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LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER

OWNERS ILLUSTRATED THE OFFICIAL GUIDE FOR THE MODERN ENTREPRENEUR

Editor-in-Chief/Publisher Damola Idowu Design DLI Copy Editor Keyla McNeely

for Keywords Communications

Photography Banks Wil David Lanre’ Damola Staff Writers Damola Da Great Deity Dah

T

he world is changing before our eyes and before people can be mesmerized by the opportunity there is fear in the air. Our of this fear is a callous and unfettered notion that the commander in chief is not a natural born citizen. The implications of a commander in chief ordering an additional 100,000 troops to Afghanistan without being legitimate is at the crux of what ails this country. We should be beyond this and more resilient. The America of yesteryear is gone but the future is brighter and more dynamic, with more participants joining the game and, taking the stage globally. We are talking about capital moving like tweets and Facebook posts, 50 Cent gave us a clue with $50 Million generated in market value from a tweet, a peek into a future with no more secrecy in back rooms. The people will be empowered to hire themselves and the results will be fantastic, we are talking a real invisible hand, a true free market, with opportunities in Africa, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, with distribution as simple as a click or touch of a screen on your mobile device, or Pad. I’m talking a New Nirvana, a New Gold Rush, a New Frontier like Star Trek, but you are going to need tools, and a map that’s where we come in. The knowledge contained herein is the map, and our services rendered are the tools. You can build your own crew at our website and navigate the web to find your treasure. I mean if you have 10,000 followers and get $10/yr. or 80 cents/month that’s $100,000 a year with little overhead, that’s middle class, that’s enough to fund and fulfill your dreams. You need merchant services to get paid and we provide that along with an online store that integrates with your Twitter and Facebook. You need capital there’s microfinance options, the rest is up to you now the stats, the Census figured that over 50% of US youths under 18 in the year 2015 will be minorities, Nielsen figures that minorities are rapidly adopting smart phones and using social media, converge those facts and you can see the vision, CHANGE IS HERE. Owners Till Infinity

Marketing & Promotions Damola Quincy Taylor Reginald Matthews Dawoud Shadeidu Brian Williams RW Collection Models MidWest Rep. Quincy Taylor Advertising Damola Quincy Taylor Sales Damola College Representative Kunle Idowu Intern Chris Barnes Newsstand Consultant John Blassingame Legal Counsel Reginald A. Greene, Esq.

THE HUSTLENOMICS ACADEMY “I sponsored the movement.” Damola Idowu Publisher/Editor-in-Chief/Founder Owners Illustrated Magazine Owners Magazine © 2011 Owners League LLC Sub. rates: 1 year – $19.99, 2 years – $34.99 All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited.Visit us online: www.ownersillustrated.com & www.toyznation.com For advertising, sponsorships and sales contact: 202.607.3629

ownersillustrated.com • 3


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LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER

OWNERS

Toyz Guide CARS GADGETS GAMES MUSIC

Editor-in-Chief/Publisher Damola Idowu Design DLI Copy Editor Keyla McNeely

for Keywords Communications

Photography Banks Wil David Lanre’ Damola Staff Writers Damola Da Great Deity Dah

E

ver since I was a little boy, I always love to play with my toyz. I’m sure I’m not alone in my desire, as we work and strive to spend those precious moments with our toyz, whether they be a new 3D TV, or an AMG, we love our Toyz. Car, Gadgets, and Gaming are my passion, and if you look at the consumer electronic, automotive, and gaming industries there are plenty to write home about, Call of Duty did over $650 Million in 5 days, the iPad sold over 3 million units in 80 days, Hyundai sales grew over 38% in the past quarter, GM’s IPO was the largest ever. Toyz move the economy because we love them and will find ways to get them even in the “worst recession since the great depression”. Don’t get me wrong times are hard, but we find ways to acquire what we want so I am compiling a list of 100 must have toyz along with product reviews, and previews of exciting things to come like; all electric super cars, the Michael Jackson video game, and the best 3D TV around (I sold someone on one this holiday weekend in fact) bring your toyz out, whether its your new smart phone on Droid, or your new pad, or your new car or your favorite game, lets come out and play, we all just want to have fun. Oh by the way this issue is just a part of our new launch which will include this guide, our executive edition with CEO’s of some of the most successful Toyz makers, our 9th year anniversary issue in print, our iPhone and iPad launch with multi-media content, mobile editions, social network www. toyznation.com and www.ownersillustrated.com is going social media very soon, giving insight on wealth building so you can afford your toyz. Join toyznation.com today and get updates, post videos, make friends with other toyz lovers and in the meantime send me a note at toyznation@ live.com Owners Till Infinity

Marketing & Promotions Damola Quincy Taylor Reginald Matthews Dawoud Shadeidu Brian Williams RW Collection Models MidWest Rep. Quincy Taylor Advertising Damola Quincy Taylor Sales Damola College Representative Kunle Idowu Intern Chris Barnes Newsstand Consultant John Blassingame Legal Counsel Reginald A. Greene, Esq.

THE HUSTLENOMICS ACADEMY “I sponsored the movement.” Damola Idowu Publisher/Editor-in-Chief/Founder

BRING THEM TOYZ OUT!

Owners Magazine © 2010 Owners League LLC Sub. rates: 1 year – $19.99, 2 years – $34.99 All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited.Visit us online: www.ownersillustrated.com & www.toyznation.com For advertising, sponsorships and sales contact: 202.607.3629

Toyznation.com • 7


TOYZ GUIDE CARS TEST DRIVE » SLS AMG Few automobiles possess the ability to snatch your breath while rapidly increasing your heart rate. I you can imagine that sensation you still couldn’t fathom the experience behind the wheel of the 2011 Mercedes SLS AMG. Hearkening to their heritage, the SLS is a study in modernization. The original 300SL of the 1954-1957 era popularized the infamous gull-wing doors that go upward like wings of a bird hence the gullwing. The gullwing lasted only 3 years from 1954 through 1957 and was replaced by the roadster which carried model years 1957 through 1963. With the end of the partnership with McLaren to make the SLK, Mercedes took the opportunity to invigorate the technology under the stewardship of their in-house performance division, AMG. Gorged of lightweight material and loaded with every modern technology like Parktronic, keyless entry, satellite radio, DVD navigation, iPod integration, Bluetooth, a 40 Gig hard drive, backup camera, etc. It is obvious the engineers wanted this machine to be enjoyable as a daily driver but you don’t buy an SLS for amenities, you spend over $200,000 for performance and that is where the experience triumphs. The SLS features a hand-built AMG engine with a 6.3L V8 that yields 563 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque making a 0-60 time of 3.7 seconds. The AMG Speedshift DCT 7-Speed sport transmission is a true modern marvel with swift responses from the aluminum steering wheel mounted paddle shifters.

Photo by Wil David

I only had a day with the beauty but the experience like heaven or at least my assumption which is further from reality as I burned rubber through the DC in the short spurts allowed in the dense traffic, I had to find open land so I journeyed to 270 and hit 70 where the hills and valleys allowed room for the beast to breathe. Time is too short and between getting pictures around DC landmarks, answering questions every 30 seconds, even getting a police detail, I longed for more yet the

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experience, a dream, an aspiration for my next birthday, November 12, 2011. For more information visit www. mbusa.com.- Damola


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TOYZ GUIDE CARS

DRIVE » LEXUS CT200h

I

t’s been over 20 years since we were introduced to Lexus and my, how time flies when you are having fun. Born out of the audacity that a Japanese automaker can challenge the European nameplates in performance and luxury, Japan’s luxury king has been steady in its accent with the flagship LS 600h, a study in technology and luxury fuel efficiency. When launched in 2007, the LS 600h was to deliver V12 power with V8 fuel efficiency and the selfparking feature and the recliner in the rear cabin were all class leaders. Now Lexus is forging a path from the opposite end of the the price spectrum but with the same lead engineer from the LS program. As we descended on beautiful Delray Beach Florida with its beautiful views, blue skies, bluer water, and white sand beaches, the CT 200h stood out in the landscape and was well positioned to bridge the journey for many into opulence. Targeted towards a younger, trendy demographic, my drive with Brian, the marketing manager and veteran of the Scion project gave me insight into the strategy. With a goal of just 1000 cars per month the emphasis is more on the branding, awareness, and the invitation to a new generation of luxury buyers to familiarize themselves with the Lexus name plate and move through their products throughout their lifetime. The CT 200h is going to be the lowest priced Lexus yet and is green, 10 • Toyznation.com

with a combined fuel efficiency of 42MPG from a 134combined HP engine. (My co-driver was able to achieve 75MPG. Wow indeed!) It is stylish with 89 LED’s as a 5-door hatch, loaded with a pop-up navigation system, customizable interior, quality fit and finish, push-button ignition, and the same multimedia interface found on the top-selling RX. I enjoyed our conversation about the evolving generation X and Y demo and how vastly different they are from the Baby Boomers that dominate mainstream attention. Lexus has the right guy on the job. Having launched what has become the blueprint to target young buyers, it only makes sense he is involved in reaching people who have now graduated, gotten jobs, moved to new cities, and begun to build a promising future in their late 20’s and early 30’s. I am very familiar with the demographic, as many of you that read this publication fall into that segment. So intriguing was our dialogue, I had to do a drive on my own and was quite impressed with the ability of the CT 200h to move and be comfortable for a commuter and also be functional for a group trip where the 5 door hatch gains in its convenience. The CT 200h is loaded with every tech option you could want yet there is no compromise on the expected Lexus quality. The CT 200h is due out the first quarter of 2011 when you can expect the 134HP, 1.8L dandy with a 112 mph-top-speed beauty to slot below the IS line. The CT 200h will feature its own customization site along with the option to schedule your own test drive and prebuy your own maintenance program directly from the website. You can visit www.darkersideofgreen.com for more info and to watch their innovative darkcasting series of interviews inside the CT 200h while tastemakers and trendsetters navigate through several urban metropolis’s. - Damola


TOYZ GUIDE CARS DRIVE » SONATA HYBRID & TURBO

O

n a beautiful California day, on the hallowed grounds of Torrey Pines this fall, I joined the Hyundai team to drive the Sonata Turbo and Sonata Hybrid. When Hyundai made the bold statement that they were not going to have a V6 powertrain for the volume-leading Sonata, many wondered how they were going to be competitive in this highly lucrative market that makes or brakes many a car manufacturer. I had seen the Hybrid and Turbo at the NY Auto Show earlier in the year so I was eager to get behind these two different 4-cylinders and see how they measured up in terms of power and fuel efficiency. Styling on the Turbo and the Hybrid has some cue differences that provide a character to both powertrains which are both more powerful than the base 2.0L 4-cylinder. The turbo was impressive, yielding 274HP and 269 lb-ft of torque yet getting 35MPG on the highway. In a driving efficiency competition, which I won, I was able to get almost 45 MPG in a 2-hour drive. With the compelling argument of power, styling, technological amenities, price, and the innovative Hyundai Assurance, the brisk sales of the Sonata, which are projected to approach 200,000 for the model year, are sure to uptick. It is unusual to have the most powerful model practically match the base model in fuel efficiency yet it is the twin scroll technology in the turbocharged engine that enables that result. The handling is great with stiffer suspension to provide a more sporty experience. With the Turbo you have paddle shifters in addition to a 6-speed Shiftronic transmission allowing for a more intuitive drive. Every option on the Limited is available on the Turbo.

words & Photo Damola

alty program with the Hyundai Assurance. Read our exclusive interview with CEO John Krafcik, a former Ford engineer and Stanford grad who is showing the world how to be efficient and grow. For more information visit www.hyundaiusa.com.

T

he Hybrid is Hyundai’s first and the effort seems to have succeeded in achieving a benchmark 36 mpg for incity driving in a midsize sedan. Highway efficiency is 40 mpg so there is no record there, but most people drive and commute to work for hours at a time so the city driving figure has more relevance and the feat is quite stunning. The battery pack is actually made up of lithium polymer batteries, co-developed with fellow South Korean-based company LG. The battery pack is a fraction of the size of others on the market with more density to capture more energy. There tends to be a lot of noise among my political and business colleagues in the media regarding economics and policy matters, with many asking, should we invest in a green economy? Will green cars thrive? Yet, the fact remains, Hyundai has increased sales 38% in a recession with stylish, technologically advanced and fuel-efficient vehicles, while providing customers the best loy-

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DRIVE » NISSAN JUKE

I

t was my first trip North to Canada and I couldn’t hide my excitement at the opportunity to drive the all-new Nissan Juke and cross the border. As I arrived in Canada, I saw no noticeable differences architecture-wise and felt right at home with the natives. We were to ride through the hills in Vancouver and enjoy the beautiful countryside as we pushed the 188HP, 1.6L engine. Born out of a series of upgrades and product launches for Nissan, the Juke is a Compact Crossover with a punch of Turbo. Armed with 177lb-ft of torque the AWD Juke was pretty feisty as we journeyed by ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale. The Juke features an Xtronic CVT or a manual 6-speed and both powertrains were fun to maneuver. There are 3 driving modes from economy to sport to normal and you can see the power or turbo boost during sport mode or your fuel efficiency during the economy mode. Standard in the Juke is an array of options including 17” alloys, Bluetooth technology, iPod integration with available options like an Intelligent key, navigation, XM NavTraffic, speaker upgrades, and USB connectivity, all with a base price below $19,000 and a top range of $24,550. There are 8 model configurations and quite frankly there are few competitors in this niche of the compact crossover segment. The styling, I was told, was inspired by the 370Z with the tail light treatment and the aggressive front end. The Juke is available in an assortment of colors and we drew quite the conversation as we drove the cars to the ferry and spoke with Canadian residents. Targeted towards males 18-34, the Juke is a fun way to get from A to B and spark a conversation along the way. For more information on the Juke visit www.nissanusa.com. -Damola 12• Toyznation.com

Courtesy of NIssan

TOYZ GUIDE CARS


Courtesy of Toyota

TOYZ GUIDE CARS

DRIVE » SCION TC DRIVE » Hyundai Genesis

O

On a warm and beautiful day in NY I joined fellow journalists at the IBM center at the Palisades. I had driven up from the DC area in the fun XD which had been recently refreshed itself, with great results in the segment it invented. My longing desire was to get behind the wheel of the TC and after a delightful dinner at a fine local establishment we were to rest and prepare for a day of driving in New York and New Jersey. The Tc is the last of the Scion products to be updated but it is not the sorer for the delay. There is a wide array of options including; a touch screen navigation, premium sound system with 300 watts of sound, a new 2.5 L engine that develops 180HP, 2 new 6 speed transmissions, new exterior styling, new interior styling, HD Radio, iPod integration, panoramic roof, and many more customizable options starting at just north of $18,000. I had fun whipping the TC around a beautiful course that provided great views of NY and the Hudson river. Both the manual and the automatic 6 speed transmissions were great and very responsive. For diehard fans of the TC, there are not any disappointments, and for new converts there is plenty to like. At the price point, with the options, and the ability to customize the TC, I am confident this next iteration will continue to forge Toyota’s dominance over this segment of the sports car market. I also had a chance to speak exclusively with VP Jack Hollis which will be featured in the bosses section of this publication. For more information visit www.scion.com - Damola

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TOYZ GUIDE CARS TEST DRIVES by Damola

« JAGUAR XF PREMIUM

For the 2010 Model year Jaguar has improved an already great product, the XF. As we had the opportunity to do, we were quite delighted with our exclusive feature we did with Ian Callum on the development of the XF. The video is available on Youtube for your consumption, but the greater pleasure was getting behind the wheel and giving the 2010 edition with the new powertrain a spin. Adding 85HP with a new naturally-aspirated 5.0 L V8 you could certainly feel the differences as I drove the beast for a week around DC. A polite confession we at Owners Illustrated have been long fans of the S Type, and XF with both finding their way into the driveways of our staff. The design was a much needed improvement over the S Type which at it debut made a profound design statement in the egalitarian Midsize Luxury segment. The new touches which debuted in the past model year are only enhanced now with quicker responses, proven by a 0-60 time of 5.7 seconds in the naturally-aspirated 5.0L engine. The performance did not come at the expense of fuel economy which remains 16 Mpg in the city and a combined 19 mpg with a slightly lower 23mpg to 25mpg on the highway. With the XF you get superior interior finishes with a favorite touch of a turn knob transmission with a paddle shift option. I love the motorization of the air vents, and the lighting cues, which while cosmetic set a trendy ambiance in the cockpit. The XF is available with every option you could think of when ordered with the Portfolio edition however the Premium model I drove was quite equipped and with a base price north of $56,000 and a great lease available currently for $599 per month the XF should be in your driveway too. For more information visit www.jaguar.com

« MERCEDES BENZ S 400

The Mercedes Benz S Class has long been the benchmark for luxury sedans. More fuel efficient than any offering in the market, the S 400 has a combined output of 220 kW (299 hp) with a 3.5L gasoline engine supplemented by an electric powertrain. Fuel economy in the S 400 Fuel efficiency was a meager 26mpg on highway and 19mpg in city driving, compared to 14mpg in city, and 21mpg highway in the S550. The S 400 is an exercise in how green can be practical and in my drive with the 2010 edition I was delighted to find every option available in the S550 in the S400 including night vision, DVD video, an 8 way rear adjustable seats, the premium package and an AMG sport package. The S400 was quick enough in my drive around DC with a total power output that is more than the output of the past generation S430. The s400 is the entry level S class so you don’t pay a premium for the technology yet you get every other available amenity with a base price slightly north of $88,000. Visit www.MBUSA.com for more information

« 2011 Audi A8

In the past decade Audi has made a fevered pitch to set the benchmark in the luxury flagship sedan market. With a combination of the Quattro all wheel drive system, multiple power trains, and the industry benchmark in interiors, the A8 had proven itself a worthy contender for the title. As the VW group has expanded so has the sales of Audi, and the goal to sell a combined 1 million units in the US by 2018 is no small feat. The 2011 A8 is an exercise, in; design, performance, efficiency, technology, and the expected premium audio system provided by Bang & Olufsen. I had a very exciting week with the A8 where I was able to fully enjoy the 8 speed tiptronic transmission and the 4.2 L FSI V8 that makes 372HP and 328lb-ft of torque. The A8 was very smooth yet the paddle shifters were responsive and gave a sporty performance in sport mode. With a 0-60 time of 5.7 seconds the A8 is extremely agile and slippery thru the dense traffic of the Washington Metropolitan Area. The cockpit is a elegantly designed marvel with the new MMI system easy to use especially with the ability to use the new touch pad feature. The sound system produces a rich and robust sound, the seats have a massage function that was great for the idle time in traffic. Getting a chance to open up the engine is where the thrill begins. The A8 moves like a Gazelle, with the Quattro system keeping things in control, and providing superior handling. Forged out of a lightweight aluminum body the cabin was exceptionally quiet and sturdy. The LED lighting technology that Audi has been famous for also make a nice touch, and great function during night time driving. Overall I have to concur that the A8 is par and second to none in the segment. With a base price in the mid $70K you can find more information at www.audiusa.com 14.Toyznation.com


Cadillac CTS Coupe The CTS has been a tremendous success for the Cadillac brand. Spurring models such as a sport wagon and now a coupe, the CTS ushered Cadillac into a new era of awardwinning passenger vehicles. I got behind the wheel of the coupe and my-oh-my did I have fun. The design language, the greenhouse, the styling are dramatically different from the competition in the segment. By every benchmark the CTS Coupe matches or exceeds its competition. I have always loved the retractable navigation, the pause and record radio, the paddle shift steering, and the HID adaptive headlamps. I mean I could go on and even mention the 304 hp, 273 lb-ft of torque on the direct injection 3.6L V6 with available AWD but I will just sum it up by saying I love the CTS Coupe. For more information visit www.cadillac.com.

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TOYZ GUIDE TEST DRIVES by Damola

Infinity G37 Convertible The G series has defined what true competition to the BMW 3 Series looks like and the Infiniti G37 retractable hard top with a 6-speed manual was fun during our week together. With seasonal warm weather in our extended summer/fall. I enjoyed the 3.7L V6 making 325 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque in a smooth-shifting manual. I had the navigation package which comes with a 9.3 GB hard drive and Zagat restaurant reviews. You can even playback DVD video while parked, making for an interesting conversation piece. Starting south of $47,000 the G37 I drove topped $50,000 with options. For more information visit www.infinitiusa.com.

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Lexus IS250C When things occur out of your control you want to be behind a safe and sound product, as your mere existence could be on the line. I had a near death experience and was run off the road fortunate for me Toyota’s safety including airbags, the frame and chassis, the structure on the retractable hardtop, and the general soundness of the engineering held up fine as an orange pickup ran me into a ditch off the highway. Prior to the unfortunate accident I had enjoyed time behind the beautifully engineered machine with a list of amenities, including dual chrome exhaust, Bi-Xenon headlights, heated seats, and more, but my testimony to the safety is why I’m here today. For more information on the Lexus IS 250 visit www.Lexus.com.

Mercedes Benz E550 Cabriolet Invigorating is how I would describe my time with the Mercedes-Benz E550 Cabriolet. All new for the 2011 model year, the E550 Cabriolet replaces the CLK 550 in the Mercedes line up and to say it does a fine job is an understatement. I had it during my homecoming weekend at Howard University in Washington, D.C. and had a blast. Featuring a 5.5L V8 that makes 382 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque mated to a 7-speed adaptive transmission. The performance of the E550 was exhilarating. I had a model with the P2 package which gives you practically every tech option Mercedes has to offer. Base price is $64,880 with the model I drove priced at $74,115. For more info visit www.MBUSA.com.

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TOYZ GUIDE GUIDE CARS TEST DRIVES by Damola

2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4x4 V6 If the American premium SUV had a God it will be the Jeep Grand Cherokee. For generations the Grand Cherokee has defined the class with a combination of true off road capability and luxury amenities all done with “American style.” With the recent difficulties of Chrysler, the only bright spot consumers could see was the concept of the current Grand Cherokee at auto shows. Already a fine and successful product, the new model makes sizable improvements beginning with interior materials and fit and finish. You now get more refinement including a heated woodgrain steering wheel, premium leather heated seats all around, a multi-media center with Hard Drive, panoramic roof, adaptive cruise control, and new powertrains including an all-new Pentax 3.6L V6 with 290 hp. A 5.7L V8 Hemi is also available but not necessary to order Limited and Overland packages. The 3.6L Overland starts at $41,000. With the Trail Rated package it tops $43,000. For more information visit www.jeep.com.

2010 Escalade ESV AWD Platinum The Escalade didn’t start the battle for best full-size luxury SUV but it certainly finished the competition and in the effort became the benchmark all automakers follow. With the ESV Platinum edition, the Escalade left nothing to spare with even more sumptuous wood and leather, an available 5 TV monitors, upgraded materials, leatherstitched dashboard, 22 in wheels, heated and cooled cup holders, and more including the more capable 6.2L Vortec V8 with 403 hp and FlexFuel capability. Frankly the Platinum edition takes the luxury SUV benchmark to an ultra premium level. The Platinum ESV comes loaded at $86,080. For more information visit www.cadillac.com.

