part of Thunderbird and Atomic's IP growth strategy, according to CCO Matthew Berkowitz, the new venture sees Richard Goldsmith serve as president.

Thunderbird Entertainment Group has unveiled a new venture – a global distribution and consumer products division with Richard Goldsmith (pictured) attached as president.

Part of the award-winning company’s strategic push to acquire and develop its own IP, the new division will see the former Cyber Group Studios USA president and CEO overseeing worldwide content distribution and the development of innovative consumer products and experience that expand audience engagement across all Thunderbird properties.

Elevating its IP across its kids and family, factual and scripted divisions, the move will also source and manage third party media distribution and consumer product opportunities.

Based in L.A., Goldsmith’s newly created position sees him report to Thunderbird and Atomic Cartoons’ CCO Matthew Berkowitz.

“This expansion is a significant part of Thunderbird and Atomic’s IP growth strategy. Richard’s wealth of experience, exceptional business acumen and proven track record of phenomenal productions make him the perfect person to lead this venture. Alongside our creative teams, we hope to make some truly special shows together,” said Berkowitz in a statement.

During his time with Cyber Group Studios, Goldsmith helped guide both global day-to-day and long-term business plans. Additionally, he oversaw all operations in North America, China and Australia, as well as distribution and consumer products for animated series Gigantosaurus.

Alongside his time with the company, Goldsmith’s resume also includes serving as EVP, global distribution for The Jim Henson Company and roles with Warner Bros., which range from SVP to executive advisor.

Of note, in 2019, Thunderbird’s kids and family division Atomic Cartoons – Playback‘s Kids Production Company of the Year for 2020 – struck a worldwide licensing deal with Cyber Group Studios for Atomic’s animated Netflix series The Last Kids on Earth, which saw Cyber Group serve as the worldwide representative for all merchandise, ancillary and second-window TV rights for the kids property.

Last year, a global toy and merchandise line for The Last Kids on Earth developed with JAKKS Pacific and Cyber Group Studios was launched online and at select retailers.

Additionally, the Canadian company’s first video game, The Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom, which was also developed alongside Cyber Group Studios, Outright Games and Stage Clear Studios is expected to debut in 2021.

Berkowitz told Playback Daily that Thunderbird’s relationship with Cyber Group Studios is ongoing and that it will continue to manage The Last Kids on Earth.

Other recent wins for Atomic include a 2020 Daytime Emmy for The Last Kids on Earth and a Peabody for Molly of Denali, produced with WGBH Boston for PBS and CBC.