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TEST DRIVE » MERCEDES BENZ E350

Range Rover HSE Since its early 70’s debut, the Range Rover has been the global ruling monarch when it comes to SUV’s. With a name synonymous with conquest, privilege, luxury, status, wealth, elite, and we can go on with several adjectives, Range Rover or the “Double R” moniker it shares with fellow British nameplate Rolls Royce is simply the preferred global carriage when it comes to SUV’s with the affluent. Recently sold to Tata Motors of India, Range Rover just received impressive upgrades to the powertrain and with technology. Sharing an all-new 5.0L V8 with Jaguar, the base engine now delivers 375 hp, 375 lb-ft of torque with a 6-speed transmission. You also get a virtual dashboard with digital dials And gauges yet the assumed luxury and quality of build throughout the cabin. The Range Rover starts at $79,685. For more information visit www.landrover.com/us.

2011 Infiniti QX56 4WD With the battle line having been drawn, Infiniti has upgraded their full size luxury SUV with and all-new model on an all-new platform. Everything about QX56 is new from the outgoing model. The powertrain is a 5.6L V8 with 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque mated to a 7-speed transmission. The frame is all new and no longer shared with the Armada, but the patrol utility van with a body-on-frame platform. You get a slew of options from dual 7-inch monitors to 22-inch wheels, intelligent cruise control, lane departure assistance, along with standard 9.3 Gig hard drive, Zagat dining, Bluetooth audio, all around view, and a long list that includes Infiniti’s new air quality system that can eliminate outside odors from the cabin. The QX56 starts at $59,000 but the loaded model I drove tops $72,000. For more information visit www.infinitiusa.com.


TOYZ GUIDE TEST DRIVES by Damola

Cadillac SRX It’s not the same Cadillac. Save for the Escalade and CTS line, few products Cadillac has made in the past few years have wowed or won praise. The SRX brings an end to that. The 2010 SRX which replaces the larger outgoing model is an a allnew smaller platform with a new powertrain and a V6 Turbo. The 2.8L turbo yields 300 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque with a 6-speed tranny. The fit, finish of the SRX is on par or surpasses any competitor with a pop-up navigation, realtime traffic, rear entertainment package, a 40 Gig hard drive, Bluetooth audio, a panoramic roof, 20” wheels, backup camera, and more. The SRX continues a resurgence of design at GM and portends more to come with the upcoming full-size sedan. The SRX Turbo starts at $51,000. The loaded model I drove topped $54,000. For more information visit www.Cadillac.com.

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2011 Silverado HD “The heartbeat of America is today’s Chevrolet,” went the slogan but till late, many consumers didn’t feel that way. A lot has changed at GM, plenty for the better, but never was making a great pickup a problem. Out to build the most capable HD truck on the market, Chevy developed this vehicle with a tow capacity of 17,000 lbs, 765 lb-ft of torque from the 6.6L Duramax V8 Diesel with 397 hp and a 6-speed transmission to achieve their goal. The 2011 Silverado HD also comes equipped with standard OnStar Bluetooth, a 12V auxiliary outlet, plenty of storage, heated mirrors, and the ability to upgrade the cabin. Base price on the Silverado HD is $38,000. The Duramax diesel and Allison transmission add $8,400 to the price. For more information visit www.Chevy.com.

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TEST IS 350BENZ E350 TEST DRIVE DRIVE »» LEXUS MERCEDES

Infiniti FX35 Featuring a unique design, the FX was at the forefront of the performance luxury SUV segment. Offering two powertrains I spent a week with their FX35 model with RWD. The 3.5L V6 yields 303 hp and 262lb-ft of torque mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission. The 303 horses were powerful enough to maneuver local traffic and open up on the highway. With a bevy of tech features like Bluetooth audio, a 9.3 Gig Hard Drive, Zagat restaurant guide, XM NavTraffic, lane departure warning, intelligent cruise control (another form of adaptive cruise control) and an around view monitor that gives a comprehensive 360º view of the vehicle. The FX35 starts at $42,000 and the loaded model I drove topped $54,000. For more information, visit www.infinitiusa.com

RAM TRX4 OFF ROAD CREW CAB 4X4 An award winner in Texas which is the largest market for pickup trucks, the Ram is proof positive of the sound decision to save Chrysler LLC. The RAM TRX4 Off Road Crew Cab 4x4 (say that twice) is an option trim that adds a performance off-road package to a well built pickup that packs a 5.7L Hemi with a 34 gallon fuel capacity and a tow capacity of 13,450 lbs. The TRX4 I drove also had a 6.5in touchscreen display, Sirius Traffic, a 30gig Hard Drive, a 115 volt auxiliary outlet and the option to install a WiFi hotspot so you can plug in your laptop and work on the go. Simply put, you get a ton of goodies and a power hauler with 383hp and 400lb-ft of torque that starts at $38,480 and topped $44,000 with the options. For more information visit www.dodge.com or www.ramtrucks.com.

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TOYZ GUIDE CARS TEST DRIVES

Mazda 6 Touring TMazda has been quite successful in carving a niche for itself as a performance brand with its zoom-zoom-zoom slogan. The Mazda 6 Touring Plus I drove was true to form. Featuring a 3.7L V6 with 272 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque was brisk and plenty responsive in my driving. Not extensively optioned, I had a chance to focus on performance and the six-speed automatic trans proved capable. I loved the styling, especially the dual exhausts which were embedded into the bumper with chrome touches. The Mazda 6 is sporty, roomy and has a long list of available options. For more information visit www.mazdausa.com.

Nissan Maxima SV Having coined the phrase “the four-door sports car” the expectations were high when I had the pleasure of having some extended time with the 3.5L SV. Featuring paddle shifters mated to a CVT, the 290 hp, 261 lb-ft of torque Maxima SV is a world of fun to maneuver around the DC area with a plethora of technology available at your fingertips from Bluetooth radio to realtime traffic and weather to a back-up camera to dual-zone climate control, a 9.3 Gig hard drive, a 7” color screen, DVD playback and more. The Maxima is also loaded with performance cues including 19” wheels, alloys and a rear spoiler. Pricing on the Maxima starts at $33,000 and the loaded model I drove priced out north of $38,000. For more information on the Maxima visit www.nissanusa.com.

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TEST DRIVE » MERCEDES BENZ E350

Ford Taurus SEL The work of Earl Lucas has yielded great results for Ford Motor Company. Helming the design team for Taurus as featured in our past edition, an entirely new approach has been taken towards the full-size premium sedan. I had the pleasure to kick the tires around in the SEL for a week and was impressed by the road manners, the ergonomics of the cockpit, the roominess of the cabin, the greenhouse and overall design of the vehicle. I have owned Tauruses and Sables before but this isn’t the same animal. With a 3.5L, 265 hp engine there was power enough for general driving but not to win a race, I look forward to driving the SHO. The technology of Sync has always impressed and you get a robust package in the Taurus Pricing for the Taurus begins at $25,170. For more information visit www.ford.com/taurus.

Buick Lacrosse For a moment there was a fear that Buick was gone, but that rumor was unfounded as Ed Welburn and his global design team (especially the China team) had proven their prowess with premium products globally. Buick is highly successful in China. In fact it is behind GM’s ability to sell more cars in China than in the U.S.. I drove Buick’s current flagship sedan in the U.S., the Lacrosse, and was very impressed. The Lacrosse is a premium full-size sedan that rides quietly and smoothly with a suspension tuned to have a luxury feel. The interior leaves nothing to spare as there is an available Hard Drive with the ability to pause satellite radio and record songs from your CD’s. There are heated seats, OnStar, tight fit and finish, premium leather surfaces, virtually every luxury you should expect in the entry luxury segment and more. The model I drove had the base 3.6L, V6 but now you can get the Lacrosse with a 2.4L inline-four that makes 184 hp and gets 26 mpg on the highway. The Lacrosse starts at $27K for more information visit www.buick.com/lacrosse.


TOYZ TOYZ GUIDE GUIDECARS CARS

KIA Sportage EX AWD With all the conversation dominated by Hyundai, it is easy to forget the great performance of sibling, Kia. A part of the Hyundai family, Kia has been experiencing robust sales and garnering attention from their exciting slate of products. I drove one of those products, the Kia Sportage and left with a great impression of the fascinating compact SUV. To begin with, it is a sub $30K vehicle with daytime LED’s. Wow! But when you have a former Audi designer, Peter Schreyer, at the helm of your shop, these are things that you benefit from. The 2011 Kia Sportage featured an all-wheel drive system, a panoramic sunroof, premium leather, satellite radio, heated and cooled seats, backup camera and more with a loaded price, literally just shy of $30K. The 4-cylinder engine puts out 176 hp and 168 lb-ft of torque with a fuel efficiency of 28 mpg highway. For more information visit www.kia.com.

Toyota Rav 4 V^ Limited The Toyota RAV4 has been here before its rivals and has to feel slighted by the lack of attention being paid to it. The RAV4 is probably what you think of first when you mention a compact SUV, yet you can lose sight of its offerings like multi-disk changer, Bluetooth, backup camera, a 3.5L V6 making 269 hp with a tow capacity of 3500 lbs, leather seats, heated seats, and more. The RAV4 is a practical and a proven commodity over the long-haul in the compact SUV segment and with upcoming hybrids will push the engineering envelope in this highly competitive segment. For more information visit www. toyota.com.

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GMC Terrain All-new, yet a mechanical sibling to the Chevy Equinox, the Terrain is a flashy, stylish, premium compact SUV offering that has plenty to like with creative options like a laptop stowaway bin with power outlets and an option for a rear DVD package that competitors don’t. There is an available 10 GB Navigation hard drive, a cool adjustable rear seat that provides class-leading leg room for rear passengers, a power liftgate, 18” aluminum wheels, and a six-speed automatic transmission with two available powertrains, a 2.4L, 4-cylinder engine with 182 hp and a 3.0L direct injection V6 with 264 hp. Simply put, the Terrain is a truly stunning product that dazzles with unique options and displays the promise of American engineering in this highly competitive segment. Pricing starts at $25K. For more information visit www.gmc. com. Hyundai Tucson Much has been made of sibling rivalry, in the case with the Hyundai Tucson, the competition is healthy. Mechanically similar with powertrain and mechanicals, the Tucson has markedly different driving dynamics and design. Sporting a softer suspension and more tuned to comfort, the Tucson has similar amenities from the panoramic roof, premium leather, six-speed transmission, backup camera, 6.5 inch navigation screen, 18” wheels and more, though not the daytime LED’s. I enjoyed both and it’s a matter of design and driving taste. The Tucson rode very smoothly and the Sportage was more firmer but both are great compact SUV’s that serve as benchmarks in their segment. For more information visit www.hyundaiusa.com.

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GMC ACADIA DENALI When GM introduced their slate of direct injected V6 full-size crossover SUV’s, they set the standard, with the Enclave setting a benchmark. Its sibling, the Acadia cannot be ignored and with the new Denali package, the 2011 Denali leaves nothing to spare with an upgraded interior, special body kit, grille, wheel package, tons of chrome accents, to provide the more-than-capable Acadia the acclaimed Denali style. Base price is $45,220. Loaded was $49,330. For more info visit www.gmc.com.

BUICK REGAL CXL Unbeknownst to American customers, GM has been making worldclass German-engineered sedans for years. In fact, they have been making European car-of-the-year’s like the 2010 Opel Insignia known as the 2011 Buick Regal. Manufactured in Russelsheim, Germany, the Regal is an excellent sedan with great fit and finish. Buick benefits from the elegant design sculpture and customers enjoy the 30 mpg on the highway from the 2.4L, I-4 that yields 182 hp and 172 lb-ft of torque. The Regal CXL starts at $26,245 and loaded tops $31,030. For more information visit www.buick.com.

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TOYZ GUIDE TEST DRIVES by Damola

MAZDA CX-9 GRAND TOURING Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring is a full-size crossover that offers everything its competitors have while adding a more sporty demeanor befitting Mazda’s zoom-zoom-zoom moniker. Featuring a 3.7L V6 with 273 hp, 270 lb-ft of torque, and a six-speed automatic, the CX-9 seats seven and sports 20” wheels along with chrome tailpipe accents and an optional 9” DVD player with Dolby 5.1 surround sound. Base price on the CX-9 Touring is $34,045. Loaded, the CX-9 tops $39,000. For more information visit www.mazdausa.com.

SUZUKI KIZASHI SE AWD Discarded by GM during the great collapse, Suzuki is now under VW stewardship and with cars like the Kizashi SE AWD, the future is bright. Yes, it’s an AWD sedan in the competitive midsize sedan market. More impressive is the recent performance at Bonneville with Road & Track’s Sam Mitani breaking into the 200 mph club with a blown Kizashi with 513 hp and 515 lb-ft of torque from the 2.4L. You won’t quite break 203 mph with the stock 180 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque but you would get bragging rights as the only AWD record-breaker in the segment with an attractive $22,749 base price. For more information visit www.suzuki.com.


TOYZ GUIDE TEST DRIVES

«CAMARO 2LT RS The Rock is back and the sales figures back it up with over 80,000 sold in 2010. The Camaro even outpaced its crosstown rival, the Mustang. With a base price shy of $23,000 you get a 312 hp V6 with a 3.6L direct injection engine and 6-speed manual tranny. I drove last year’s model which has 304 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque along with leather, bluetooth, OnStar, and an RS package that adds 20” wheels, rear spoiler, HID’s, and a body kit. The RS model I drove tops $29,000. For more information visit www.chevy.com.

« 370Z TOURING The Z is simply the standard when it comes to sport coupes. For decades, legions of fans have acquired the many numerical iterations of the Z. Now a 370, the legend only grows better with a 3.7L V6 engine, 332 hp, 270 lb-ft of torque, and a class-leading 7-speed automatic. You get every imaginable technology option including a 9.3 GB HD, XM Traffic, Weather, radio, a 7” screen, Bluetooth audio, and more. Base price on the 370Z Touring is $36,130 with the loaded edition I drove topping $39,000. For more information visit www.nissanusa.com.

« GENESIS COUPE 3.8 GRAND TOURING A/T Hyundai has increased sales to the tune of 40,000 vehicles this past November because they are competitive in every segment with their slate of vehicles. The Genesis Coupe is one such car that has a 3.8 V-6 and over 300 hp. There is a 6-speed auto with paddle shifters along with Brembo brakes, Xenon Headlights, touchscreen navigation, heated seats, satellite radio, Bluetooth audio, and more starting at $25,000 and loaded at $31,000. For more information visit www.hyundaiusa.com.

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AUTOMOTIVE > TEST DRIVES

« KIA SORENTO EX AWD By now you have probably seen the commercial with the puppets having a wild weekend in Vegas. The Sorento is unique in its category with a slew of options including a third row of seating and a panoramic roof. Fit and finish is great along with the available 276 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque. I loved the six-speed auto, heated seats, 18” alloys and a more-than-capable AWD system. Base price on the EX AWD is $29,000 and loaded, tops $34,000. For more info visit www.kiausa.com. Genesis is slightly north of $32,000. For more information visit www.hyundaiusa.com.

« HYUNDAI SANTA FE Due for an upgrade when compared to the recent slate of Hyundai/Kia SUV products, the Santa Fe Limited is more than capable and comes with a long list of standard features including Bluetooth, iPod connectivity, a 6-speed automatic mated to a 3.5L V-6. A touchscreen navigation system is available with backup camera and premium audio. The Limited starts at $30,000 and with navigation tops $33,000. For more information visit www.hyundaiusa. com. comparatively the GXP is even firmer and precise. With the GXP you can feel the difference in the extra 45 horses, and the tighter springs. It is unfortunate most people will never even gain awareness of the fine piece of work that is the Pontiac G8 GXP. An instant collector’s item, visit www.pontiac.com for more details.

« MAZDA CX-7 SPORT FWD “Zoom-zoom-zoom,” a phrase synonymous with Mazda and in the CX-7 you would do just that. The Turbo has 244 hp. I drove the base 2.5L, however, which has 161 hp and 161 lb-ft of torque. You get 28 mpg highway with the base 2.5 along with Bluetooth, Satellite radio, steering wheel controls, and $22,340 base price. For more information visit www.mazdausa.com.mirrors. I also enjoyed the push button ignition, which I think is a nice modern touch. The Mazda 6 starts at $19,300 and is available at dealerships. Visit www.mazdausa.com for more information.

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TECH » 40 MUST HAVE GADGETS

MOTOROLA DROID 2 WE WWW.MOTOROLA.COM

MOTOROLA PRO WWW.MOTOROLA.COM

PALM PRE 2 SMART PHONE WWW.PALM.COM

HP ENVY 14 BEATS EDITION WWW.HP.COM

I OMEGA SUPERSPEED USB 3.0 WWW.IOMEGA.COM

LGLE5400 LED HDTV WWW.LGE.COM

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ROKU XDS W?REMOTE WWW.ROKU.COM

BLUEANT Q2 BLUETOOTH WWW.BLUEANTWIRELESS.COM

CLEARWIRE PUCK WWW.CLEAR.COM

SENNHEISER PMX 680i WWW.SENNHEISERUSA.COM

GOD OF WAR GHOST OF SPARTA BUNDLE WWW.US.PLAYSTATION.COM/PSP

LG BD590 NETWRK BLUERAY PLAYER W/250 G HARDRIVE WWW.LGE.COM


TECH » 40 MUST HAVE GADGETS

SAMSUNG GALAXY TAB 10.1 WWW.SAMSUNGWIRELESS.COM

MONSTER DIDDYBEATS WITH CONTROLTALK WWW.DIDDYBEATS.COM

DURACELL MY GRID CHARGER WWW.DURACELL.COM

HITACHI LIFESTUDIO MOBILE PLUS EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE WWW.HITACHI.COM

LG E60 SERIES LED MONITOR WWW.LGE.COM

MAINGEAR ALT-15 NOTEBOOK WWW.MAINGEAR.COM

IMATION APOLLO M200 HARDRIVE WWW.IMATION COM

CISCO UMI HD CAMERA & REMOTE WWW.CISCO.COM

INTEL SSD 120G WWW.INTEL.COM

SAMSUNG HMX T-10 HD CAMCORDER WWW.SAMSUNG.COM

THRUSTMASTER FERRARI COCKPIT WWW.THRUSTMASTER.COM toyznation.com • 25


TECH » 30 MUST HAVE GAMES

DEADRISING 2

GRANTURISMO 5

FIGHTERS UNCAGED

ALAN WAKE

SPLINTER CELL: CONVICTION

CRACKDOWN 2

NBA 2K11 GLOBAL AGENDA

KUNG FU RIDER 26• Toyznation.com

NBA ELITE 11

GOD OF WAR GHOST OF SPARTA

DJ HERO 2


TECH » 30 MUST HAVE GAMES

KILLZONE 3

SHAWN WHITE SCATEBOARDING

MAFIA II

ASSASINS CREED

READ DEAD REDEMPTION

SUPER MARIO 25TH ANIV

GOD OF WAR GHOST OF SPARTA BUNDLE WWW.US.PLAYSTATION.COM/PSP NEED FOR SPEED

NCAA 11

FALLOUT NEW VAGAS

TIGER WOODS 11

THRUSTMASTER FERRARI COCKPIT WWW.THRUSTMASTER.COM Toyznation.com. 27


TOYZ GUIDE VIDEOGAMES by Damola Call of Duty Black Ops

Publisher: Activision Developer: Treyarch Platform: PS3, PC, Xbox360, Wii Genre: First person shooter

Rating: M Release Date: Nov 9 2010 www.callofduty.com

Publisher: Microsoft Developer: Lionhead Platform: XBox 360

Genre: RPG Rating: M Release Date: Oct 26, 2010

Back again is my favorite RPG Fable, set 50 years after Fable II in Albion. You are a banished prince who must now challenge your brother for the throne and lead the people as you see fit. There is more action as you fight and cast spells. You have a “sanctuary” you can always return to manage the game you can peek into the lives of your citizens and watch your kingdom from afar. Your dog is again your best friend and as always every decision has impact later on in the game. Fable is developed by Lionhead Studios in London and published for Xbox 360 exclusively by Microsoft Game Studios. Fable retails for $59.99 with a collector’s edition for $79.99. There is also a collector’s wireless controller for $59.99. Visit http://lionhead.com/ fable/fableiii/. Image courtesy of Microsoft

Fable III

Image courtesy of SCEA

$650 million in 5 days makes a profound statement about the most successful first person shooter franchise in the world. In Black Ops you have missions and conflicts around the globe. There is a deep multi-player experience. You can also play Call of Duty in 3D. There is also a new zombie killing mode. Call of Duty Black Ops is available across all platforms and on PC. Black Ops is a immersive experience for the first person shooter fan. There are a variety of weapons to choose from as you journey through various missions. It sets a high bar for Activision to surpass next year when the next edition of the franchise is due. Plenty of celebrities are fans with Kobe appearing in a commercial and Ice Cube doing voice over work. Black Ops is available everywhere for $59.99 and a special Prestige and Hardened Edition which includes a game remote-controlled vehicle, Black Ops Avatar outfit. Developed by Treyarch and published by Activision, for more information go to www.callofduty.com/blackops.

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TOYZ GUIDE VIDEOGAMES Michael Jackson The Experience

Publisher: Ubisioft Developer: Ubisoft Platform: Xbox 360, PS3. Wii, PSP, DS PSP Genre: Music

Rating: RP Release Date: Early 2011 www.ubisoft.com

Image courtesy of SCEA

He said he “never can say goodbye” while he wanted to “be where you are” knowing “it don’t matter if you’re black or white.” Instead, it is all “human nature.” Well, this winter you will be be able to get the Michael Jackson experience with an all new interactive video game developed by Ubisoft. With a total immersive experience, fans can even get a special edition glove to accesorize while emulating Michael’s moves. Buyers of the Wii edition will get the glove for free when they pre-order the $49.99 Wii edition. The game will be available on all platforms including the Microsoft Kinect for XBox 360 and PlayStation Move motion controller for the PS3. Portable devices such as the DS line and the PSP will also have the game availible at launch. Fans can sing and learn to dance to Bad, Smooth Criminal, Thriller, and a bevy of others from his catalog with more songs added through launch in early 2011. Fans can join the official Michael Jackson The Experience facebook page at http://www.facebook. com/MichaelJacksonTheExperience to get updates and more information.

Image courtesy of Microsoft

Gears of War 3

Publisher: Epic Games Developer: Microsoft Platform: XBox360

Genre: Multi Player Rating: M Release Date: 2011

Marcus is back in what we hope is not really the finale of our favorite epic multi-player first-person shooter, Gears of War 3. Facing the Lambent, Marcus is armed with new comrades, a new female member of the team, Anya and new character, Jace Stratton, who will be voiced by superstar, Drake. Ice-T also joins the team as the voice of the Stranded leader, Griffin. The new Gears will also introduce the world to the next iteration of the Unreal Engine, the industry standard in gaming performance and the most licensed platform in the business. There are new weapons, new vehichles, new enemies, and a new and improved Unreal Engine. Who can ask for more? Maybe for the saga not to end, like with Halo where we have Reach and ODST and more versions planned, but in the meanwhile, if this is it, what a way to go out. Gear of War 3 will only be released on XBox 360 and while delayed till later 2011, there will be a public beta verison available in early 2011. For more information visit www.gearsofwar.xbox.com.

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TOYZ GUIDE VIDEOGAMES by Damola Rockband 3

Publisher: MTV & EA Developer: Harmonix Studios Platform: XBox360, PS3, Wii

Genre: Music Rating: Release Date: Oct. 26, 2010

The Rockband franchise has been very successful with over 13 million copies sold in the past 3 years and over $ billion in sales, however, sales have been slow late as a ??????maturity befalls the market along with competition and a lot of products and sub franchises diluting the original silulated musician experience. Rock band 3 is bound to reverse the trend with new instruments, a refreshed website and one of my favorite bands Door as a feature. There is a newPro mode which makes the simulation much realer and gamer development better. Rock Band 3 is probably the best in the series. For more information visit www.rockband.com.

Halo Reach

IBefore the saga began, before the master chief there was the story of Nobel Team on Planet Reach and Reach is the prequel to the Halo trilogy and is a gripping storyline of the last frontier and the and Earth. This is a last gift to us loyal followers as future Halo titles will be developed by a new Microsoft team. As far as first person shooters go Halo has been a benchmark and with that bore the brunt of the 360’s platform success. Reach is pleasant parting gift and if sales tell a story. www.halo.com

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Publisher: Microsoft Developer: Bungie. Platform: XBox360

Genre: Action/FPS Rating: M Release Date: Q3 2010


TECH » ALL ACCESS » MADDEN XXI

What do you do when a franchise turns 21? Well, this is what Senior Producer, Phil Frazier had to tackle as he worked on the latest edition of the Madden franchise with a new approach to calling plays in addition to more online content and a new store to purchase more intelligence and an advantage in the highly competitive Madden universe. We voyaged to the holy grounds of EA to see firsthand what is new with Madden. Phil Frazier, the Senior Producer was more than willing to give us an inside view to the gold standard of sports game franchises. We have video of the same of what he showed us on YouTube and on toyznation.com. In addition, here are some other insights including his career journey. The GameFlow and the Madden Shop, talk about those two components. The GameFlow is really our signature feature of the year. And that’s a feature that’s allowing people to enjoy the experience without having to pick a play. And that’s actually more realistic than what we’ve had over the last twenty years. You know we’ve had the same play calling system ever since the game came out in the Genesis which was you pick your formation, then you pick your play, but that’s not how coaches call plays in the NFL. They have a play sheet. You see them standing on the sideline and coaches basically call plays out of play situations. If it’s first and ten they’ve got fifteen, twenty plays in that situation that they pick from. They don’t pick from they’re entire playbook. That’s what GameFlow does so in those situations if you choose GameFlow it’s actually gonna pick a play for you based on that situation and your job is to execute it. Now this concept of What’s New, these are actually all dynamic items on the menu so at any point of the year if we add new content to the game we can add that option to the menu and surface it to our consumers if something is brand new. So if we add a new DLC to the game, for example, which we’re planning on doing during week 1 of the NFL season, that will show up here on this menu so that you can click on it and get immediate access to that DLC and it’s right in your face. So anything we add new, a roster update, we can advertise it there and you know, it works perfectly. Alright, so talk to us about some of the other new innovations on this new Madden ‘11. So, you know, we looked at- we mentioned GameFlow before and you know, that’s really kind of our key feature for Madden ‘11 and the feature came from a meeting we actually had with John Madden during week one of the NFL season where he looked at us and said the way you guys handle play calling which is the way we’ve handled play calling for the last twentyone years is not accurate to the way NFL coaches call plays in the NFL. It’s not authentic. And we came back to the office. We took the feedback and we said you know, what exactly is he saying? Is it a small tweak we need to make to the play call system? But we actually looked at the way NFL coaches call plays and you’ve seen it. You know, they always hold the play sheet up. It covers their face. They don’t want people to see what they’re saying. But that play sheet is broken up into many play groups, 1st and ten, 3rd and short. Uh, sometimes they even script their first 15, 20 plays and we didn’t have that emulated in Madden very well. GameFlow actually takes that system and uses it exactly the way NFL coaches do it. So if you choose GameFlow and it’s 1st and ten. It’s gonna call from a play group of 1st and ten. It’s gonna call play for that situation. Now the great thing is you can go in and customize those plays. So if you don’t like the plays that the Bengals would usually call on 1st and ten you can go in there and say I only wanna call Wildcat plays or I only wanna go in there and throw shotgun passes. But if you choose GameFlow the plays gonna be calling for you automatically based on an authentic NFL game plan and you’re job is to execute. It actually

takes the game time from 60 minutes. The average game time in Madden and Madden NFL 10 was 60 minutes plus. And you know in today’s society not a lot of people have that kind of time and Madden NFL 11 it’s less than 30 minutes. You play the exact same amount of football but we just take out a lot of that time of choosing plays which a lot of people are intimidated by anyways. How old is the company? I believe the company was started in the late 80’s so the company’s, you know, almost thirty which is pretty hard to believe. I mean they started back in the old days when you were running you know, Commodore and just really old school stuff but you know I grew up a EA Sports fan. You know I played Madden on the Genesis with my dad. That’s where I learned a lot about football before I played high school ball and when an opportunity came my way back in the late 90’s to become a game tester, you know, back when I was, you know, twenty years old, I figured it was probably a great experiment. You know I didn’t expect it to be a career but you know I took the job as a tester in the summer. I actually worked at NCAA Football and you know, loved the camaraderie that came with being a game tester, loved the fact that I was doing- you know I had a job in a hobby which I had a job doing something I really loved. And you know, once I learned more and more about how to make games, you know, I became friends with artists on the team. I became [friends] with designers on the team. Learned about how to make playbooks, how to design plays, just kind of became more and more familiar with game development and over the years I just kind of worked my way up to where I am now... But how did you make that initial connection with people on the team because I guess the curiosity is that how do you learn to program a game on a major system I mean even if it was Genesis back then on a 16-Bit system still how do you get that first step to write the code? Well the great thing is, is there’s a position on the team for everybody so I don’t write code. My job as a producer is to lead the team through the creation of the game. You know I work with the lead designer, for example, to come up with the concept for the game. The lead designer then partners with the art director who comes up with the visuals of the game. Uh, the the two of them work with the engineering team the guys that actually do the programming to work out how they’re gonna build the game. My job is to basically to kind of keep everybody on track, keep everyone focused and moving in the right direction so between marketing, game development there’s literally a career in video games for virtually every type of person out there. Now engineering is a very key aspect of our team. You know we have guys that went to school. They have master’s degrees. They have doctorates in software engineering, in fluid dynamics. You need to be very smart to be an engineer working on a title like this. You know guys that went to school for a very long time and engineering is a very specific thing. But you can be an artist. You can be a guy that likes to draw, likes to paint cause those are the guys that make the game look fantastic. They have to work with engineers to do it but to make our uniforms look this good. You know to make wipes you know animated wipes that look like that you need to have you know experience in video technology. Uh, you know, interface is a very specific skill. You need to be able to understand how people look at the game, how they react to certain colors, how they react, where there eyes will typically move. There’s a lot of psychology involved as well so you can apply that to the making of your game. read more at Toyznation.com

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Inside U2 3D with

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Director Catherine Owens

Having helmed the director’s camera on U2 tours, ZooTV, PopMart, Elevation, and Vertigo, Catherine Owens was the perfect choice for a landmark undertaking, a concert movie shot in 3D. The top-grossing concert performers, U2, have always given fans a massive experience with their shows. Having not toured South America for 8 years prior, the U2 3D movie covers the final leg of the Vertigo tour in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and Mexico. The project itself pairs 3ality Digital, who provided the 3D technology and cameras, with the Modell family, former owners of the Baltimore Ravens, who tried their technology at NFL games including Superbowl XXXVIII. The Modells serve as producers and National Geographic is the film’s distributor showing the film exclusively in cinemas equipped with Digital 3D and in IMAX 3-D theaters. Catherine, as visual progenitor of U2 concerts, gathered over 100 hours of footage for the film, an 85 minute ditty that includes songs like, “Pride,”“New Year’s Day,”“Sunday Bloody Sunday,”“Miss Sarajevo,” “Love and Peace or Else,” “Yahweh,” “One,” and many more. We caught up with Catherine this fall in New York at a 3D conference. The Irish gal who for 18 years has documented U2 shows was pleasant and generous with her time and shared a lot of insight into her artist vision and future projects she would love to do. Enjoy our dialogue below.

We didn’t know that. We were just focused on this one group of people, the Modells who are the sporting people who own the Baltimore Ravens, who happened to be U2 fans who put up this incredible amount of money for us to go off and play basically. We didn’t understand that Hollywood was looking at us the whole time, watching us to see whether we were gonna lose or win and when we ended up winning, I mean, in other words, when we made a product that matched the goal then that became a product for the whole of Hollywood to use as the yes we can do it.

You collaborated with U2 on this the inaugural 3D Experience What was the inspiration?

now you actually spoke about and interest to document the Williams sisters. Speak about that because they have quite an intriguing story and you mentioned...

Okay, I have to just, I have to put this into context. We documented actually their last tour, the Vertigo tour, in South America. They’re currently on tour on a tour called the 360 tour so we documented their last tour which was probably their most performative. So we went to South America and we filmed seven of their shows and it was just extraordinary. The tour they’re currently on, we actually couldn’t have made the film we made in South America because the tour now is 360 whereas in the film we made as you can see the band are in front and then there’s all the imagery behind. On the current tour the band are below and the imagery is above. Now talk about this because they’re tours involve such elaborate stage craft. They have so many elements. What made you say that this energy, all of these visuals would be best communicated by adding another dimension to what is already a heightened dimension of artistry? That’s good. No, that is exactly true. We felt that, well, Bono likes to be first. Do I need to say anymore? No. His efforts are legendary in its own self even just the Red campaign but that’s an interview in itself. And...So we made a creative decision that we were being offered these brand new 3D cameras digital, so it was the first time you could record hours of 3D because before it was film, so you could only record four minutes of film before you had to change your cassette or your reel. So we decided to do the film based on the fact that, and this is no joke, Bono’s words were, okay Catherine, you know nothing about 3D. I know nothing about 3D. These guys have just made new cameras. They probably know nothing about 3D. There isn’t even a market for 3D yet. It’s bound to be a huge fabulous success. He’s always an innovator. And then he says, and if it’s not we can just walk away from it cause nobody’s ever gonna see it. So literally we made the film on a hunch, on a hunch.

So speaking on that then, what other opportunities have now unlocked themselves based on this great success that came from the pure desire to innovate and push the paradigm of band films? Well, it’s interesting cause...I mean look we can talk to any opportunity opens. Once you work with the biggest rock band in the world and you make something good any opportunity opens, but the thing about 3D as you’re learning while you’re here is there’s good 3D and there’s bad 3D. So the opportunities are only interesting to me if they’re going to be good 3D opportunities and at the moment I’m in the middle of you know working on that. So what are some of the ideas you would love to visualize in a 3D format? Well, I want to go down a more intellectual road. I want to go down a road that’s gonna feed the mind and soul of people and not just be entertainment or at least if it borders into entertainment it’s got an underlying message or it’s got an underlying reason for being. That things are not just not put out because you’re following a trend. That you really want to make something that’s going to inspire and inform and resonate with the audience and that’s what we do, that’s what we did with U2, with their live show. Okay yeah, you’re selling an album and you’re selling a ticket to a show but when the fan walks away, they’ve got to be walking away learning a little bit more about the band their watching and a little bit more about themselves. They’ve got to walk away uplifted. They’ve got to walk away uplifted and inspired.

...We were just talking about what kinds of things would be really inspiring for a 3D director to work with. Now I have spoken about the idea of documenting the Williams sisters in 3D and that comes from a) the human interest story, b) their talent, c) they’re female. They’re African -American. They’re incredible athletes and their story in my opinion is like just not, hasn’t been told properly. Plus the way that they approached the game was different. they were different from the prototypical tennis player. Yeah, well, two things, they’re goddesses, both of them in the traditional sense of what a goddess is supposed to look like. They’re fabulous. They’re beautiful. They’re like warriors. They’re like two warriors those women. They’re like warriors in a war in the tennis war and you know they’ve consistently won that war. And documenting their story would be interesting if it was told from that point of view, not like from a cheesy, you know oh yeah this is the Williams sisters. Plus there’s so much tension when you talk about the environment they came from they’re odds defiers so there’s an incredible human spirit in their story because they’ve always been sort of against the norm. They’re success is not usual. It’s despite the norm. So now obviously you worked U2. Now are there any other musicians that you can envision that would have an interesting energy in the 3D realm? There’s two. Who are these? David Bowie.

But now it’s been so successful. You’ve won numerous awards.

David Bowie.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we’ve had some good times with it.

and Prince.

So speak on that on the impact just taking a whim from the gut as it is which is and I heard you talking about the quality, the inspiration, representing the craft and what you guys did was just do something that was pure from the passion, pure from the artistic integrity of just innovation. It was born not of, well this is going to make x amount of dollars because it was unproven.

Prince. Wow. That’s it. -Damola

And there was no dollars to be made at that point. What we didn’t know, what we didn’t know cause we live in our own little Irish bubble, was that Hollywood was in the middle of a very big serious conversation about 3D. Ownersillustrated.com. 33


TOYZ GUIDE INSIDE U2 3D WITH DIRECTOR CATHERINE OWENS

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OWNERS BOSSES EDITION EXECUTIVE PROFILE • JOSEPH SAULTER CEO EARI “Young at Heart Wise as Day”

Forged out of Stone Mountain Georgia, Entertainment Arts Research Inc is the by product of an unyielding imagination and equally determined spirit of its founder Professor Joseph Saulter. A legend for his musical accomplishment, Professor Joseph Saulter was a member in the ground braking group Twilight 22 where he wrote songs and also performed as a drummer. Most notably he had a major role in their smash album Electric Kingdom. With an extensive history in the entertainment industry, Professor Saulter has had his talents as a musical director enhance Broadway productions from; Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, to Doug Hennings’ Broadway Hit, The Magic Show for which Joseph Saulter wrote the Drum book. Entertainment Arts Research Inc, is a culmination of Professor Saulter's musical gifts and his unyielding passion in the field of gaming. Esteemed and exalted Professor Joseph Saulter's gaming resume includes; author of a series of Game Design and Development textbooks published by McGrawHill, a Chairman position at the International Game Developers Association's Diversity Advisory Board, founder of the Urban Video Game Academy, an educational initiative to give high-risk school students the opportunity to learn how to design and develop video games, and chairman of the Game design and Development Department at American Inter Continental University as well as fulltime professor at The Art Institute of Atlanta. It is with this impressive resume that Professor Joseph Saulter has launched Entertainment Arts Research, Inc (EARI) and taking it public trading under the ticker of EARI. Entertainment Arts Research Inc. is the first African American controlled 3D Video Game Development Companies traded on the public market, a momentous achievement. To run EARI Professor Saulter's has enlisted video game industry icon Jonathan Eubanks. Jonathan Eubanks is most notable for his distinguished 14 year career developing games for a slew of the top publishers with over 60 titles to his credit including Hulk I and II, Van Helsing, Jurassic Park, Cat in the Hat, Happy Feet, Justice League Heroes and Batman Begins. Both Professor Joseph Saulter and Jonathan Eubanks were recently selected to the tenth annual list of 50 most important African- Americans in Technology. With their distinguished resume's and careers the future of EARI is bright. EARI currently has 4 projects in development including a religious virtual world and a console game. For more information on EARI visit http://www.ea-research.com/.

RIGHT EARI recently signed a $22 Million deal with the Shaolin Temple in China to develop games Mr. Fu Min, General Manager, The Shaolin Temple Headquarters, Shaolin Temple, Henan Province, Peoples Republic of China, Mr. Morley Chertkoff, International Studies Director, Zhengzhou College of Economics, Zhengzhou City, Henan Province, PRC, And from the USA North American online education expert and university builder, Dr. Fred DiUlus, CEO of Global Academy Online, Inc. of Washington DC. Dr. DiUlus brought the Shaolin and Entertainment Arts Research together in China with the help of Mr. Morley Chertkoff of Zhengzhou College of Economics. Together they worked with Wolverine Asset Mangement LLC of Grand Rapids, Michigan, represented by Senior Representative Mr. Alex Angioli of Vancouver, BC to underwrite $22 million dollars for the Shaolin project with Entertainment Arts Research, Inc.

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TOYZ GUIDE EXECUTIVE INTERVIEWS • CLIFF BLEZINSKI DESIGN DIRECTOR EPIC GEARS OF WAR 2

From wiz kid who developed Jazz Jackrabbit to Design Director and the steward of the Unreal Engine platform. Cliff Bleszinski or CliffyB as he is affectionately known has been the brains behind what can be called a revolution in gaming. The Unreal Engine practically underpins every great game on the market from multi-player to first-person shooter to role playing. Now even mobile platform games are getting the Unreal Engine treatment. The bread and butter at Epic, however, is the Gears franchise and come this year the series comes to an end. Cliff got a chance to work with hip-hop icon, Ice-T along with superstar, Drake. Long fans of Cliff, we got a chance to chat at E3 where he was with Shadow Complex designer, Donald Mustard. 5 million sold of 2. Cliff: Thank you. So talk about what you guys are doing out here at E3 this year. Cliff: Well we’re out here at E3 right now. I’m out here with Donald Mustard who’s the creative visionary behind Shadow Complex and we’re unveiling the game. We had it at the press conference today. Everybody is totally digging the game. It’s taken that kind of classic Castlevania Metroid gameplay, taking the latest Unreal Engine and putting it on Xbox Live Arcade and really raising the bar for what people expect out of that game. And we’re here at a press event and we’re meeting with people. I think we had Soulja Boy out here earlier and he was checking it out... Donald: I think his direct quote, ‘it’s tight.’ Cliff: Yeah I think he’s gonna ‘superman that ho.’ Donald: Yeah, exactly. Now, talk about that, too, now. Talk about the Unreal Engine because there are a lot of things that Microsoft has coming up that the Unreal Engine will be a part of. Kind of give us a little clue in. The tech is one of those things that’s incredibly versatile. It’s basically paint and a brush and a canvas and you can make whatever you want with it. I mean we have Shadow Complex, which takes that classic ?2D? gameplay and puts it in a 3D world. We have X-Men Origins: Wolverine, uh the Splinter Cell game, all these games that really leverage the technology in all sorts of different ways. And uh we want to do what we can not only as a business ?model? but also to help facilitate developers’ visions by providing better tools because we’re in a world where ?? game is extremely expensive. It takes ?hundreds? of people to make a game. And any way you can mitigate that risk is ??that’s what we provide with the toolset?? So now Shadow Complex. How long have you guys been actually working on that cause that’s due to come out in a few months relatively? Donald: Yeah, well, our last game, Undertow, shipped about a year and a half ago. And this comes out the next few months so... Cliff: Do the math. Donald: Yeah, do the math. Its been about that. About a year and a half. Now you guys, Epic, acquired the studio. So talk about that process, about integrating the studios. Cliff: It was a pretty streamlined and easy process. I mean, we knew Donald and his team for a while from the Undertow days ?? and Epic ?? back in the day. And when they came to us and had the demonstration for Shadow Complex, we were like this is a total no brainer. We should work together. And then we started talking about how to make the game better, how to have a good partnership. Howard Phillips came on board to help run the studio and he’s a, you know, personal old school friend of mine from Howard & Nester back in the day with Nintendo Power and now he’s working to make the game better. Ken Lobb over at Microsoft is contributing as well. He was on the GoldenEye team as well way back in the day...So it’s really like this greatest hits of like the old school game designers with kind of the new school and everybody kinda coming together like the friggin’ Justice League. - Damola ED Note: I had a chance to meet with Cliff & Mike Capps at a Bulletstorm event in Raleigh and Mike informed me they were provide the Unreal Development Kit free for developers to use for iOS and PC. Mike confirmed they would not require license payments for sales below $50,000. This is a game changer in our opinion. The kit can be found at www.udk.com we also have a link on our www.ownersillustrated.com site

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TOYZ GUIDE EXECUTIVE INTERVIEWS • MIKE CAPPS PRESIDENT EPIC GAMES GEARS OF WAR 2

To say, Epic is enjoying success, is an understatement. New studios are popping up everywhere from Prague to Japan to China and more along with a new version of Unreal Engine 3 launching, adding more to the licensing revenue. To top it off, the highly anticipated franchise, Gears of War, will conclude the trilogy this year. Yes, things are good and thus you can appreciate the leadership of the president, Mike Capps. A Ph.D. holder who once helmed his own outfit, Scion Studios, he has taken Epic to new heights since his employment in 2003. We had a tremendous time in nearby Raleigh at a launch event I coordinated for Gears of War 2. I have had this video on toyznation.com for some time but didn't provide the Q & A in text form. We have also added more content to the video so without more ado, here is our interview. Introduce yourself to the whole Toyz Nation. What's up Toyz Nation. This is Mike Capps. I'm the president of Epic Games and we just released Gears of War 2 worldwide, 20,000 stores, Midnight Madness, tonight. ...Now we just had a real great panel with IGDA on what it takes to get into the gaming industry. So how did you get into the gaming industry? I took the craziest path. I started as a professor. I got my Ph.D. in virtual reality and then did a game for the Army. That's how I met the peeps at Epic and got into Epic Games. So what kind of game was it that you worked with? ...It's a recruiting project that we gave away for free to show people what life in the Army was like and we tried to make it fun, squad-based, multi-player shooter. It had 30 million downloads. It was really hot. So now how did you now rise in the ranks of Epic Games? ...I knew the Epic guys from using their technology, the Unreal Engine. They brought me out to start up a new team. And that new team just did really well. It was really organized and they said we should merge together be one big team. I drew the short straw so now I'm president of the whole thing. So now obviously, new team being Gears of War–the Gears of War franchise, which the last one sold how many copies? 5 million copies. And you guys anticipate topping that? We can beat it. And obviously, with what's going on with the Halo team, having that restructured, you guys are probably the most successful team–franchise right now and team under Microsoft Studios. I appreciate that. I think Microsoft's really counting on us this holiday, right? They need a hit from us. Exactly. And watching some of the gameplay, watching the realism, looking and comparing that to Unreal 3. I've seen that you guys have actually gone back and actually tweaked and improved upon your industry standard engine, if I would say. Thanks very much. Yeah, I mean we've had a lot of success. We're known for great graphics and great art but we couldn't just do Gears 1.5...that would upset our fans and we wouldn't be proud of it. So I think we really pushed it hard. It's not just a few more hours, it's all-new systems, all-new multi-player. I think we knocked it out of the park. I'm really proud. So now talk to me about this because obviously a great part of your business is licensing the Unreal Engine. Sure. And now you're at Unreal Engine 3 if I'm not mistaken. And a lot of very successful games that people won't realize actually license some of your technology. Splinter Cell, Mass Effect, BioShock. We've got all sorts of different stuff going on, massive multi-players. Mortal Kombat is on our engine, right? So now, talk about what you guys did then, because I mean, Splinter Cell, real very successful title. BioShock and I've actually had a chance to see BioShock the next edition. Gorgeous. So talk about what you guys went through with the new Gears to actually top everybody else that's had the chance to tweak on your engine. ...We know it best, right. That's the first thing. You know, we gave everybody the same tools we use but I've got the best art department in the world. I've got the best design department in the world. I am very proud of those guys. What it comes down to is, you can have great technology, but if you don't have great artists making–putting their passion and their love in the game, you can see the difference. So, not saying there aren't some great licensing projects but that's what makes us stand out is those guys really care about making a wicked, badass game. So now talk about that, too because you guys are actually taking your license to actual like virtual worlds now, too, right? Sure. We have architects using it. We have military guys using it for training all over the place. And even the virtual life thing, too...right? Yeah, exactly. We've got a project going on–I think it's in Korea. They're doing some really cool stuff. So now, talk about the process of actually taking on Gears 2...take us through like the two years. Give us a little timeline of okay, wow, 5 million copies sold, how do we bring Delta Force back and top what we just did? Well, it starts with, oh, shit, we need to make a sequel.

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TOYZ GUIDE GADGETS REVIEW by Damola Mitsubishi 65” 3D Home Cinema TV Model 65638 www.Mitsubishi-TV.com/3D-DLP

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With 3D films now being the craze, the only barrier to mass adoption is price, especially with the current economic and credit environment. Well, fret not, Mitsubishi, partnered with DLP technology, has a 65” full 1080p, 3D-ready cinema TV that is also ENERGY STAR qualified. Currently available online, you can get the WD-65638 model for $799 at sites such as BestBuy.com and Target.com. Mitsubishi also has a 3D starter pack available for $399, though I saw amazon.com list it at $301.99. At the combined price of less than $1200 for 2 3D lenses, a 3D signal adaptor, and a 65” full 1080p TV, this has to be the steal of the holidays. For more information visit www.Mitsubishi-TV.com/3D-DLP

»»»»»»» Netflix www.netflix.com

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Fast becoming the premiere way people watch movies, Netflix can claim to single-handedly put the retail movie renting business to bed. While both Blockbuster and Hollywood Video lay in wake, Netflix is taking yet another audacious journey, the elimination of physical DVD’s entirely. For as low as $7.99 a month you can stream movies and TV shows via Netflix on a wide range of devices from Roku to gaming systems to your PC or laptop. In fact, there are now premiums added if you want to have physical DVD’s mailed with the lowest subscription starting at $9.99 and the unlimited package going to $19.99, which becomes almost as pricey as some cable and satellite deals. But if you are a person who travels or is on the go a lot a streaming package is the best way to watch new movies or catch up on your favorite series. To sign up for Netflix visit www. netflix.com. 38 • Toyznation.com

Philips Norelco SensoTouch 3D 1250X Electric Razor www.usa.philips.com

Featuring an assortment of new technologies, the Philips Norelco SensoTouch 3D series provides a refreshing way to get a close shave. The GyroFlex 3D system features 3 blades that glide over the skin and provide a smooth grooming experience. The blades are easy to clean and you can use a shaving gel for an even better experience. A Jet Clean system is also available. The SensoTouch series begins at $99. For more information visit www.usa.philips.com or www.misc.philips. com/norelco/.


TOYZ GUIDE GADGET REVIEWS Product Review: Livio Carmen

From transistor radios to satellite the way we listen to music and talk has evolved, now be prepared for the next step, internet radio on the go in your car. Developed by a young emerging from out of Ferndale, Michigan (Their CEO is also featured in this publication), the Carmen functions with your computer by searching for internet radio stations worldwide with the ability to record programming and replay it in your car. You can also store MP3’s on the Carmen adaptor and play it in your car. Recordings can be fast forwarded like Tivo but for y our radio. The Carmen comes with 2 gig of storage and there is over 42,000 stations and can record from and works with the 12 volt adapter in you car. Livio also makes an assortment of internet radio products. For more information visit www.livioradio.com.

Energizer Energi To Go A650 www.energizerlightingproducts.com

•Have you had your phone die in the middle of a conversation? Well Energizer has a great solution for that. It’s called the Energi To Go A650 and it is a rechargeable pocket charger. The charger provides a temporary boost to your phone good for up to 90 more minutes of power, more than enough to finish a conversation, close a deal, email a file, but not recall a wild night in Vegas. The Energi To Go fits on a keychain and costs $24.99 For more information visit www. energizerpowerpacks.com

RCA Travel Charging Station PCHSTAT1R www.rcaaccessories.com

RCA’s travel charging station, the PCHSTAT1R, is a convenient accessory that includes a surge protector, two USB ports, and three power outlets for a total of five charging ports. It’s compact for travel or handy for use in the home. One can charge a laptop, an iPhone, a Blackberry, or a PSP and even share with other devices. The portable charging station retails for under $30. For more information visit www. rcaaccessories.com.

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TOYZ GUIDE GAME CONSOLES & ACCESSORIES by Damola

Image courtesy of Sony

Sony Playstation 3 Move Bundle (320 GB) www.playstation.com

Communication: • Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T) IEEE 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi* • Bluetooth 2.0 (EDR) • Wireless Controller Bluetooth (up to 7) A/V Output: • Screen size: 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i,1080p • HDMI out - (x1 / HDMI) • 1 Analog: AV multi out, 1optical digital out • Blu-ray/DVD/CD DRIVE “read only” • USB 2.0 X 2 Move controler Sports Champion video game $399

XBox 360 Kinect 4G Bundle www.xbox.com

• New XBox experience with Kinect • XBox Live • Stream NetFlix movies and TV shows • 1 AV cable port , 1 HDMI output • 4GB hard drive • Xbox Live headset • Wireless controller $299

Nintendo Wii Red Bundle www.nintendo.com

Red Wii Console • New Super Mario Bros 25th Anniversary Edition game Wii Sports Game Red Wii Remote Plus Controler Red Nunchuck controler $199

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TOYZ GUIDE GADGETS

HP CW450t Digital Camera

The CW 450t digital camera is a compact 12 hp delight with 4x optical zoom and touchscreen on a 2.7 inch display. There are over 25 scene options modes to shoot. The CW450+ is a nice camera for vacations or even to have namely for special moments you want to capture. The camera is easy to use with good quality pictures. For around $100 you can’t find a better value. For more info visit www. hp.com.

Hercules DJ Console 4-Mx

Duracell MYGrid Charger

As we live more and more with our smartphone devices finding quick and efficient ways to power them can invasively become a challenge. Duracell has a number of solutions that I found perfect for smartphone and iPod owners in my home. With the MyGrid you can charge up to 4 devices at once on a sleek looking pad. There are supplied adapters for Blackberry and Nokia phones with an available sleeve for iPhones and other brands. The sleeves cost from $29 to $34.99 and the MyGrid retails for $79.99. There are also 3 portable chargers that can addup to 35 more hours of talk time. For more info visit www.duracell.com.

It was once said, “you can’t have a show without the DJ and with the Hercules DJ Console 4-Mx is Hercules’ best yet as DJ’s now have up to 140 controls in 4 deck mode. The wheel is also bigger, similar in size to CD’s. Also, the mixer has a lot of aluminum and steel for a very sturdy mixing experience. Again this is a pro series mixer so it’s made to stand the pressure. The Mx-4 retails for $449.99. for more information visit www.hercules.com.

HP Portable Hard Drive

With the new ultra fast USB 3.0 connectivity the new HP portable hard drive provides a superior portable storage solution. USB 3.0 is up to 3 times faster than 2.0 and I had a chance to check the speed on my review unit of MainGear’s 131. I transferred over 100GB of video files in a matter of minutes and had my video editors use the drive to cache our video files during editing in Final Cut Pro, so far so good. The best price I saw online was at www.buy.com for $123. For more infor visit www.hp.com.

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TOYZ GUIDE GADGETS REVIEW by Damola »»»»»»» LG LE5400 TV With several options to choose from on the market the dilemma becomes what TV to get, why? What can it do? What about picture? Can it get online? Can I watch NetFlix. Well many of these questions can be answered for a reasonable price by LG’s LE5400. I have been using it for a month and have enjoyed the experience. I played countless hours of Call of Duty Black Ops and the LED backlighting really shows, making the renders even crisper. Movies play great, too as I tried a variety of Blu-ray’s including my favorite Inception. I had a companion Blu-ray and got online via that but you can access Netlix, VUDU, Youtube, Yahoo, and Picassa with an available adapter. Pricing begins $1199 but the 47” tested retails for $1499. Shop around for sales. Overall the LG LE5400 is great value and tremendous HDTV. For more information visit www.lge.com.

LG E60 Monitor

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As desktops became more a gateway to consume entertainment the standard VGA monitors no longer suffice for true dynamic viewing of video. The LG E60 1080p HD monitor is also LED??? and has an EnergyStar rating so it’s green. What I love is the styling which blends fluidly on your desktop and provides a premium viewing experience. The E60 comes in 22” and 23” sizes and retails for $269 and $299 respectively. For more info visit www.lge.com.

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LG BD590 Blu-Ray

I remember the debut Blu-ray and the debate over its necessity and its competition with HD DVD. I was in the Blu-ray corner as a fan of the PS3, so I hadn’t had a chance to check out a standalone unit till I took a swing at the LG BD590. The BD590 is the up model version with a 250 GB HD, but there is a BD 550 model without one but other similar features. Paired with the LES500 I had a wonderful experience with Netflix and watching an array of movies. You can play Pandora, MLB.TV, AccuWeather, YouTube, VUDU, DivX TV, and more from the unit. There are also downloadable content from WB I was able to view which made the experience more engaging. There is a wealth of on demand content all accessible and some downloadable to the Blu-ray. The MSRP on the BD59 is $429 though I saw it on sale at MicroCenter for $250. For more information visit www.lge.com.

Samsung Galaxy Tab

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I have always been a smartphone junkie. I have had them all from Blackberry’s to Windows mobile phones to iPhones to Droids but I haven’t had the feedback I received during my test of the Samsung Galaxy Tab. I got several offers to buy the 7” unit. Equipped with Android 2.2, a 3mp camera, a 1ghz hummingbird processor, Wi-Fi, 3G network of Sprint (I would love to see 4G like my Evo), the Tab is quite impressive. I was able to shoot video of my drive on the all-new Volt with GM. In fact I wound up using more than my laptop. My app on issuu also looked great on the Tab so I’m sold. The Tab retails for $599 without contract and $399 with two-year Sprint contract. There is a $29 2GB of data and $59.99 5GB option. For more info visit www. sprint.com/Tab. 42• Toyznation.com


TOYZ GUIDE GADGET REVIEWS

Samsung SyncMaster P2350 Monitor www.samsung.com

Established in 2002 Gamefly has been leading in the online media rental space before it became popular and put some standalone movie rental businesses out of commission. What is cool about Gamefly is that they rent video games and have an extensive library of games, actually over 7000 thousand games for all existing platforms, such as PS3, Wii, 360, DS, PSP, Gamecube, Gameboy, and more. They also provide you with game reviews, the latest gaming news and you can also keep up with their free mobile apps. The base rental package provides you with 1 game out at a time a comes with a $15.99 fee per month but according to Gamefly their most popular package is the 2 game out $22.95 package. Their max package is $36.95 for 4 games which is still cheaper than the average new title at $59.99. For hardcore gamers this is a great deal as a month is more than enough time to beat a game. Games are also available for purchase at discounted prices if you want to keep them. For more information visit www.gamefly.com

•The Samsung P2350 monitor is a full 1080p 23” LCD monitor that is ENERGY STAR qualified and provides a vivid display that is great for watching movies and active events. It is also great for working on editing media. It is Windows 7 compatible, however, I tried it out on my Mac and had great results. I was able to try it out with Netflix and content on sports-oriented websites. Buy.com has deals on this monitor for $159, so for less than $200 you can get a full HD 23” monitor and also go green. For more information visit http://www.samsung.com/us/computer/ monitors/.

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Gamefly www.gamefly.com

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»»»»»»»»»» Violight UV Cell Phone Sanitizer www.violight.com It is commonplace to have hand sanitizing liquid in our pockets, office spaces, purses, etc. but how about sanitizing cell phones? Huh, you may ask, but think about it. We have touchscreen phones which trap dirt and film which we hold to our face and defeat the purpose of sanitizing our hands in the first place. Fret not, a solution is here called the Violight, a portable UV cell phone sanitizer that disinfects 99% of germs in 5 minutes. It works for earpieces, headsets, mp3 players and smartphones and its sleek design looks cool on your desk. For more information visit http://cellphone.violight.com.

Ownersillustrated.com. 43


TOYZ GUIDE GADGETS REVIEW by Damola »»»»»»»»»»»»

Samsung Facinate Carrier: Verizon Wireless www.verizonwireless.com The smartphone market has simply exploded and none the richer to reap the rewards than Samsung. A major parts supplier for others and themselves with their new Galaxy series of products, Samsung is manufacturer of components for other smart phones like the iPhone and their expertise in their own unique Super AMOLED touchscreen offers phenomenal resolution. The Galaxy S series of phones with Android operating system offers different options with the various carriers. I have been fiddling with the Fascinate on Verizon’s network and have been having fun. The camera has multiple options, even an animated option for pictures. You can shoot 720p HD video and our interview with Samsung LCD unit VP, Scott Birnbaum, was shot entirely with the Fascinate. Verizon has a mobile Skype option, which every carrier should adopt. Verizon also has an exclusive agreement with the NFL and with V Cast you can watch games every Thursday on NFL Network. I was also able to listen to games. The Fascinate has Swype technology for typing which is more efficient in texting notes. The Fascinate is also on the the smaller Galaxy S series phones with a 4-inch screen and a ¼-inch height. You get an 5.0MP camera, 6 hours of talk time, and output to HDTV with AllShare which you can do via Bluetooth. It comes with Android 2.1 but can upgrade to 2.2. You also get a 16GB memory with an ability to upgrade to 32GB. Overall the Fascinate is probably the best smartphone on Verizon’s network. For more information visit wwww.samsung.com/us/mobile.

»»»»» Mogo Talk XD www.mogostore.com With more states adopting hands free legislation, Bluetooth technology is not only convenient, it’s the law. Well, for iPhone users there is a new cool product on the market, the Mogo Talk XD, featuring a special grip case for the iPhone 4 that also serves as a charging unit for the Bluetooth device. The MoGo Talk XD is also compatible with other smartphones and can be paired with up to 5 devices at once. There are 4 hours of talk time and 3-day standby. Retailing for $99.99, you can get more information at www. mogostore.com.

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Livio Pandora Box www.livio.com In 1984, LL Cool J became famous for his ode to his radio. Now Livio is changing the boom box with the LV001 Livio Radio featuring Pandora. With over 20,000 internet radio stations worldwide you can now listen to your Pandora service without a computer and even connect it to your home audio system. The boom box lives on. The LV001 is sold at retailers nationwide. I saw a unit for sale at Micro Center for $149. For more information visit www.livioradio.com. 44• Toyznation.com

Pinnacle Studio HD 14 www.pinnaclesys.com

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With more and more smartphones featuring HD recording capability, proper software is needed to edit and post fairly decent videos on YouTube and social media sites. From the makers of Pro Tools, Avid offers the latest edition of their popular editing suite, Pinnacle Studio HD version 14. With over 130 templates and Dolby 5.1, version 14 wins with the ability to author DVD’s to Blu-ray, HD, multiple gaming platforms, Flash, QuickTime, and more. You can also use a wide range of effects to add a more “Hollywood” feel to your videos. There is a cool tutorial that is handy to getting started as well. For more information visit www.pinnaclesys. com.


TOYZ GUIDE GADGET REVIEWS Product Review Antivirus: Titanium I had Trend Micro on my prior laptop and needless to say it wasn’t my favorite experience. A lot has changed with Trend Micro, though, especially with the Titanium Maximum Security 2011. It comes loaded with their entire security suite which includes antivirus data theft protection, a remote lock of your files in case of theft, and my favorite, a backup and sync which stores up to 10GB of your files in the cloud so files can be accessed remotely. For more information visit www.trendmicro.com.

Product Review: Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 A fast rising company, I have been a fan of Kapersky’s security solutions for a while. However, I had a trojan virus that wiped out my system making it unable to boot Windows, not cool. Their 2011 solution, the Internet Security 2011 allows you to download a clean-up tool for challenges such as these. I was able to clone my drive to copy my files, re-format my old drive, run HP recovery and re-install 2011 with no problems. I was able to clean my files and copy them and now my notebook works fine. Their Internet Security 2011 also has parental controls, the ability to lock your computer, and also has a cleaner interface than 2010. For more information visit www.kapersky.com.

Product Review: NOD32 Antivirus 4

Simply put, ESET has become the industry benchmark when it comes to security. It has garnered critical acclaim from practically all credible journalists and publications in the industry and is also a heavy word of mouth favorite at my favorite computer store, Micro Center. My test with the NOD32 Antivirus 4 has been nothing short of spectacular. It had the fastest complete scan and detected viruses others didn’t. It is very efficient and non-obtrusive. For more information visit www.eset.com.

Ownersillustrated.com. 45


TOYZ GUIDE GADGET REVIEW by Damola »»» 46• Toyznation.com

Mac Air www.apple.com •6  4 GB & 128 GB HD •USB 2.0 •1  .4 & 1.6 GHz Intel Dual Core •B  luetooth, WiFi •5  Hrs web surf time battery • HDMI Output • F acetime Camera

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IPhone 4 Carrier: AT&T www.att.com www.apple.com • Facetime • 16 GB & 32 GB HD • 5MP Camera • Touch Screen • Bluetooth® • Real web browsing capabilities* • Wi-Fi access • Apple App Store

iPad2 Carrier: AT&T, Verizon www.att.com www.apple.com • Dual core A5 1GHz processor • 16 GB, 32 GB, & 64 GB HD • Wi Fi & 3G • Touch Screen • Bluetooth® 2.1 • Real web browsing capabilities* • Apple App Store • Front VGA Camera • Rear 720p HD Camera • Facetime • Garageband • iMovie


TOYZ GUIDE GADGET REVIEW »»»»»»»

HP Printer 6500 A Plus

HP has revolutionized the printing experience. With their “e” All-InOne series of printers you can now print from your mobile device to your printer as long as the WI-FI enabled printer is connected. I have been playing with the 6500A Plus model and been blown away by the experience. Beyond being energy-efficient and Energy-star qualified, the printer prints 32 ppm and has automatic two sided printing. I had forgot to print something out and was able to email my printer get back home and pick it up. Awesome! The printer also has cool apps from Disney, USA Today, MSNBC, DreamWorks, even Sudoku. I was able to find the printer on sale at Sam’s Club for $139 which is not bad at all. In fact, I’m probably going to buy one if I can’t keep this unit. For more information visit www.hp.com.

BluAnt Q2 Bluetooth

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Simply put the Blue Ant Q2 is the best Bluetooth unit on the market. As the recommended unit at wireless stores. I was excited to test my unit and left impressed with the voice commands, the caller ID function. The sound quality is bar none with excellent noise cancelling. They call it their “wind armor technology.” There is also a free Android app to transform incoming text messages to audio. The Q2 costs $129 though I found a number of sites selling it for under $100. For more information visit www. blueantwireless.com.

»»»»»»» Lenovo N5901Wireless

A perfect companion to a multimedia desktop the Lenovo N5901 provides a multi-purpose controller to edit documents, watch videos, review images, and more. Fitting in the palm of your hand with a track ball, you have a 32 ft range with only two AA” batteries needed along with the provided USB receiver. For more info visit www. Lenovo.com. The N5901 has a retail as low as $43.29 on www.amazon.com.

Sennheiser Adidas Headphone

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The Sennheiser Adidas line of headphones are a fully integrated athletic solution for iPhone and iPods, water resistant and equipped with a microphone. The headphones can control your iPhone and iPod controls and have a striking design so they are stylish, too. I tested the PMX 680i Sports and was seamlessly able to make calls and work on my target weight. The yellow and black is very striking and the source is very dynamic. With a long history of making audio equipment, I expected noting liss from the German manufacturer. The PMX 680i retails for $69 at the Apple store. For more information visit www.sennheiser.com.

Ownersillustrated.com. 47


TOYZ GUIDE GADGET REVIEW by Damola TomTom XXL550 www.tomtom.com The portable navigation unit has altered how economy vehicles are sold today. Their price and features have made them an easy addition for any driver. Netherlands-based, Tom-Tom is the world’d leading provider of navigation solutions and I had a chance to check out their XXL 550 unit. The unit is very functional with traffic and upgradable maps. You can find millions of points of interest with advanced notices of upcoming exits. For the suggested $259 price it’s at least half of most installed units. For more information visit www.tomtom.com.

Memorex Deluxe Starter Kit

For those with young children, the Memorex Deluxe starter kit is a must have. Made for the DSI the kit comes with a car charger, 3 stylus, a cleaning cloth, earphones, screen protectors, and a protective case, all for under $30. For more information visit www.memorex.com.

Wrapsol Screen Protector

With a new “clean” solution to screen protectors wrapsol is debuting a line of “fingerprint proof” film to protect the ever sensitive and delicate touchscreens or smartphones and portable gaming devices. With prices starting at 14.95 it presents a good value. They had one for my Evo and I like it better than a number of other solutions I have tried. Time obviously tells in this segment, but so far so good. For more information visit www.wrapsol.com.

48• Toyznation.com


TOYZ GUIDE PRODUCT REVIEW KODAK M590 by Damola

With social media fast becoming the primary means of communication for so many, Kodak has created the ultimate camera to complement the lifestyle and is utilizing an ad campaign that features trendsetters and influentials like Drake, Rihanna, Trey Songz, and Pitbull. The EasyShare M590 makes it easy to capture your favorite moments. You can take pictures or record HD video up to 720p from a 14 MP camera with 5X zoom. Once you sync your camera with your computer, simply click the share button and have your pictures posted on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Kodak Gallery or Orkut. The EasyShare M590 also comes in several cool colors and is almost as small as some smart phones so it's compact. The EasyShare M590 retails for $149. For more information visit www.kodak.com.

Ownersillustrated.com. 49


Introducing

GREENE LEGAL GROUP LLC “ A F U L L S E RV I C E B O U T I Q U E L AW F I R M ”

AUTO & TRUCK ACCIDENTS BUSINESS LAW CONTRACTS CRIMINAL CASES EMPLOYMENT LAW ENTERTAINMENT LAW FAMILY LAW LITIGATION MALPRACTICE PERSONAL INJURY WRONGFUL DEATH REGINALD A. GREENE “THE SUPER LAWYER” Nearly Two Decades of Legal Experience including 8 years at two of the Largest Law Firms in the World & 6 years at the Largest Telecom Firm in the World.

ONE GEORGIA CENTER 600 West Peachtree Street, Suite 605 Atlanta, Georgia 30308 Tel: 678-444-4124 • Fax: 404-745-8589 www.GreeneLegalGroup.com

Reginald A. Greene is known by clients and colleagues as “The Super Lawyer.” He has nearly two decades of experience in the legal field including 8 years at two of the largest and most respected law firms in the World and 6 years as in-house counsel at the largest telecom company in the World. He is a zealous advocate and a shrewd negotiator.

Reginald founded Greene Legal Group LLC to provide clients with the benefit of competent legal resources and services that are extensive enough to handle the most complex matters yet focused enough to provide each client with individualized attention. Reginald and the attorneys and staff that he works with are well-respected practitioners and consummate professionals. Visit our website at TheSuperLawyer.com or call the 24/7 Legal Help Line 866-4-LAW-411 for a Consultation.


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AUTOMOTIVE » DREAM TOYZ « CHRYSLER 300

When the 300 debuted it was the most awarded automobile ever, defining its own unique genre and generating massive revenues from a $23,000 base price up to a $50,000 supercharged V8 then the market collapsed and the story is well told. Hope is back as the 300 has re-emerged to re-establish its benchmark with premium materials LED’s bi-zenon functional projectors a superb multimedia interface including a 8.4 inch screen and available Wi-Fi but how does it drive? We shall soon see but by the looks of things the sky is the limit. For more info visit www. Chrysler.com. -Damola

« DODGE CHARGER Do you remember where you were when you first saw the Charger and I don’t mean the original coupe in 1966, thought it may seem that long since we saw anything new from the 4-door rear-wheel iteration. Well, fret no longer, the Charger is back and better than ever with new upgraded materials, a premium interior and an all-new Penstar 3.6 V6 that makes 292 hp and relaces both outgoing V6’s . The hemi is also back in a 5.7 L V8 and 370 hp form. We still get a 5-speed auto but with anticipated better dynamics from the upgraded rear platform. We should spin some wheels soon. Fo more info visit www.Dodge.com. - Damola

52 • Toyznation.com


AUTOMOTIVE > I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S GREEN

JAGUAR C-X75 The uninformed claim a 560-mile range green supercar cannot be popular it’s just a government grab on our gas guzzling beasts. I say they haven’t feasted their eyes on the stunning Jaguar C-X75 is capable of a top-speed of 205 mph and a 0-60 time of 3.4 seconds. The electric powerplant produces 778 hp from four all wheel drive motors. Astonishing, Jay Leno already has staked his claim and with Porcshe and Mercedes releasing competitors I hope this makes it to market. For more info visit www.Jaguar.com.

PORSCHE 918 Green is in. With Tesla, MB and now Porsche greenlighting a green super car the viability of the segment is strong as the development of the technology in performance will carry over into more mainstream consumer products. The 918 has a topspeed of 198 mph and a 0-60 time of under 3.2 seconds. On the gamed Nurbergring track it achieved a lap time of 7 minutes 30 seconds even the Carerra TT couldn’t achieve that. The 918 is a plugin hybrid with 218 hp of electric and over 500 hp from a 3.4L V8. For more info visit www. porsche.com.

OwnerSIllustrated.com • 53


OWNERS ILLUSTRATED BOSSES EDITION

y .0 l l Ne ll 5 e n r o C

54• Ownersillustrated.com


40 million records sold in a decade is no small feat, yet in the hot today/cold tomorrow hop-hop market, the accomplishments of one Cornell Haynes Jr. a.k.a. Nelly have not yet received their proper due. The platinum single, “Just a Dream,” topped the Billboard 100, though album sales have been tepid. I remember over a decade ago when “Country Grammar” opened the world to the midwest swing. Several artists have benefitted from the path nelly has blazed in film, music, enterprise, lifestyle, health, and charity, where his Jes Us 4 Jackie charity in honor of his sister, who died from leukemia has saved several lives. Nelly is a staple in St. Louis, a former recruit of the Cardinals, he can be seen frequently at ProAm events, dominating at softball, basketball, and football. We have enjoyed Nelly’s presence over the years including our coverage in his hometown of University City, Missouri. We caught up with him during his last project, Brass Knuckles at the luxurious Trump Plaza and spoke on a wealth of issues. As he is again enjoying success with his music, we figure it will be beneficial to share this never-before released exclusive along with video via our app. Enjoy. First of all, [you’re]in partnership with the first black billionaire. How does that feel? That’s one of them unbelievable things. Like...I’m in business with (exhales deeply)–I’m in business with Michael Jordan and Bob Johnson. (laughs) And I came from St. Louis. You know, what more– U City What more you wanna say...That’s definitely an honor for me. That’s definitely something that I feel like an accomplishment–in being able to learn so much. I mean, come on, I’m 32. I’m here with these men...They doing it on all levels, in all facets. They playing golf with the money I make in a year. (laughs) So it’s...a different feel but it feels good. ...How did that relationship even come about? ...Bob kinda sought me out on the Bobcats thing...He wanted to know if I was interested. He thought it was something I would be able to do. I mean Bob Johnson calling me...Yeah, I’m in...’cause...I’m such [a] sports fan, man. I love sports. ...You used to play baseball in the farm league for Cardinals, right? Not really the farm league...I used to go to like playing camps. I used to play SLABA. I used to play St. Louis Amateur Baseball Association...I did a few camps like Braves brought their camp to St. Louis...It was me and Ryan Howard who plays for the Phillies now, first baseman for the Phillies. Yeah, he nice. MVP last year... ...It was me, him, and...his partner named Reggie which is my partner, too, but we were like the only three brothers in that camp...and Ryan was big then. He’s always been that size and he’s always been crushing the ball the same way...I just chose a different route, man. I really didn’t stick with it...I made some dumb moves. I mean baseball–it’s kinda– you don’t see too many brothers ‘cause it’s the summer time, man. [On] Sunday, you trying to hit the park and chill You ain’t tryin’ to go to practice. You ain’t tryin’ to go to no games. Everybody else going to hang...it’s Saturday. What’s up? What you wanna do? Aw, man, I gotta go to baseball practice. What? Alright, holla...If I’da known that A-Rod would be makin’ 25 million dollars a year...

About to get 30 plus and that joint guaranteed. That’s the point. The point is it’s guaranteed, like rain, hail, sleet, or snow. So like, Bob sought you out. Also, from what I was hearing about with Bob, he was trying to basically get young brothers like yourself who are new money and teach ‘em...the investment thing. Talk about that ‘cause I heard about the bank, urban bank and then he got and investment– That’s the thing...Bob got everything. One thing about Bob is he lays it out on the table for you. He’s not just saying I’m just doing this. This is everything that I’m doing. You can be a part of it as much as you want to or how fast but this is what I’m doing and it is going down with or without you, young brother...and that’s just it, he generally wanted to grab a young brother under his wing who he saw was coming up and he nurturing, man. I mean basically, I’m not gonna front like I’m up in the Bobcats meetings,’we should sign him, trade him, do this.’ Michael Jordan is running the team. I’ma tell Michael Jordan about basketball? Right...Even though I have the right to be in every owners meeting, I have the right to voice an opinion, Now does that mean they gonna listen to me? Naw, but I do have that right. I am an owner...but it ain’t like that and they never made me feel like that. They always make me feel like–any time trades go down Bob calls me like, ‘what you think about this? What you think about this? What you think about that? I think we gonna do this. I think we gonna do that,’ and we talk generally but I understand that I’m learning...I’m 32 years old. I’m learning. See, but you in a great position because you’re with the black guy that earned the most amount of revenue ever personally in the entertainment fields. Like they say Michael Jordan’s economic impact was like over tens of billions...we did an interview with Larry Miller from Brand Jordan. They still doing almost a billion dollars a year. Nike can say what they want to but Nike was tough...but until they started making Jordan’s they was just Nike...like for real... Adidas was killing them...When Run-DMC and them jumped out there with them shell toes and the Adidas kicks...like Adidas was fire... Adidas was worldwide, too, with the soccer, with Europe and all that. But when they broke with them Michael Jordans, them sneakers, they killed it and that’s what that man did for them...and obviously he’s rolling in his revenues that he’s making now. So how have you been able to learn from Michael Jordan? Well the thing is with Michael Jordan is that you see the intensity; he wants to win by all facets...like everything he does, he’s the same way with his shoes that he is on the court...He knows he’s Mike. He knows you can’t hold him. It’s the same way with his sneakers. Wait till I drop these. (Laughs) Like that’s MJ, baby... That’s why you love him. You love him for all of that. You love him for his swagger. You love him. That’s not arrogance. That’s confidence. Like that man has proven it, no doubt. When I step on the court, you can’t hold me...and it’s the same way as when he does it with business and the intensity in the way he goes at it. If you look now...they got practices and...he’s going to be practicing with them...He’s not going to sit over there on the sideline...He’s going to get in there and and show you, ‘let me tell you something little bro, I may not have forty minutes in me but I can go hard at you for these five or ten’...and that’s what you get from him...that’s the thing that I learned is that, never say never because here he is...you just see the intensity...Stay focused. OwnerSIllustrated.com • 55


OWNERS ILLUSTRATED BOSSES EDITION

...You got compensated for the Air Force [Ones] (song)? I mean financially, not like that but we didn’t do that to do that. When we did it we did it, we was kids having fun. You know, Air Force Ones. Then we tripped we didn’t know this...was going to be that phenomenon like that. We didn’t know that. We didn’t know we were doing, ‘Air Force Ones’...Air Force Ones wasn’t...the sh*t in the South or in the Midwest. It wasn’t. It was Reeboks. It was the Classics. Remember when Cash Money and them came out with ?Soldier/Solja?Boy, it was the Classics. The Reebok Classics and the Girbaud jeans. Like that’s what that was. We didn’t get on Air Force Ones until I came up to New York. I came up to New York. I was living in New York trying to get a deal before that like two months up here. I was trying to get some Reebok Classics and those stores didn’t have ‘em and my partners and them who um was from New York was like get you some Ones. Ones? What’s this? Like Ones and he showed me the Air Force. I was like alright. Them hot...you don’t know cause in St. Louis they got ‘em but ain’t nobody buying ‘em them look like big ol white shoes. And then we bought ‘em then we started rockin them and then you know Air Force Ones and then that’s what set the trend for the Midwest and the South to step up in Air Force Ones and now Air Force Ones is just a phenomenon. Now they got the classic line where it’s like a buck eighty and the different colors is gonna cost you extra... ...did Nike look out for us? Naaww. You know Nike ain’t cutting no check on that. They like, well, we appreciate it. We’ll give you all the free sneakers you want...we’ll give you plenty of Air Force Ones but... But like how is the relationship with somebody like Jordan able to–obviously he got the best sneaker deal ever now. They’ll pay the athletes. They get it with athletes. They don’t get it with the entertainment like that. They don’t see that aspect of it. Unless the entertainment industry stood up and said yo, we not rockin’ this...until you sign one of us to do something or show some promotion. Then we not rockin’ it. Then they would feel it because they don’t sell their most shoes to athletes. There ain’t that many athletes on the planet. You selling it to the hiphop community. Jordans and Air Force Ones make their money through the hip-hop community. They don’t make their money through basketball. Everybody don’t play basketball...and even if you play basketball you probably only buy one pair to hoop in. You don’t buy every color of the Js when you play basketball. You don’t buy two pair of Air Force Ones and if you hoop nine times out of ten they give em to you. If you on the basketball team, college and all that shit they give ‘em to you. You don’t buy them... we support that...Until we sit up and take a stand at Nike and say I tell you what Nike, y’all don’t wanna give no deals to no rappers... we gonna hold off on Air Force Ones. We gonna hold off on all of this and all of that till y’all step up to the plate and get somebody. I mean how y’all not gonna take care of Nelly and them, they’re Air Force Ones...we shoulda got our shit straight before we did it. I live and I learn...I ain’t mad at ‘em. I still support ‘em. My son still rock ‘em. My nephew still rock em...I rock ‘em every now and 56• Ownersillustrated.com

NELLY» CORNELL 5.0

again. It’s not an issue...but...I also rock Chucks. Now there’s a shot...Mayweather fight. It was you. It was Fifty. It was Diddy. It was Jeezy. It was a lot of money in the building. Talk about that whole experience, man. J.D. was there. That’s what it should be like, though, homes. That’s what it should be like. That’s what I enjoy doing. That’s why I don’t understand like you could create a karma around yourself to where you work and bust your ass your whole life to get in a position to enjoy life and then once you get it you can’t enjoy it because you created this aura around you. It’s like it’s always a (looks left and right)...like you always like that...I don’t know what it’s like to be in the club and always like this. When I’m in the club I’m going hard. I ain’t trippin’. Let’s have some fun and that’s how it should be. It should be like that. It shouldn’t be Fifty way over there. It shouldn’t be like that... ...keepin’ it real about Fifty, we...did an interview with him and he said...if I see Nelly and I’m in my car and I’m in L.A., I’ma holla at Nelly. I’ma say what’s good. Where you gonna be at? I’m at the Wilshire... ...We did it. He not talking about it, we did it. He was coming this way. I was coming this way...what you doing? Where you going? Like what’s up? What you doing, this and that, this and that...I’m bout to head to the lab. What you got poppin’...we got in the works right now this movie that we doing together, me, Fifty, Nick Cannon, Larenz Tate. It’s a boxing movie. We all on the same boxing team. That Nick Cage... Nah, nah, nah...This brand new...we got Golden Boy Promotions behind it...this is about five young brothers on a boxing team together...like we are that team... So y’all doing business. We doing business...It don’t make sense if you not doing it...I understand and I get it why some people do it and a lot of times, don’t get it twisted–I learned a lot when I got in this business so I know Fifty learned a lot when he got in this business...it’s probably so many other moves that he would make differently now if he could go back as is with me but you can’t do that so now he gotta now from this point on live it the way he think it’s gonna be best for him to live it now...and that’s what he’s doing...That’s why he’s like, yo, he got love. That’s strange hearing it from Fifty because you know when he first came out he was like...I know what America wants from me. They want me to be the bad guy...and I think he gets that but I think he also gets that...this is whack... This is whack. I wanna be over there. Well come on over here, then. It’s nothing like that. We ain’t about that...You see us kickin’ it...Jermaine Dupree, that’s my dude. That ain’t my work associate. That ain’t Jermaine, that’s my 1dude...It’s hard to find genuine -Damola friendship...in this business...

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OWNERS ILLUSTRATED BOSSES EDITION

..,I think...the way the culture of the game is, people gotta hate but then in Hollywood like for an Ocean 11 you had Brad Pitt. You had George Clooney. You got Damon. And they out there in Italy parlaying, putting money together...they got projects...Brad Pitt and...got something in New Orleans. You could do Brad Pitt. You could do George Clooney. You could do all that but why I ain’t seen my Denzel, Jamie Foxx, Will Smith movie, yet? Where is that movie? They got enough paper to do it. But where is that movie? You feel what I’m saying? The last time you seen that type of star power was Harlem Nights. Harlem Nights was the last time... (and the only other thing closest to it was Dreamgirls...) yeah...that’s a musical. We’re talking about blockbuster. What we’re talking about right here is Ocean 11 is like 12 major stars putting their own money together.

NELLY CORNELL 5.0

People gonna want it.

...How many records worldwide have you sold thus far in your career? 31. 31 million records worldwide. ...Me and Jay-Z probably around the same records sold worldwide. And it’s incredible because you know, when people look at Jay-Z and look at Nelly, you wouldn’t even compare that...Jay, I love Jay. But class-wise, you dealing with billionaires, too. You got ownership... But class-wise, Jay is Jay. He’s much older than me. He’s been in this game longer than me. He’s been in this game longer than me. I’m 32. Jay’s what, damn near 40...I mean it’s the truth... but he’s where he’s at right now and he’s at the peak of his career. Let me get to his age and see where I’m at. If i’m here now...give me six more years. See where...I’m gonna be in six more years...

Where is my Denzel Washington, Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Halle Berry?? You now what I’m saying? Where is Angela Bassett? Where is my movie? You see what I’m saying? Like that’s the things that I think...

...Talk about Apple Bottoms...

(But you know what that means...)

And y’all got the kids too. Talk about that.

No...but they can make it happen. It’s just gotta happen...and it’s probably been in the talks. They probably been munching about it. It probably just ain’t came to fruition yet but I’m sure they talking about it but my thing is like you just ain’t seen that...since Harlem Nights, the greatest comedians in the world...If you look at Harlem Nights, you...got Redd Foxx. You got...Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, Della Reese...You got Charlie Murphy...You got people that’s upcoming now...the late great Robin Harris. You got so many people in that movie and that movie is a legend. It’s one of my all-time favorites. It can be done. It’s about putting the egos aside and that’s the same thing with the music.

I mean our accessories...we started out–it was just the junior’s line–denim...I started–I funded Apple Bottoms straight from my pocket. I put two million dollars into Apple Bottoms out of my pocket, my idea, my name, my everything. I got a good team around me. Now, thankfully, I have one of the best design teams and best promotional and marketing teams that I feel like I can have. You know...we’re the number two junior’s line behind Baby Phat which send a shout out to Kimora. That’s my girl. She from St. Louis...I definitely support the sister. You know, people be like don’t you see that as competition? Naw, hell no. I think it’s room for everybody. I mean Kimora’s 150 million. We did 110 million this year in gross sales so keep it...I think it’s enough room for everybody. So Apple Bottoms is doing unbelievably well, man. Right now, I’m holding auditions for my all-female Apple Bottom drumline that I’m getting with me, all females, bad, hot, sexy nothing raunchy, nice, sexy...Come out, show that they can hang with the boys but also give it that feminine flavor where it’s like, yo, they hot...it’s probably nothing sexier than to see some playing that drum, hitting that, like work it. That’s what I’m doing together and to get ready for the BET Hip-Hop Awards.

...How did that whole concept of the movie y’all doing–like who pitched that? That’s my concept...I came up with that... And you just called everybody and said... I called that...I got this idea, you in or you out...that simple. I ain’t fin to sit up here and talk to no lawyers. I ain’t fin to do all that. I’m fin to spit it to you. If you feeling me, you feeling me. If you know where I’m coming from. Now be that as it may, being who I am and everything that I’ve accomplished allows me to do that. Now that’s not how I handle business per se with everybody but if I know of a credible mutha**** who’s proven that...his ideas come to fruition and they make money, I’ma stop and listen. Now I get ideas thrown at me twenty times a day from mutha**** that got ideas on how they can make me more money and I got more money than you. And you rollin’ with like the only black billionaire. Because mutha**** come to you like they doing you a favor...check this out. I’m fin to make you rich...I am rich. Yeah, but, say what you really mean...I got this idea to help make me rich. Well say that...Stop frontin’...Don’t come at me with the bullsh*t...The worst thing you can do is come...at me sideways...Just shoot it at me. Be for real... Now, what y’all gonna call the movie? We don’t know yet...my, man Larenz Tate has been doing a lot of groundwork as far as...getting our synopsis...built up...That’s a talented brother; he just needs to be put out there and this is the thing to do it...You got two people from this world with me and Fifty. Then you got two people that’s accomplished actors from Nick and Larenz. It’s a offset, balance...for all of us to be on the same team and showing that type of unity and it’s boxing, the girls gon’ love it...you got Nelly, Fifty, Larenz, everybody with their shirt off all the way through the movie...the girls gon’ love it...It’s gonna be tough...The concept and the plan is just gonna be amazing and then we ain’t gonna even talk about soundtrack...that could come from it...it’s just a whole era...I’m putting it out too early but I’m letting y’all know...because I believe what everybody’s telling me that they in. I’m taking it genuinely ‘cause I’m taking you as a man.

Apple Bottoms, 110 million this year.

Now talk...about...Jackie, your foundation for your sister... Jes Us 4 Jackie. We want you to talk about that...and also just the challenges of being in a public relationship. We own a not-for-profit, the Jes Us 4 Jackie, 4Sho4Kids. That’s something that we still running and we still running strong. My aunt runs that, Chalena Mack. If you ever want to go to the website 4Sho4Kids.com or Jes Us For Jackie.com or Jesus For Jackie.com...you can go on and log on and see what events we have, things that we’re doing and all that. But Jes Us For Jackie, we’re still getting people signed up on the bone marrow stem cell registry. We’re still pushing, still trying to find donors. We weren’t able to find a donor for my sister like you said bless the dead. You know but we’re keeping the spirit going...on in her name. And we were not able to find her a donor but we were able to find a donor for seven other people...so through hiphop, through what Nelly has been able to do through his not-for-profit organization, it’s seven people out there that has transplants that was duly needed, deadly needed...that we were able to accomplish...Well, one of my greatest accomplishments I’ve been able to do through this. Now as far as what we do 4Sho4Kids, you know we have children with literacy programs, children with Down’s Syndrome, we got the R.A.P. Program, the Read to Achieve Program. We also have our tutoring and mentoring program to where we challenge each set of grade kids to um give back like our middle school students tutor the grade school, high school tutors the middle school, college tutors the high school...It’s basically just to give back, teaching people how to look out for one another as they should...and as far as what you saying...as far as the public relationship...(laughs)... Ownersillustrated.com • 57


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NIck Cannon Mogulization

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To the casual fan, Nick Cannon is Mariah Carey’s husband. To those of us who follow enterprise, he is a mogul who has been scripting and creating his own series since he was sixteen. Nick Cannon is 30 now and his long list of success include movies, variety series, radio shows, recording albums, clothing lines, and now his most influential role as chairman of the most popular network among teens, TeenNick. Recently renewing his contract, Nick not only orchestrates from his corner office, he gets in front of the camera also for award shows and his own late night show, The Nightlife. This is while he hosts America’s Got Talent for NBC and his own morning radio show for CBS Radio. And if this list of responsibilities is not enough, he just recently launched NCredible Entertainment where he is developing movies and working on a multi-media comic book series with Simon & Schuster. Did I mention he and his wife, Mariah Carey are also expecting twins? Some time ago we caught up with Nick on his journey to his current position. He provided some critical insight into his thinking that can portend things to come. This never-published exclusive follows: ED Note: Nick Cannon & Wife Mariah Carey welcomed 2 healthy childrenMoroccan & Monroe into the world on their Anniversary April 30th 2011.

Owner’s man, what’s happenin’? I go by the name of Nick Cannon a.k.a Mr. Mogul a.k.a. The 20 Million Dollar Man. You said 20 Million Dollar Man. Please elaborate on that. ...Within the last year of everything that I’ve been doing, that’s how much I’ve accumulated. So you know that’s what we worth for the ‘05-’06 popoff. ‘05-’06 popoff, it was like... We trying to step it up in ‘07. ‘07. So it was a eight-figure salary in the 20 million dollar range accumulated from the various hustles and enterprises under the Mr. Nick Cannon, the mogul, mogulization...I’d seen it in the Teen People about you getting this paper. Let’s delve in and start to break this 20 million into pieces. Like what are some of the ventures that you have going on? We know the movie Underclassman which is like a production that you did if I could be corrected, right? Yeah that was my joint. So break it down. What were some of the different ventures that you had your hands in to accumulate that 20 mil? Like I said, out of the Underclassman, that was the last movie that I produced and wrote, you get a couple of meal tickets out of that...At the same time, Wild ‘N Out being the number one show in cable out of the demographic that it represents...There’s a few meal tickets in that, too. We didn’t even talk about the DVDs. Yeah, the DVD sales and what have you...and then at the same time I own a clothing line, PNB Nation, that, you know, is somewhere roughly worth five to seven million. And then we gonna take that even way higher this year...If y’all not familiar with it, PNB is one of the first hip-hop clothing lines to really step it up...We about to have a store on Melrose in Cali... Melrose in Cali...that’s high net worth. Melrose, you understand what type of money move out there... That’s good real estate right there. Good real estate right there. It’s gonna be real official so you gotta get that. And then you know, from there, just a lot of the other movie deals that I’ve been putting together. Then, obviously my record company, my record deal. I have my own label now, Can I Ball Records/Motown/Universal and... that’s a good situation, too, with a couple of tickets in there, too. A couple of tickets in there. I mean, you know, Sylvia Rhone person-

ally putting her hands on the deal, it got to be a priority. It gotta be some money moving around. We gotta move a couple of things off the table. Now, I remember just following your career...of course everybody knows about the Nickelodeon situation...How’d you get [going] right there? Man, basically, I started off doing stand-up comedy. That was my thing and still to this day that’s still one of my first loves. But that’s what got me in the door and that’s what got me that business mind state to kinda think, I gotta produce and operate my own show, because when you’re a stand-up comic, you produce your own show every night. You write your own show every night. You promote your own show every night. You gotta make your own flyers. You got to get out there, get your name known and stuff so that’s a hustle if you ever had one. So just doing that at a young age, at 15, 16 years old, traveling, you know, the country and stuff , doing different comedy clubs at such a young age, I just was able to pick up on that business mind to where...I’m my own product; I’m my own brand and I gotta build [it]. ...That’s like the crux of it...marketing yourself as your own product. [When] was it that you started recognizing that...Nick Cannon, that’s a brand name...They hear Nick Cannon on the flyer–I gotta go check him out. What were some of the elements that made you understand yourself as your own product and your own brand? To be your own brand, you really have to step out there and you have to be unique more than anything, and one thing in the game of comedy, I was unique ‘cause I was the youngest kid out there. There was nothing else out there like me. I was 15-16 years old, on stage getting it popping so I realized...you get a buzz started...’you hear about this young kid? You hear about this little kid? He doing standup. He wild. He funny.’ And then people start to know your name. So once you get your name known, that’s building your brand...After you go from there, you really transcend into building that name up. Why do people need to come see you? What is in your show that you getting it poppin’? What makes people really understand this is something that–’I can’t miss it’? You need to have that ‘I cant’ miss it’ thing. So that was just perfecting my show and perfecting my craft so once I perfected my craft, you know, I didn’t have to promote myself no more because people were coming to the clubs to see me...and once they came to see me...that’s when it really took off because it was producers, casting directors, and things like that and that’s how I got involved in the Nickelodeon situation and a lot of the movies, getting in business with Will Smith and in the music and all of that stuff. ...First of all you were traveling...to get to these comedy clubs in L.A. Where were you coming out of? I was coming from San Diego. Well I was living in North Carolina... Down the I-5. Yeah then I moved to San Diego and I would, at sixteen, drive up on the 5, like you said, to get to Hollywood and get out there and get it poppin’. So you was willing...at 15, 16, you was willing to [drive] that 130-140 miles from Diego to get out there to LA just to be in the mix. Every week, every day, that was your mission. So that was some hustling from a young age, that hunger, that ‘I want that.’ How’d you come across Will Smith? He’d seen me do comedy. He had my tapes and you know he called me into the office. He was like, ‘Yo, man, I got to work with you. You remind me of me,’ and all this other good stuff and he was like, ‘you got any ideas,’ and at the time I had been writing. I had been...writing for a couple of Nickelodeon shows. I was about 17 at the time. You know, I was the youngest staff writer in television history so I...wrote my own show and I was like...I got this show right here and he loved the idea and we went and sold it to the WB and then from there that kind of built that relationship. The show never came out but it still kinda created that precedent.

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NICK CANNON» MOGULIZATION So the players were able to get it on the back door end like here’s what they working with... Right, right. Absolutely. So, you know, from there it created that relationship. It kinda created the buzz in the industry and made the Nick Cannon name even bigger and then that’s when I went back to Nickelodeon they was like, ‘we had this kid under our wing the whole time, kinda give him his own show.’ That’s when I was about 18, 19; I was writing and producing my own show for Nickelodeon and then from there that’s when stuff trickled out... But where’d you learn the skill...’cause even writing TV, that’s different than writing a rhyme...where’d you learn the skill to be able to write your own... Just being observant, you know what I mean. Obviously, like I said, I was always a funny kid and everything like that and could write my own jokes and stuff and so...I’d be doing the warm-up at different shows like Kenan and Kel and All That and stuff and I’d be hosting in the audience and I was like...I can write that stuff and I would go by the writers room and pay attention and see how they did everything and I’d just start speccing out my own joints and turning them in. Pretty much it was on point. They was lovin’ the ideas. They was lovin’ the voice. I was an original voice...I had that younger mind that they was trying to reach, so it was definitely something that was of value to them so we just kept on pushing and it was just like trial and error, just learning, and you know it was on-the-job-training type of thing. So...Drumline...you were like 18, 19 and then I remember your first album...that was under Jive. How did that come about?

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That came about ‘cause, like I said, I was getting involved. I had started a record label at Nickelodeon–helped Nickelodeon start Nick Records and I was the only artist on the label type of thing and so when Nick Records merged with Jive so that automatically put me on... Jive. ...Jive and then I started working out over there. The first album was crazy ‘cause I got a chance to work with all those different people from like R. Kelly to Diddy to you know, Pharrell. We went real hard on the first album so it was definitely a good look. So okay, then, how did the Drumline situation come about? That was just another thing where I created a name for myself and...the people at Fox kinda called me in and they were really excited about...me...They thought it was a good look and obviously, I had to do a read for it and everything and it popped off and came off smooth. ...What we’re trying to get at is that how’d you segue from... Drumline? You were just an actor then. How’d you segue from that? What was the first movie you produced by yourself? The first movie was actually the Underclassman.


OWNERS ILLUSTRATED BOSSES EDITION

NICK CANNON» MOGULIZATION The Underclassman.

Oh well, obviously, the U.S.

Yeah, you know...once Drumline was a success and Love Don’t Cost a Thing was a success, it kind of gave me precedence in the industry to kinda do whatever I wanted so I wrote my own script...once again writing my own joint and went and shopped it to Miramax and they bought it.

International release.

They bought it. You don’t have to get detail-specific but...a deal like that... let’s say, okay, a person writes their own script, you go to somebody like Miramax...now Miramax is Disney...but how is a deal like that structured? People want to know about–when they say so-and-so is a producer of a movie... how is a deal broken down? How does the money move? It’s a few different ways. Sometimes you can get like a vanity deal where just because they want to be in business with you, they throw you the title. This person was executive producer. But you not really getting the money... They just– it’s in the deal...That might be a term they give you to make the deal a little bit bigger, but in my case, I feel like I was really a producer because I created the project, made the project, hired the director, put everything together. That’s a whole different process. That’s really producing. That’s making a real movie happen so you get paid differently. You get paid on the back end. You get a check up front because obviously I was the star and the writer, but then as the producer you get a check on the back end, as well, and that’s where you really want it. Explain that backend deal because you know, even now, there’s a lot of people with the street DVD’s, with the documentaries...like, ‘man, I got a script. I’m trying to go to Hollywood,’ but then how does the back end part of the deal work?

The U.S. is a small percentage of the world when you think about it. Like it’s a lot going on here but if you’re an international superstar that’s–I think the U.S. is maybe like 20% of the movie-going population of the world. So imagine...you know cats is making paper just in the U.S. Imagine you release a movie in Asia where it’s 3 billion people or a movie in Europe and all of that stuff. So the U.S. is just a small market. Even though we make the most films, it’s still people all over the place so if you get an international release it’s out of here. Alright. So like with The Underclassman did you also produce the soundtrack, too...How does that work? How does that interact with the soundtracks? Oh, that’s one of the reasons I wanted to start my own label and...really get involved in that because the soundtrack game is definitely a game where... it helps promote the movie but then at the same time it’s a whole [other] business venture in itself because the music is so well promoted by the movie company that you can slide a soundtrack up under it. If the movie’s successful, the soundtrack is going to be successful. So it’s like it’s just really bundling in there and getting involved with that and clearing the rights in your negotiation and everything like that and really...understanding the economics of how much to make the record for based on how much they making the movie for and things of that nature. ...Break those components down...for example, Will, they’re doing the ATL project right now. Then T.I. has an album and they have the soundtrack to that...So how does that get figured out, like, ‘okay, here’s how much this budget is for the movie; here’s what the soundtrack is gonna be like.’ In the initial movie budget is the soundtrack budget included in that? Is it a separate...

The back end part is pretty much a percentage deal and after so much money is made off of the gross and all of that, you get a chance to get out there and kinda break up the net...with whoever else who has a percentage or has points on the back end and you get so much...A 20% deal is a phenomenal deal. If you can get...20% on the back end–if a movie ends up making...20 million dollar profit or whatever–which is an okay profit on a movie...

Naw, but what ends up happening, depending on what the movie company is, but if you have a movie company, the movie company can go to anyone they want to, to give the soundtrack, so actually record labels have to pay the movie company for the actual...

We’re not talking about the DVD. We’re talking about just from...

...for the soundtrack. But then it goes back and forth because sometimes–it’s always they’re throwing money back at each other because then the record company’ll go to...after the soundtrack is finished will go back to the movie company and be like, ‘we need help promoting this, you know we need you to put money into the soundtrack.’ So what ends up happening, as myself like as an artist or someone who’s a producer of a film–if I’m involved with a film saying, well, in my deal like, ‘I want the soundtrack, too. I want you to give me that so I can go sell it to any record company that I want to.’ So being the fact that I have my own label already, it’s like once I’m negotiating a movie, in my contract I ask for the soundtrack and then I take the soundtrack and put it out on my own label and get a budget for that and then based off that–So it’s pretty much, whatever the record company wants to put out the soundtrack for based on the movie, they’ll do that. - Damola

From box office. The box office. You know you get money from the back end off of that...Then the same thing, you can negotiate your DVD and you get your back end off of that. And it’s just really getting a percentage of the dough of what the movie actually made, which most people don’t get because you get paid up front in movies, but if you get the back end, that’s that long term paper. ...Let’s say...you do your U.S. Premiere, then they talk about the international premiere. How does that work right there and how is those deals structured? Where is the difference like–let’s say in a U. S. film and then the international film?

...rights.

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AUTOMOTIVE » INTERVIEWS by Damola

VP GLOBAL DESIGN ED WELBURN To re-enter the stock market with the largest IPO ever is a feat, due in no small part to the quality of products GM has under its shed. Now streamlined to 4 brands and still maintaining its global footprint, resources are now more efficiently allocated to stunning results with class leaders like the Cadillac CTS Coupe, Buick LaCrosse, Chevy Volt, GMC Terrain, and more. Ed Welburn’s footprint and fingerprints are all over the new blueprint for success. Product, product, product. Ed Welburn was hired as Global Design Chief in March 2005 and with the 3-5 year development cycle for automobiles, you can attribute his stewardship to a total reformation of build quality, design interpretation, fit and finish, and technology innovation. With 10 design centers in 8 countries around the world and 1500 engineers at his disposal you get the China studio’s Lacrosse, the Warren studio’s Volt or the German studio’s Regal. We got a tour along with a moment of Ed’s precious time and spoke about all things GM. I’m Ed Welburn, GM Vice President of Global Design and we’re here at the Detroit Auto Show, fascinating show. Every year is a great show but particularly this one’s got a very different kind of vibe, very different kind of edge to it. And we’re here with the Cadillac Converj. Cadillac Converj takes all of the style, all of the elegance, all of the dramatic presence of Cadillac design and marries it with the electric technology from the Volt. So this allows you to have a very elegant, very upscale, luxurious vehicle and have a guilt-free vehicle as well. And that’s what luxury is all about. So do you think this car will make it into production? It’s purely a concept. We haven’t talked about production with the vehicle. It is based on a lot of the Volt technology. Uh when I develop a vehicle I really want it to be a well thought at vehicle with production in mind down the road but it is a concept. It’s got all the hard edges that Cadillacs have. It’s got that real attitude, that real gesture in the theme that all Cadillacs, great Cadillac design should have. The front end, it’s got a strong, you know, with this car you don’t need a grille because of the technology that’s in it but we have a strong shield that gives you the look and the power of a Cadillac front end, very strong vertical headlamps, vertical taillamps and taillamps that even have a hint of a Cadillac fin. It’s a little bit different than the Sixteen Signature too that it’s carried on, just slightly twist on it. It’s built on the design philosophy that we showed in the Cadillac Sixteen, the Cadillac ?CN?, brought to production with the CTS. Now the new Cadillac SRX has got it as well and we’ve continued to progress that design language through the whole development of the vehicle. So Ed, tell us about this SRX cause I remember last year we had talked about the Provoq that kind of brought the des-... It was kind of a prelude for the uh SRX now. The production veh-, we’ve got the production vehicle here and it has really come a long way from where last generation SRX is, slightly smaller in overall length, actually a bit wider, you know, so it’s got a wide stance, uh short overall length so it really has got great handling capabilities on the street and available front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Great interior as well interior that was very much inspired by CTS now with some new refinements new features that have brought that kind of energy, that kind of design execution. Can you show us some of the um, interior? So, any rate, you know this design really borrows a lot from the CTS as far as design vocabulary. Of course, you know all Cadillacs will have a lot of the shared vision for the design. You know it’s got a new cluster that is really, the layout of the cluster is fantastic. It’s easy to read, well, well-executed cluster, every feature, all the refinements, the great integration of materials the nice wood integration with all the other leathers throughout the interior. So this also has the same powertrains as the CTS? Um, there are two different V6 engines in this vehicle, powertrain’s a bit different, configuration’s different. You know, CTS is rear-wheel drive with optional all-wheel drive. This is front drive with an optional all-wheel drive system. Sits a bit higher than CTS. It’s just great entry-egress, getting in and out of the car is quite easy and this is two-row whereas the last generation of SRX was a threerow vehicle. How about the wagon? The wag- I like the wagons based on the CTS sedan. From the rear door forward it’s the same car as the sedan but in the rear portion we’ve given it, I think, a very special profile. Let’s come around to the back of the car, the fact that it’s got a strong crease line, Cadillac crease. We call it the crease of the pants that’s in the tailgate. Strong vertical tail lamps. You know Cadillacs, all great Cadillacs have strong vertical tail lamps and that’s true for this car as well...Uh what can I say about the V, I love it. It’s my daily driver. I drive a CTS-V. I mean it takes all of that refinement, great styling from the regular CTS and just takes it up a notch or two with a stronger front-end design with the...I don’t know a grille design that has been used on all V-series cars and the grille texture is a mesh that has been used on other V’s and it’s here as well. But you out-perform every other, even the luxury Euros and the Japanese manufacturers on performance with your vehicle. Well, you know, this car with 556 horsepower set a record at the Nürburgring. I mean, it is the fastest, was the fastest production sedan on the Nürburgring circuit and that is a track that is kind of the measure for performance cars because it’s not just going around an oval, not just in a straight line but it is a very demanding, uh, racetrack road course which brings in every type of condition that you might wanna go through on a race track and this car set the record, faster than anything from Europe or from uh, Asia.

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AUTOMOTIVE » INTERVIEWS by Damola

PRESIDENT & CEO OF CHRYSLER BRAND OLIVIER FRANCOIS

2008 was Bad, and I mean bad meaning Bad, not Bad meaning good. We were witness to the greatest economic collapse of our lifetime and with it were casualties such as the great American Icons created by Walter P Chrysler. Well that part of the story wasn’t to be as the US Government intervened in the benefit of it’s citizens and its manufacturing base and provided a rescue which included a partnership with Fiat to rescue whatever it could of the Brand and its affiliated cars and trucks. The process wasn’t easy a number of executive abruptly quit and in the end Olivier Francois wound up as the Head of Chrysler brand and marketing for Chrysler, Dodge, Ram and Jeep with Ralph Giles CEO of the Dodge brand. Earlier in the year we were granted a moment with the affable CEO who was overseeing a celebrity charity effort for the victims of the Earthquake in Haiti, below are excerpts from our dialogue Kind of introduce yourself and your position you hold with Chrysler. Yes my name is Olivier Francois. I’m the CEO and President of Chrysler Brand and we’re here at the Washington, D.C. Auto Show introducing our cars but also a very special, very, very special car,here behind me, which is Chrysler 300, which is literally covered with hundreds of signatures of all the big stars of Hollywood in favor of Haiti. So we are going to sell that car on auction and to raise money for the Haiti relief efforts. So how did this whole project come together ‘cause I see you have the Red Cross involved, Celebrity for cause and a lot of different organizations involved. How did it come about? We had the opportunity to have that car on a very important red carpet and having a lot of stars putting their signature. All the stars know that the car is going to be sold and auctioned for the American Red Cross and for Haiti relief efforts. So now you stated, you were at Lancia and actually you merged Lancia and Chrysler together. Talk to us a little bit about that.

innovation and technology.

So Lancia and Chrysler are two different brands. Clearly one is very European, the other one is very American but both share some very interesting, common aspects in their DNA. Both are very elegant and stylish and refined and glamorous brands. That is exactly European style for Lancia and American style for Chrysler, so style on one hand, technology, character on the other hand, so more or less the same genetic combination of DNA which we love to make those brands grow and reach[ing] their own range, enlarging, enhancing their range because Lancia is a specialist in doing little cars, so little, stylish, high-end compact cars., Chrysler does bigger cars, so we are going to develop future projects which can fit both brands, designed for both brands, so with the style, the combination of style and of character and

Well, I actually saw the concept you had at the Detroit Auto show which is actually the Delta Lancia and it was in the Angel and Demons movie. So talk about that concept a little. I like it personally. I like the style and the elegance but it’s sleek, premium materials. Is that something that we might see carry over into the Chrysler brand? No, absolutely not. That car is an illustration of- it’s just having fun and trying to understand even more what is the reaction of the public displaying a Lancia and trying to see if the Chrysler logo could fit on it and actually we used that car to test the market and we organized an alternate display so customer survey and asked a segment of customers if they like the car if they look at it as a potential Chrysler, not that car as it is, but that shape, that approach to automobile and so on. And the answer was very positive so it just gives us a starting point to develop [a] new car. Well, behind you is a 300 which was a very big award-winning car and we know that a new model is coming soon. Basically what can we anticipate from the next model of the 300? The same tradition of luxury, design, and power. for video of our interview visit www.toyznation.com

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AUTOMOTIVE » INTERVIEWS by Damola PRESIDENT FORD THE AMERICAS MARK FIELDS

Ford, GM, Chrysler, one of these kids didn’t need government intervention. Take a guess. Actually, that is too easy as the topic was probably at the forefront of the populace for 2010. Ford had begun its own restructuring earlier, shedding brands and even leveraging the blue oval itself. In the midst of this massive undertaking was an executive, perfect to oversee the division most essential to any restructuring success, the Americas. Mark Fields during his employment at Ford since 1989 has helmed many groups and markets including Japan’s Mazda, Ford of Europe, Argentina, and the Premier Automotive Group. Since October 2005, Mark has taken the role of President of Ford itself. In his role, he is responsible for all operations in development, manufacturing, marketing, and sales of Ford and Lincoln in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and South America. Mercury is no more, with the 2010 model year being the final in its storied history. Ford launched a “Drive One” campaign under Mark and the brand’s divestment allowed for a dedication of resources to the brand that invented the assembly line manufacturing process. The success has been startling with vehicles like the Focus, Fiesta, Taurus, and Explorer garnering great reviews and most importantly sales, a testament to consumer acceptance. I caught up with Mark in Detroit, getting a briefing on the portfolio and especially the new global-focused compacts. Our dialogue follows. So introduce yourself to our people out there at Toyz Nation, who you are and what you mean to the Ford company. I’m Mark Fields and I’m President of the Americas and what that means is I run North and South America for Ford, you know, manufacturing, marketing, sales, purchasing, and all that stuff. So now we’re standing here in what you guys just debuted. Tell us a little bit about this all-new Focus. This is a brand new Focus...Well, you know, we really have worked and listened to our consumers over the last number of years and what they’ve been telling us is they really want to stay connected to their devices so a couple of years ago we introduced Sync into our vehicles. You know, it connects people to their Bluetooth devices. So what we announced was a new upgrade of Sync where you can actually download your tweets into your car but also we introduced what we call a new interface vehicle called MyFord Touch and it’s how the consumer interacts with the vehicle in terms of the vehicle information like temperature control and navigation and how they use their mobile phone and how they use their audio and their MP3 systems. Simply put, what the mouse did for the PC we want MyFord Touch to do for how you interact with a Ford product.

So now it seems like Ford has carved this niche that is in tune with the new wave and not only have you guys carved that you guys were able to avoid getting a government bailout so to speak. So speak about that and how you guys kind of foresaw things that were going on in the market to avoid the pitfalls that have become some of the other manufacturers. Well, I think a number of years ago, three or four years ago, we laid out a plan that included restructuring, getting our costs in line, but also investing in products that people want and value. We really based that product strategy on quality, best in both quality, on safety, where we can be second to none on safety, [and] fuel efficiency. [With] every one of our products, our intent is to be the leader in the segment on fuel efficiency and something that we call smart technology which is technology that makes people’s life easier when they’re in their cars as opposed to technology for technology’s sake. We’re seeing new products come to the marketplace and consumers really like them. Our market share was up for the first time in fourteen years. And that ‘s a very interesting point. And actually what’s interesting about what you said is that you’re focusing on technology that is focused on the consumer and I say that when people make a car investment, you’re making a five to six year commitment and you probably will spend more time behind the wheel of your automobile. People were telling us they were really frustrated, you know. It’s dangerous to make a phone call in your car as you’re trying to dial the phone number of a friend and drive at the same time. So we looked at it and said okay how could we come up with a solution through voice activation and we make that really easy for consumers. That’s where Sync came in. Then we saw the advent of MP3 players [and] iPods. People wanted to take their music lists with them and bring it right into the car as opposed to buying new CD’s and putting them in the CD player so we made Sync compatible with MP3 players where you can call up a track voice-activated. Now what we’ve done with MyFord Touch is the five button layout of a remote control or an Apple iPod, etc. We put that on the steering wheel so the consumers as they’re activating different systems in their vehicles, they’re used to a common formula. So we’re really listening and working at a different clock speed than we ever have before as a car company, almost at the clock speed of consumer electronics. It’s just about listening and then responding to customers. Well that’s very interesting there, too. In addition you have the EcoBoost technology and you’re actually debuting a new Mustang V6 that is 30 miles per gallon on the highway but over 300 horsepower. Talk about that. People have their cake and eat it too because the Mustang is all about performance and we introduced the 3.7 liter which gets 400 horsepower and as you said 30 miles per gallon. So they get the fun but they get it responsibly. And we’re also announcing today the 5 liter which is a storied engine for Mustang owners and that’s gonna get 412 horsepower and 25 miles per gallon so you know we really work on engine calibration and the combustion ratios on the vehicle to really make sure we get good fuel economy but not take one iota away on the fun to drive aspect. You actually did a great job on the Fusion Hybrid which won an award. You guys actually brought back a lot of storied manufacturers, Jaguar, Aston Martin, Volvo and you actually developed great products and now you’ve been able to sell them and have them go about their way. How much of that technology have you guys retained internally to kind of integrate its way into some of the new, more products to come. Well as you look at Jag and Land Rover, for example, some of their lightweight technologies around aluminum, those type of things, our people learned from that and incorporated it into a number of our vehicles. Clearly Volvo, which we do own but we’re in the process of selling, we’ve learned a lot on safety. They also learned a lot from us on active safety as well. So it’s really been a good relationship as we owned these brands and what’s important to us is that we sold them and we sold them to responsible owners. In Tata’s case, they bought Jaguar and Land Rover and I think they’ve done a wonderful job with that and we’ll see what we end up with with Volvo. So I guess in conclusion, tell us about the future. We’re talking about in-car technology; the Taurus has been great with blind side assist; all of these new things integrated; better efficiency out of your powertrains. What is the future then? Where do you see the market let’s say in the next 24 months? We don’t see a V-shaped recovery because you know, folks are still trying to work down their debt and those type of things but we continue to bring out products in the marketplace that really focus on quality, safety, smart technology, and fuel-efficiency and we want to be the best in each one of those areas because those are the things that are important to customers and we’ll see how the chips fall. You know, we grew our market share last year for the first time in quite a while and we’ve got a full pipeline of new products this year. We’ve been more busy this year than we were last year so we’re hoping that will show up on the showroom. 66• Ownersillustrated.com


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JOHN KRAKCIK» CEO HYUNDAI USA Experiencing an almost 40% market share increase while the entire industry is shrinking is not only counter-intuitive, it doesn’t make sense, yet Hyundai did just that in the past 2 years in probably the worst environment the auto industry has experienced in our lifetime. 100-year-old GM and fellow Detroit Big 3’s literally collapsed and if not for a government bailout would have ceased to exist. Hyundai had a simple message during this economic turbulent time, “Assurance.” In a fit of brilliance Hyundai offered to suspend payments of laid off workers without adverse effects to their credit and after 3 or 6 months they would take the vehicle back with no problems. This kind of daring leadership is what you get from John Krafcik, an energetic graduate of Stanford with a Master’s from MIT, who during his 25-year auto industry history conducted the almost obligatory Ford tour and accented that with the daring of the South Korean Hyundai to have a 6-year run par to non. Taking the helm in 2004, he launched 7 new models in 24 months, all of which laid the foundation for what now are traditional cars of the year, from the Genesis to the Sonata to the new Elantra equipped with heated rear seats and touchscreen navigation in a compact vehicle and conversely, the Equus, which comes with an iPad and app instead of a paper owner’s manual. I got a one-on-one with John at Torrey Pines during a launch event for the Sonata Turbo and Hybrid, both contributing to over 200,000 units of the Sonata sold in its inaugural year. A fascinating interview, (how many CEO’s have swagger like this), I was more than appreciative for his insight. I’m John Krafcik. I’m the President and CEO of Hyundai Motor America. I’ve been here about 7 years with the company. So you’ve had a pretty interesting journey up the ladder at Hyundai. Talk about that and your start here at Hyundai. Well I came from Ford. I was actually a chief engineer at Ford. I finished a 14-year career there in about 2004 and Hyundai was looking for a head product guy, product chief, so I chatted with them. I love the company’s kind of outlook. It’s a very optimistic company. I’m an optimistic guy. They had a growth bias, thinking about ways to expand their product line, so the fit felt great and I ended up going to work as the Vice President in charge of Product Planning and Corporate Planning. I did that for about 5 years or so and I’ve had my present position for the last couple of years. Now talking about your product line because five years ago you weren’t in the luxury segment. I mean, 5 years ago when you said Hyundai, you would have thought about the Accent, the Elantra. You guys are in the minivan segment. You’re in the upper luxury segment. You’re even pursuing the S-Class but what is also amazing is you’ve been getting double digit sales growth, quarter for quarter. While the whole industry was falling off a cliff, you guys were getting double digit sales growth. How did you manage your company through such a turbulent time for the industry? One of the great things about our products is that we say they research very well. So the more consumers learn about Hyundai, the more there is to like, honestly. We’ve won all these awards. Our quality’s outstanding. We have America’s Best Warranty and now we’ve got this great fuel economy record. We’ve got really great new styling on our Tucson and Sonata, the Genesis, 68• Ownersillustrated.com

and the Genesis Coupe. So all these things have kinda come together at just the right time. We had the great recession in our country in late 2008 going into 2009 and that made people really think, who needed a new car, huh, should I get a BMW? Do I want to get the traditional brands? I’ve heard about Hyundai. I’ve heard they’ve got good value. Let me check ‘em out. And a lot of those people who were introduced to our brand during that period, they really liked what they saw. They gave us a shot and we’ve been able to continue to grow even as the economy’s began to recover, albeit a little more slowly than we’d all like. So now talk about, now you have a new Elantra coming out and then obviously you’re also launching an Equus. So talk about that range. That’s quite a range. (laughs) It’s quite a range. So we’re gonna be launching very, very soon our all-new Elantra. That’s a car that’s gonna start more or less $15,000. Fantastic car, outstanding fuel economy across the range, dramatic new styling. It’s gonna use the same recipe we have with Sonata. Very simple recipe, great design, best-in-class fuel economy. I think its gonna really, really shock the compact car segment in similar fashion to what we’ve done with Sonata. Then you mentioned Equus, completely other end of the scale. We’re close to announcing price on this car. It’s gonna be a car that is in the $50’s and $60,000 range and what we’re trying to do with that car is show the world that we can design and bring to market cars that are fully competitive with the very, very best cars in the world, as you said Mercedes Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series, Lexus LS, those kinds of cars. We’re gonna do it at a remarkable price point and value position and and we’re gonna do it through our Hyundai dealer network which is pretty cool and we’re gonna deliver some pretty amazing customer service experiences that you won’t be able to get at a Lexus dealer, at a BMW dealer, or at a Mercedes-Benz dealer. The one we’re most proud of is something we call, Equus ‘At Your Service.’ It’s a valet service where if you want your oil changed, if you have some maintenance that need done, if you have a warranty repair, we’ll actually come to your house, leave a loaner car for you, either a Genesis or an Equus, drive your car to our shop, fix it, repair it, do whatever is required, and then bring it back to you. After you buy the car, there’ll never be a reason for you to go to a dealer if you don’t want to. Wow, that’s really tremendous. Now you also spoke earlier today about exceeding half a million cars sold annually. Talk about that and that transformation, especially with over a hundred thousand of the new Sonatas already sold. Yeah, actually we’re past that. We just passed 150,000 already so far this year. We’ve got a shot to finish up the year at about 190 to 200,000 range and that means our total Hyundai brand sales, first time ever, over half a million units. That’s a huge benchmark for us especially as the industry has gotten so much smaller. I mean this year, maybe the industry will sell 11.3-11.4 million units. It used to sell 16-17 million units. So the industry’s a lot smaller. We’ve been able to grow our sales in a smaller industry. That’s pretty cool. For more of our facinating interview visit www.toyznation.com - Damola


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WALLACEI was SANTOS » LOCKED IN MAINGEAR 18 years old and in January we started...or we re-started the business

There is a lot one can accomplish when motivated by your dreams. Wallace Santos loves building computer systems and if CNET, PCWorld, and a slew of computer journalists concur, he is not only good, but he is the best there is at what he does. Wallace, a native of Brazil, is only 27 years old and his New Jersey-based outfit, MAINGEAR, has been enjoying robust growth since he started the company in 2002. Hiring over 20 people to hand-build these super systems, Wallace is an innovator, adopting liquid cooling and a vertical setup to allow beauties like his 24GB, 12TB 3-video card system to flourish. I met him at a Pepcom event and followed up with a very interesting conversation. We also conducted a site visit and are testing a unit currently. Wallace gets all aces with us! With delight, I share some of our dialogue. ...First of all...introduce yourself and MAINGEAR and what MAINGEAR does. Alright. My name is Wallace Santos. I’m the CEO. MAINGEAR today builds some of the world’s fastest, high-performance personal computers. We started the business about eight years ago. And basically it came from being a hobby. Put it that way. I’m doing what I love...Eight years ago I went to school for networking systems professional. I thought I would start a business in, you know, consulting for doing networking for small businesses and...the business took off on its own in terms of people wanted me to build ‘em computers not to fix their computers and that’s how it came about...Let me back track a bit...Before that, I used to work for my partner now. I used to actually be his employee...It was basically, 17 years old, going to school, finished school, it was actually a tech school...So...Jonathan...was my boss. I went to school, was working for him in his office. I was their IT guy...As soon as I graduated school I said, ‘hey, John, I want to start up a business. I have this idea...we’re gonna build computers and we’re also gonna fix ‘em...It’s just a small computer shop type of a deal.’ ...What were you doing with John? Oh you were just their IT guy...

Yeah. I was just their IT guy. You know, Jonathan, actually, he used to build schools. He was a big general contractor at the time and his office had a few computers and...I would just take care of his computers for him. Now he thought that it was great. ‘Yeah, let’s start the business up and let’s see where this can take us.’ He invested the sum of $10,000, so...we got the business open...opened up a business account...basic stuff that every business needs. And I basically would go take a walk down the ave and knock on door to door asking people if they wanted me to fix their computers and/ or if they wanted me to build or whatever they needed, any computer service they needed and over time what we realized is that, you know, most people...want you to build them a computer; they don’t want you to fix their computers. They wanted–they needed something faster, something better than a Dell and they wanted something that people could actually service easily. I started building more than I was fixing at the time, man. This is when we thought about it. We said, ‘you know what’–our original name was called–the company name was called E-Z Tech, it’s an ‘E’ dash ‘Z’ space and Tech–’we need to actually build a brand and...give Dell and the competition–actually, we need to build something cool; you know, E-Z Tech won’t fly.’ So over the holidays which was from 2002 to 2003 we literally came up with a list of names, came up with like 300 names and we were just thinking and names here and there and we had all sorts of crazy whacked out names and we ended up coming up with MAINGEAR. What year was this? This was from 2002 to 2003, so this was over the holidays, for like New Year’s. So you guys got started what year? 2002. Officially the business started in 2002 as E-Z Tech, September of 2002. 70• Ownersillustrated.com

as MAINGEAR [in] 2003. And this is where a lot of research came through ‘cause I mean...I never thought that I could do what I love which was PC gaming and building gaming computers. That was my favorite part out of the business. It was obviously, gaming, benchmarking because it’s like racing, right. So like when you’re benchmarking a system versus the other it’s like...you’re trying to squeeze as much performance as possible out of your system to beat the other guy...I’m a very competitive person so anything that’s competitive gets me going on...and that was the idea. Let’s build the fastest machines we can build to beat the other guys and let’s try to get some magazines as well. Let’s do it so the world can see. And I started hitting up all the magazines. I started calling people up and you know a lot of people would turn me down because it’s just another business knocking on their door. ...What kind of magazines were you reaching out to? All the major computer magazines at the time...the big guys in the computer world that is. PCWorld. PCWorld, PC Mag, CNET. I remember perfectly when one of those guys–I don’t want to state their name because today we actually have a good relationship–I actually took a ride to one of those big magazines in New York and the guy actually gave me the time of day. He said, ‘you know, here, I’ll give you a tour of our lab,’ and he gave me the tour of his lab and I said, ‘hey when can I bring my system over so you can see my system...I see all of these Dells here, all these HPs and you know all of these big guys here. When can you see my system?’ He just turned around and looked at me and said, (laughs) ‘yeah we don’t got time for the little guys, bro. Come back when you’re a little bit bigger.’ Oh, wow. Yeah, man. In a way, he didn’t mean to offend me, but in a way, that guy–he started a fire in me. I felt so upset, it’s like, ‘wow, I mean this guy–you know I can build systems that can kick their asses here and he won’t even look at me,’ you know. So, actually a little website at the time called systemcooling. com, they don’t exist anymore, they accepted my offer. They said, ‘hey, you know what, send the system in and we’ll take a look at it. It’s no big deal we’re a small guy too and we’ll work with you.’ They received my system and it was the fastest system they had ever tested and this was my starting point. This is where, publicly, I made my debut as the fastest system that this small website ever tested. So I started hitting up the magazines with that reference. I said, ‘hey listen, systemcooling took a look at our box and they said it’s the best. How come you guys don’t take a look at it?’ So a magazine called, CPU, Computer Power User, at the time, and obviously in 2002-2003, actually 2003, magazines were still, you know– digital kind of took over, but magazines were like the primary source. Today you have web and print. At the time, Computer Power User, they said, ‘alright send the system in and we’ll review it, but you know this could make you or break you. Just be ready. Yeah, you want to play with the big boys you have to be ready to take a dive because...We potentially can hurt your business’ and I said, ‘no problem I trust the product that I’m building. You know, I’m sure I can stand on my own. So I sent CPU Mag a system called the F131 at the time and guess what, it happened to be the fastest system CPU Mag had ever tested. And this is a respectable computer magazine...so from there, the doors started opening. I got to do a CNET review which we got the same award, you know, ‘one of the fastest systems we have ever tested.’ I got to do a PC Mag review. I got to do you know, all the major guys started to say, hey, this guy’s for real.


OWNERS ILLUSTRATED BOSSES EDITION

WALLACE SANTOS» LOCKED IN MAINGEAR You got CNET that’s pretty big.

we’re planning on doing a green manufacturing facility.

Yeah, well CNET’s huge, man. We’ve been working with them for years now and we earned their respect. We earned their respect in a big way because at the time it was just like where is this little guy coming from and he’s building these systems that are rocking out the other guys. We were the first to introduce liquid cooling to the mass market at the time. Liquid cooling of computers, it was unheard of. It was dangerous. It was stupid. It was in the way. It was something that...why would you put water and computers mixed together. It doesn’t work, right. I wasn’t the inventor of liquid cooling but I was a pioneer, one of the pioneers to bring it to mass market. Today all of the major guys like Dell, HP use liquid cooling in their systems, right. So...we introduced liquid cooling and it was a big thing at the time. It was actually through CPU Mag; they made a cover. We made the cover of their magazine with a liquid cooled system. The competition followed shortly after...Today we bring a lot of the new innovations from our partners like NVIDIA, Intel...ATI AMD. We’re first to market with the technologies because we’re able to integrate it very fast. We hold a patent today in our SHIFT, our computer system called the SHIFT, and it’s for vertical heat dissipation in the computer...As you know, heat rises and we said...it’s just common sense. You know, if heat rises, these computers are running hot, why don’t we just flip all the components inside the computer for the the ventilation to be vertical instead of horizontal. That was a smash hit for us. We introduced this technology last year and today if you want one you need to wait a month for one. So it’s pretty cool. We’re the first with a lot of stuff. We’re the first company with balls. At the time I looked at some other companies as well, companies like Alienware, you know, they were the biggest one at the time. I said...if these guys are doing something cool why don’t we step it up a notch...So today we happen to be one of the few boutiques out there because all the other guys got bought out. You know, all the other guys got acquired. So we happen to be one of the few boutiques in the industry that’s making some kick-ass systems. So tell me this, how much volume do you guys move and how many employees do you have?

Out there in New Jersey?

...Actually, I thought I told you employees-wise, we’re 20 employees right now. I think I told you at the show I was 15, but I forgot the people in Florida and we have a guy in Virginia that does our sales...our CTO’s in Texas. So we have some people spread out throughout the country and what’s cool is that in today’s day and age...we’re all interconnected so I can talk to you through a Voice over IP phone system as if you were right next to me, as if you were in my same building. So I’m able to actually...hire the best people in the country, not just the best people in my area. You know, that’s kind of my idea...I want the best people working for me no matter where they’re at and if I don’t have to relocate them, even better, because they can still be near their family. They can still be happy employees and we can work with them and I’m sure they’ll give us a great return. We’re 20 employees...I can’t necessarily talk about the volume because we’re privately held, but we do very, very well. We’re growing almost 100% every year which is even in... this downturned economy. It’s kind of crazy, right, but we’ve been growing. We’ve relocated facilities about four times now to bigger ones. Each time we’re getting a bigger one. We’re in the process of acquiring another facility, actually a land-space to build our own facility now.

In New Jersey, yeah, as green as possible. So...everything from the solar panels to the drop down–I forgot what they call them. It’s these domes... it’s like skylights and...it lights up your building without the use of energy... we’re trying to integrate things like that into the new building. We’re just planning right now. So I mean is Christie or any of the legislators working with you guys to get you tax breaks or empowerment zones or bond raising or any of those sweeteners? Yeah, we’re gonna go after that. Right now...as we speak, we’re just making plans of what we’re going to integrate and we’re working with an architect and an engineer. You know, once we’re ready to really start the project, well we already started, but once we’re ready to execute the construction–cause my business partner, don’t forget he happens to be a general contractor–so it happens to work out really well for us. We’re gonna go after those guys and we’re gonna see if they can help us with anything which I’m sure–New Jersey has a lot of good tax breaks for clean energy so we’ll figure that out when the time comes...that stuff is something...just to show you...my vision of the type of company that I’m building...everything from...the work environment–like whenever your photographer comes by you’ll see the work environment we’re in now. Yeah, he’s looking to come by Wednesday. ...So when he comes by Wednesday, he’ll see the place is...actually a nice environment to be in. Imagine like a big shop...it’s like a big warehouse... and instead of just having the boring colors and...not caring about the look and feel or the vibe of the place, we’re not like that. We put a lot of thought into everything that we do. This place here, we thought about the theme of the place. When you come by you actually think you’re in a Ferrari dealer or mechanic because we have our mechanic carts. Each guy has their mechanic carts, each builder and the place is black and red. The whole place is themed out. You know, we have a nice entrance, a nice lobby with a nice display...the employees can take a break and they can actually go play video games during their break or they can play ping-pong. We have a ping-pong table back there. We’re setting up a gym this month for all the employees...I believe that if my employees are happy they’ll output more, they’ll output better, you know; they’re gonna do a better job. They’re gonna care about their job and care about what they’re doing...so that’s kind of the idea and plus I’m young. I’m their age. So...it kind of inspires them. It’s like you know, ‘wow, man, look at that. Wallace is doing big things with the company, with the name, you know. I want to get to that level, too’ and it makes them work harder. They say they have somebody to look forward to and they say, ‘wow, this guy’s my age and he’s working with me and he’s training me and he’s helping me become a better employee, a better person.’ So that’s kind of the idea. Tell me this–that’s pretty interesting–you started a company after going to a vocational school for IT is that correct?

Wow.

That’s correct, yeah. To read more of our compelling interview visit www.toyznation.com

Yeah, and it’s gonna be a state-of-the-art facility. I mean this is a three-year project...so don’t hold me to it right now...it’s not gonna be next year, but

-Damola Ownersillustrated.com • 71


OWNERS ILLUSTRATED BOSSES EDITION

AUTOMOTIVE » INTERVIEWS by Damola

VP SCION JACK HOLLIS

Having served the Toyota Motor Corporation for nearly twenty years, Jack Hollis doesn’t take the charge of leading Scion lightly. It is not every day a brand carves out a niche that winds up portending the most essential demo for future viability among Gen X and Gen Y consumers. Appealing to a totally unique demographic, mostly trendsetters who are apt to follow organic messaging as opposed to a uniform one size fits all solution, Scion mastered its approach with an affordable no-haggle “Pure Price,” tons of customization options, a lot of grassroots outreach among car clubs, and a distinctive overall style. Jack Hollis is captain of Scion and on a warm day this fall in New York, we had a chance to chat all things Scion. Energized with infectious enthusiasm, Jack discussed a variety of issues and I was there to experience the energy and witness the launch of the new Scion tC. Our dialogue is below with available video. So talk to us about what’s going on today here. Well, today we had a chance to bring out a lot of the east coast media to introduce them to the new Scion tC, the 2011 tC; but at the same time we got a chance to talk a little bit about the brand in itself, where it’s come from, where it’s going, and you’ll see out here in front of us some of the cars of some of our owners that came out to join us as well today. They knew we were here to show the new car. They brought their cars out. We’re just having some fun. Talk to us about some of these past editions and then we are gonna get a look at what’s new. Well, when Scion brand started, we really started with this plan to really reach a youthful customer and one of the cars that really kind of stood out for us [as an] iconic new car was this first-generation xB. This is one of our Release Series that we have here, one of the most dynamic ones, this envy green color. What’s neat is we started this brand where people got so excited about their cars, they started coming together and creating their own car clubs and right now, I don’t have an exact number. We have somewhere, though, in the range of about a thousand car clubs across the country, people like these that get together and hang out and have fun with their cars. This is one of the one’s you can see here that’s been completely modified. Now all of these are from one of the car clubs here in the New Jersey area. The Scikotic, I think. The Scikotics. And the Scikotics are a big car club around the country, but each three of these, two males and a female...brought their cars out today and one’s really based on a stereo audio system on this far one over here. A couple of ones here are more [based on] some performance-generated accessories. This car’s just amazing. It’s a good thing we don’t have the audio on right now ‘cause it would pop you right back. It’s great! I think these owners, the passion that they have, is what gets me excited at Scion and being, you know, kind of the captain of the Scion ship, it’s fun to be a part of people who just love their car, love to drive, and love to kind of just hang out, too, making friends. It’s a great time. So talk to us abut the new model, the new Scion tC. Well the new tC, all-new for 2011, in basics, we took the best of the first generation, made them better but then...kind of innovated in new ways... You can see right away a little more angular car, a little more aggressive in its stance. The cool recipe for success...is we got a new engine, a 2.5 liter engine that creates more horsepower, more torque, and better gas mileage and that to me is a pretty good recipe. So now talk to us about the direction of Scion because you guys’ marketing technique is a little different. You’re doing a lot of grassroots stuff. You know you guys have the mixtape-type philosophy with new bands and helping people discover new talent; like, I heard one of our reps in St. Lou–I mean in Kansas City was like you guys have a Scion lounge, like an actual lounge! So talk to us about that and that approach ‘cause it’s kind of different from a lot of car companies. You know, when I say different I’m gonna put them into two different buckets. You have your traditional advertising and traditional marketing, heavy television, heavy radio that works very well to really kinda broaden who you are, but what Scion really has been is about taking our cars to where youth hang out; for example, Kansas City has a lounge. We have some–an art installation studio ourselves in Los Angeles. We have another kind of lounge, a different kind of a location like a warehouse in Portland, Oregon where Scion owners can kind of come and just be a part of art and artistry and that probably is where Scion marketing has been. It’s about the non-traditional, but it’s really about this emerging artist or people who are non-traditional and to reach them it’s about getting out and hanging out at clubs, music, film, entertainment world itself...Our approach, being nontraditional is about how we make relationships one-on-one...Even like today, the four owners who’ve come out, they took a day off of work just because they wanted to come out and hang out with us and see what the new cars are all about. That’s kind of the community we’re a part of and building that, again, on one-on-one relationship. I’ll also say, we still continue to advertise on TV and radio and different things but our primary approach is always going to be grassroots marketing or taking the marketing to the people. 72• Ownersillustrated.com


OWNERS ILLUSTRATED BOSSES EDITION

GADGET» INTERVIEWS

SCOTT BIRMBAUM VP LCD UNIT SAMSUNG

With a lot of volatility in the LCD business including a 6% year over year drop in U.S. LCD sales (probably due to a lack of credit, housing related, etc.). New technology has to emerge to spark interest a generate business. There also has to be more business to business related applications. Both of these perspectives were addressed with our time with VP of the Samsung LCD, Scott Birnbaum. He amazed me with Samsung’s transparent LCD unit which should debut some time in the first quarter this year. We also spike about other happenings in the LCD business 3D, even LCD’s on vending machines our fascinating conversation follows. ...with no direct backlight so it’s actually a transparent display. This is actually going to open up a lot of new applications for a display technology. Today when you use an LCD it’s actually used in a device because you have a backlight and it’s a finished product so you’ll see it inside of a tablet or you’ll see it inside of a notebook computer or a television set. But with this technology it actually can blend into the environment. So it actually is transparent. So the demo that we’re showing here you could actually see the bottle behind here, the grapes behind there and you see a flat panel. The difference is no backlight. We’re using indirect backlighting on this demo so we actually have some lights that are at the top here that light up the display and you’ll see some very vivid colors that come across the screen but it looks fantastic. You can see through it so you don’t need this big display that’s here, you actually have a thin piece of glass that’s just hanging there. You could use it in lots of different applications. In fact, you’ll start to see it in products as soon as 2011. So what quarter of 2011? So no official announcements on quarters because we’re working with lots of different companies that have different development schedules and none of them are ready to release that yet. So now, tell us about Samsung’s vision with LCD’s. Obviously with the smartphones you guys have been providing screens for your own products, for third party products. With desktop LCD’s, you guys have been pretty strong in that arena. So kind of talk about your overall strategy and your positioning in the LCD business. So Samsung has a very strong position across all the different business segments. So if you look at the panels that are out there today, Samsung is playing in all the key market segments. We have the leadership position in all of those key areas, in fact, we’ve driven a lot of the new innovation so the latest TVs that you’ve seen, the LED TV’s was really driven by Samsung. They were the first to introduce the edge-lit, very thin, ultra-thin panel that drove all of the LED TV’s out there. They were also the first to actually promote the 3D concept in TV on the LED side as well as LCD so they’re driving a lot of new innovation. The kind of next wave that we’re seeing are things like this transparent LCD. We’re also seeing LCD’s that are being used in applications that you traditionally wouldn’t see in LCD. So a great example of that is on the front of a vending machine so we’re working with Coca-Cola and with Kraft and we’re rolling out new vending machines that actually have a 46-inch touchscreen on the front. It can actually give you all of the information about the products that are inside. You can learn about nutritional facts. You can get the calorie information and you can make smarter choices as a consumer as you’re buying these products but also also it gives the brands the ability to actually advertise on those screens since you have this full 46-inch screen you could actually have the ability to have Mr. Peanut, for example, wave you over and tell you to go buy their product and since there’s four million vending machines around the world today, think about the ability to network those and build a global media network. It’s gonna give brands that are not only used inside the machine but brands that want to be on that global network the ability to have this global reach that no other media network has. So obviously, talk about your 3D strategy actually from your perspective. So 3D is very exciting for the consumer. It’s actually the first big change that you see in the TV space beside the advent of HD. So when HD came out it changed the whole game. It really changed then how people viewed sports. It changed then how they viewed movies. It changed the games that they played. It actually changed the format of the components and the products that they bought to work with that. 3D is gonna do the same thing. So now you have a new eco system that’s developing with things like 3D Blu-ray players. You have home theater systems and you have these new ultra-thin, 3D LED TV’s that are actually giving consumers a new reason to buy a new television set. It’s a very exciting space and since Samsung’s actually been driving this at the panel level we actually developed the right panel that actually gives the best 3D experience for the consumer. It really gives them the opportunity to feel like they’re actually in the movie theater. We’re actually taking that even one step further by building larger size screens to give a more immersive experience and beyond that we’re actually looking at things like multi-screens and so instead of having one screen in your home, you could actually tile these together, have multiple screens so you could actually have this as big as your wall itself. So you could have a hundred-inch screen, a two hundred-inch screen, or a hundredfoot screen depending on how big of a room that you have, very exciting. And then beyond that we’re even looking at like ultra definition so you could actually get higher resolutions than you get in today’s 1080p. So a lot of exciting things that are here today and for consumers to look forward to in the future. OwnerSIllustrated.com • 73


OWNERS ILLUSTRATED BOSSES EDITION

Russell Simmons

The Godfather

74• Ownersillustrated.com


There is no adjective or platitude I can profess that hasn’t been already mentioned in regard to Russell Simmons. To say he ushered and proved the economic viability in a culture that has done more to unite people from diverse backgrounds as any movement in history will be an understatement. The fusion of rock and hip-hop with “Walk This Way,” the establishment of mega tour, the Fresh Fest, The Blueprint, artist management through Rush Artist Management, films with Krush Groove, Def Jam’s How to Be a Player, Rush Hour, no I didn’t forget the Def Jam logo, the mentoring of the current industry leaders in all aspects. We can discuss fashion, Phat Farm, Baby Phat, his jewelry line, books, Def Jam Vendetta video game, financial services with the Rush card, and the financial literacy tour, Hip-Hop Summit, I could probably join the dozens of other journalists and write a tome dedicated to Russell Simmons’s accomplishments and would probably miss essential contributions like his impact on politics, weal and more. I was fascinated after covering one of his Art for Life charity events in the Hamptons. I have spent the past 3 years working on the proper way to present the exclusive interview. I literally had to re-focus my publication to match the depth of wisdom expressed by the wise sage of hip-hop. Uncle Russ, as he is affectionately called, provided a blueprint for the current generation. I take it upon myself to carry this legacy forward. So without further ado, here is our exclusive interview. [Speaking about Global Grind] ...This kid, Greg Battle, the CTO–now Navarrow is the CEO of this company called Global Grind...it’s a godfathering site where if you go to the first page you see everything that’s out you see a little bit of every site. And you also can put three or four grinds of your own like say you wanna see New York Times...so you got the front page of all the sites and maybe the New York Times or if you wanna put Wall Street Journal or New York Post, whatever you wanna put there and say you’ll see these six sites maybe it’s AllHipHop. Maybe it’s city lights or whatever...Imagine you can go to this one page and you see Jay-Z sells company for 2 hundred million it’s also a relevance engine so every article like that article can be pulled up immediately. So you’ll see that but you can check out your whole landscape without surfing and then also on top of that it’s a cultural network where you can build things together with different people and you can find out what people think quickly in this community because...it’s a collective intelligence of the community; that’s what the idea of it is and so if you work with General Motors and you wanted to find out what hip hop thought you could find out what all of hip-hop thought just by– Go into the site. It’s a relevance engine. It’s a relevance–in other words, all that’s relevant–if you want to hear every song and every article written about the two hundred million dollars, you can pull it all up. Every time Jay-Z talks about selling something you could get all of those songs, the lyrics from all of those songs. You can pull out so much stuff from this first page, all the video and also it has if youtube has fifty videos the top fifty rap videos will be pulled up in order...In some ways I think...it’s a better service than YouTube... and from a news engine–all the hip-hop news, it’s definitely the most concise...we spent a lot of money on this technology and there’s a lot of different technology that’s being used in a creative way–so that’s global grind; that’s our new investment... For us...somebody involved with hip-hop would be able to approach a billion. I’m like the next revolutionary group of people at least movement entrepreneurially are gonna come from this culture. Of course they are. I said the last one was the Bill Gates and the tech sector I said the future is out of this segment and I said one of them is gonna reach a billion quicker than you know and people used to look at that as crazy and then you hear 50 Cent is involved in the Vita[min] Water deal with Coca-Cola–4.1 billion dollar deal. Jay-Z sells 200 hundred Million dollars. Of course all of what you have done to kinda pave the way… ...I mean I sold two companies right, but I never built nothing; it’s never entrepreneurship for me. I always did what I liked doing, in other words, the fashion business was something I liked and I didn’t look at it as a business as much as and I did manage it I mean it was a business I did have to figure out how to make money off of it. I had to figure out how to man[age]–and I think

the reason some of us are entrepreneurs creative people…[break to move indoors from outdoors] ...but you were talking about even with the fashion and running your business and entrepreneur– It’s all creative stuff. It’s something I love doing, poetry passion. You know I did’t make billions of dollars I guess big numbers depending on what you think of but now I realize I gotta make a lot of money cause I got a lot of...to do. I got Hip-Hop Summit. I got the Rush Foundation. I got the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, the Happy Hearts Foundation, the Diamond Empowerment Fund. I got these are things that and other tons of things that I invested you know from Farm Sanctuary...These are all very important charities to me. Most of them I mentioned are run out of my office. I have a whole office full of people that they run these charities and also [I have] a real interest in the choices that people make...to determine the direction of the country and our policy and what we do with the wealth of this country, in other words how the consciousness of this country is affected by the people who have the ability to promote ideas. In other words, when you got...50 Cent on the phone and he talked about the drug laws and they changed the drug laws and made a difference. Him talking about it and Jay-Z and Mariah and everybody when they came out, they made the governor change the law. We still gotta change it more but the fact that they did it and not only did we change it there, we got Arnold Schwarzenegger to change it in California, Proposition 36 where [prisoners] now go to rehab. We got the same thing in Maryland...That to me is the most important thing we can do so I see my man’s crib he’s around the corner. Tracy Maitland, you know Tracy Maitland’s the black guy with Advent Capital, one of my best friends...He’s like my lifelong friend he got 40 acres and a Bentley. I mean he got 40 acres in the Hamptons...His crib is–he just built it. I was at his crib; I was like wow. I was just saying to you, the seats, I don’t know how many, you can only sit your ass in one seat. A lot of people here today but mostly it’s as small as it is big. You know so I only need to have two new Volkswagens. I traded in my other two new Volkswagens in. I got two new ones...How many Volkswagens do I need...but in the long run if I can make a lot to give a lot it would be good ‘cause you can use it where it makes a difference. Like Rev said [Expletive deleted] what you buy; don’t worry ‘cause he, Bishop Jordan, and Rev. Ike, they got a certain attitude about money cause nobody can’t find their house and celebrate what they lookin’ for. They get lost so that’s how they feel about money so you can spend it on yourself, it’s okay but it’d be nice if I could live off 1% and give away 99%. That’d be nice and I don’t find any extra comfort in more. The crib I had with my wife, I don’t live there no more, right. The bathroom is so far from the bedroom, I’m getting old I’ll [Expletive deleted] around and pee on myself. [Laughter] I don’t need it. So it’s not that necessary to me at this point so the purpose now maybe after all this work you know because I care less about it this Global Grind they wrote about it and I trust Navarrow. They built this whole company in the back. I spent all this money building this thing and I trust maybe what he built maybe it will make me a lot of money. I’ma buy back Phat Farm it looks like not because I need Phat Farm but I’m building Russell Simmons out of there. I got this Atman, the clothing, you know, the Atman collection and that is selling like crazy. I mean they pay a lot, God’s expensive I guess cause all those spiritual shirts I made $170 and $200 T-shirts, they selling though so they’re buying $200 T-shirts. But it’s also though the Atman fragrance is for charity. It’s a whole different kind of statement. Writing that book. That book became the number 2 bestseller in the country but it’s about you know the same mindset I’m trying to get in. I spend my time mostly trying to figure out how to run these charities and then I design stuff. I spend a lot of time producing a bunch of television shows but that’s mostly talented people that aint’ really me. You know doing the new Def Comedys, I ain’t cast a soul. I seen my man...Capone and I said yo, make sure you’re on the show. That’s the only person I booked. They booked a hundred comedians. So I’m not really doing that. The poetry, we’re gong to Riker’s Island to tape this time because it makes since to tape in Rikers Island. They got a lot of dope poets in prison. Run’s House, they’re filming. All I do is show up and wave as a producer. I don’t [really] do shit. I already [did] it, made it what it is. So I don’t really have, I have a lot of talented people doing all the work and my input is sometimes to shape ideas not really to do the work. OwnerSIllustrated.com • 75


OWNERS ILLUSTRATED BOSSES EDITION

Now you said about Phat Farm, though that you acquired. Who’d you sell it to? I sold it to Kellwood. I shouldn’t say I’m buying it back. I’m saying I don’t like the design issues. Phat Farm is supposed to be this, this [touches clothing], that’s all. It’s ain’t supposed to be young cause it’s not young. It’s an older young men’s company. It’s a certain classic idea. Even if it don’t sell sit it that way. Let it come back later...Don’t try to chase young people. Chasing young people will destroy it...Leave it alone and sell less. You’re selling $200 million in Baby Phat or they double the billings, 400 [million] plus they got lingerie and jeans you know, sell that. Let’s keep the company stable but you know I sold it to a company that needs to constantly keep figuring out ways to make money. I said, well, we built a new company in Russell Simmons which is testing in Macy’s and Nordstrom’s and Dillard’s and all that. It’s a different classic company which kind of takes up where Phat Farm left off. We built another company, a young men’s company called XV. And all the XV stuff is very aggressive. I want to partner with Ludacris on that in terms of imaging and making sure it’s right. It’s a a young company with young edge. It has all the the upside–I’ll show you some stuff when I do the photo shoot, I was gonna put on something from XV. The upside down horse–it’s the Farm shit from 1992, a lot of edgy shit that’s called XV which is 15. The company is not 16 years old but it’s a whole design that’s young and edgy that was the original heritage of Phat Farm but it had two heritages, one was the classic. So let the regular Phat classic just sit there. Let it just sit there for now. Don’t chase no fashion and then let XV be the fashion. Let Russell Simmons do what it is, what it’s doing, which is a little bit edgy but really it’s argyle culture, it’s called and then let, I had this whole idea but I don’t own the company. You know, can’t do it. Maybe you should also think about Phat Farm in terms of making it like Guess. You see Guess was [a little] cool but they opened them stores and then profitability is crazy. So I vision for that company still, ‘cause I love it; I spent so much time with it...but if not I’ll see what happens, if I can’t make it you know cause they’re a public company and they just want pennies every quarter. They’ll do whatever they got to do to get their quarter cause their quarterly and some of that stuff has been hurting... Their earnings. Everybody has earnings and it’s by the pennies. Those pennies will ruin. That’s what happens when you’re a big company. For the crowd you said you want you want people to be able to know that they can get that same type of thing even five years from now. Five years from now the company could catch fire. Just like the little horse caught fire, just like the alligator, you know, it depended on timing. But keep it classic cause if you start chasing trendy audiences, it’ll never come back right. It’ll never, it’ll just destroy it...It’ll turn into FUBU...but they were that kind of company. We don’t have to go down that path. No one believes you anyway. Phat Farm can’t make clown shit. No one believes you. It don’t look right so it destroys the company so to do it because you can sell in some places is a bad omen. That’s greed...I’m not even supposed to talk about that really cause I’m not trying to destroy the company. I think the company still has equity...So...we’re talking about businesses I guess, the important thing for me to promote and people talk about business and they ask me is that go to work and do what makes you inspired that we’re all breathing the same air as billionaires and when we’re happy with that idea, you know most of us got climate control somewhere we’re not really in the heat, we’re not starving; starving people always overweight. [Laughter] I mean everybody complains about life, you know, damn I’m starvin’, son and yet they gettin’ up at two in the afternoon–I’m a vegan...I’m not eating no animal product; I get up at six in the morning; I practice yoga daily, which is a very aggressive, hard [practice]; I take my time out to meditate; I take my time out to do–and I work all day and there’s no luxury except the work itself ‘cause they’re not giving us nothing. We’re all workin’. I did get to buy the bike today; I am guilty. Other than that, this what they’re doing out here; we’re building this charity today. I had to call a lot of people; I’m trying to sell these last few tables. We’re all working at different capacities. It’s a question of if we’re happy working and if we’re inspired working so that’s what people have to know in order–[if] that’s the kind of success you’re looking for is to be happy in your space.


OWNERS ILLUSTRATED BOSSES EDITION

RUSSELL SIMMONS» THE GODFATHER What do you want now?

That’s where the newness comes.

...I want now–they say that the pursuit of life if you’re a Christian would be Christ-Consciousness. The pursuit of life if you’re a Buddhist would be nirvana. If you’re a yogi would be samadhi–to be–to accept the blessings, be happy. That’s all–what else is there to be but to be happy. I think that happy space, you can communicate that to people, helps them get out of their struggle. The best way to be happy is to make others happy, right. So helping other people–you help somebody get rich, you get rich. Every time you help somebody, every time–the profitability of Phat Farm is in Baby Phat ‘cause Kimora is hot. Helping her get hot was important...

...One thing that strikes me is that Kimora came from a modeling background to now a CEO of a company doing hundreds of millions a year and you know you got so many young women, that’s why I kinda want you to just give us an idea of like the evolution because you actually were an entrepreneur years ahead...

...How did that come about because it was like–it’s not traditional...what you’re doing has always been out of the box because we’re talking about ‘92 urban fashion and I remember Black Enterprise article and then people were being aware of yourself as an entrepreneur but then you jumped into the fashion and you brought Kimora there and then what y’all did as far as even women or the junior section–clothing–it never existed. Well, there was nobody black except Karl Kani. You could go to the Magic Convention without one black face and I didn’t see Karl Kani so I didn’t know. I mean he was just getting started. There was nobody when we went to work there. We built our first booth in the beginning of ‘92, there was no booth. There was no black company at all, owned by black people at all and now it’s like a hip-hop convention. The jewelry business, we’re doing very well in right now. We’re in 1800 doors. We were in 180 doors in the beginning of the year. Simmons jewelry is on fire. If you go into Zales or.. or Kay or Gordon’s–especially in...Kay, I think is our biggest distribution for now and we don’t know if we can distribute anymore, you know, ‘cause [we can only be in] so many malls, so many places. They don’t have any brand of business for any African American people at all in the business, at all...If you go to Zales, you don’t see nothing that you think is gonna do with us so we have a whole collection in there and a branded Simmons Jewelry Collection in some of those stores. They tried to widen the distribution; we have to cut them off. I think we made a better deal with Sterling and Kay so you know you can’t be in the same mall in every store. So we already built a lot of distribution this year but it’s because there’s a void of black entrepreneurs, that we are so successful because what we’re giving them–and I want people to come and join me–’cause what we’re giving them is so different from what they have in those stores. The same way we’ve been with our clothing, we made something that nobody else was making. That’s why we got a leg up. That’s what black entrepreneurs do. Usually, even in the mainstream, especially, they do something that people need...something different...something that we have that’s talent or from culturally but America needs it–the whole America, not just us. So that’s what– I think even entertainment is needed cause that’s content. Oh, they need content, for sure. All punished people always got good content. You got to tell jokes when you come from struggle or whatever it is, you know–there’s a different–you have to create something of your own.

...The best way to make money is to make someone else some money. The best way to do anything is to give it to other people. The best way to be happy is to make others happy. It’s in every scripture and it’s obvious. So signing Jay-Z or Ludacris or Beastie Boys or any of–they went on to do what they do–putting Chris Tucker on TV and then finding him in Africa doing what he’s doing, finding Jay-Z giving water to people in Africa, seeing Ludacris Foundation work, seeing any of it. You know, seeing any of these people give, it’s like an extension of your giving. That’s your- and aside from the fact they send you back a little piece. I mean when I was running Def Jam , before I sold Def Jam, if not for Jay-Z, if not for Ludacris the sale of Def Jam would have been a different number. If not for DMX the sale of Def Jam would have been a different number. We was cold. We was getting ready to sell the company for 40 [million] and within 18 months we sold it for 130 [million]. So signing other people obviously makes numbers. Giving other people a leg up gives you a leg up. That’s the kind of thing I want to communicate with people because we still, people think I’ma get mine. There’s nothing to give you. What they gonna give you? Especially, what luxury can you use beyond for a second and then you realize it ain’t nothing. You get rich, you drive a car around the corner and park it. You like that’s it? That’s 400 grand? That’s [Expletive deleted] insulting. It makes people sad, people who have been working and they think they’re working for the thing but they’re working for the pleasure of doing it. When you’re in the studio and you’re making a record, you put your ear in the speaker...oh my God, wait till these [Expletive deleted] hear this... that’s all you’re thinking...when you hear it on the radio you’re like I wonder what these [Expletive deleted] is thinking cause you trying to please people. You’re trying to get it. Then they give you the check...that’s great...it’s just paper. Let me get a diamond. See through a diamond; it don’t do nothing. You get a car, you had a car or maybe it’s your first car, you get around and find out getting there quicker don’t make that much difference. You find that nothing they give you is good except the gift itself so if that’s the mindset of more black people, they’ll be great entrepreneurs because the more you give the more you get. The more you are conscious that that’s the process– the more you know that there’s two sides...the Machiavellian side–I’ma get mine...and you can maybe sneak a way to get more things in your pocket and they make you sick ‘cause if you’re not giving as you’re receiving it promotes a sickness in you so there’s the Machiavellian view and there’s a view of being happy...part of the process. I would say happy makes money. You always like that dude that comes in giving, dude that shows up giving with the happy grin...Bring him, Kevin Liles, I’ma [Expletive deleted] with Kevin Liles, just wanna do the job... OwnerSIllustrated.com • 77


RUSSELL SIMMONS THE GOD FATHER

...Just capture like the essence of how you were able to– I wasn’t able to do it, they were able to–you know what, you find talent and you give them a platform and you try to help them–it’s just something that happens. You find the talent and you give them a platform and you try to make sure you find things that help them latch on to then they just go do what they do... ...I guess cause for myself, man, it’s such an honor to have met... Listen, B, it’s my honor when I see somebody doing what you’re doing and you tell me I’m any part of the inspiration. It’s my honor and I mean that with the most sincere–so you saying that is very nice and I appreciate it but you don’t have to say it ‘cause really in my heart...when I hear it sometimes its overwhelming ‘cause I just enjoy doing it so much and the best thing I get is when you telling me that...I internalize everything. I already got it. Everything you’ve said has been so gracious. It’s all good... To think...it’s selfish on my part–what I do is selfish...You find that what really makes you happy is helping to lift other people up then the more you do it–it’s a selfish thing. Half of the time your own happiness–and you know it–people don’t always know it. They wake up in the morning thinking they wanna figure out what they gonna get that day but they really–anybody who gets anything in that day, that we talking about, wakes up thinking about what they gonna give. It’s how you wake up...I’m getting ready to...and people say, I’ma kill ‘em. Even the drug dealer says I’ma kill ‘em. I got the hottest shit on the block [laughter]...and they think–everything that we sell is for happiness, whatever we sell. We want to try to make sure what we sell is for long-term happiness. That’s why if we don’t, sometimes we get what we give. So when you first–you know if you get happy it’s from–when you sell someone drugs they get high. They’re happy but the drug dealer dies before the drug addict because he giving something that’s short-term happiness–mostly always–most of the time [Expletive deleted] is really hot and then the people who gettin’ high they may be high and look a little twisted but the drug dealer mostly dies before the drug addict. Try to give things that are lasting and stable and as you give those things and they make people happy–’cause everything– a bomb. They sell the bomb and say yeah, I got my bomb now [laughs].

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OWNERS ILLUSTRATED BOSSES EDITION

(Cont) They pay for it because it makes them happy in some short-term or long-term thing. So I try to move now things that I am selling into things that are more to make long term happiness, finding ways–if I wanna be in the diamond business I wanna make what she’s running, the most important part of my diamond business. I wouldn’t even be in the diamond business except for what Ellen does. [to Ellen Haddigan, Executive Director & Vice President of the Diamond Empowerment Fund] Ellen tell them what you run. Ellen: The Diamond Empowerment Fund RS: And what are we trying to do? Ellen: We’re trying to raise money for education projects in African nations where diamonds are a natural resource. We’re trying to do this through raising the consciousness of the consumer... RS: And the industry Ellen: And the industry RS: The whole industry. They’re not so smart about Africa even though they get all their diamonds from Africa. [Points to Ellen] That bracelet she’s wearing, I want to raise 35 million dollars for a school that needs–they need 35 million dollars. The first school that we focused on is called CIDA. It’s a free college in South Africa. The guy who’s coming in, we’re trying to get him involved and he’s from Africa– So is this going against the conflict diamond situation? RS: Yeah. Ellen: Completely. RS: We went to study what diamonds do to Africa. [Points to a brochure] That’s the mission right there and that’s one of the charities that’s run out of my office. She built this foundation that’s helped us to manage the Hip-Hop Summit and other different– Well see the Hip-Hop Summit, that’s what I want to talk about ‘cause I personally have covered that. Right. I know. [I’ve seen.] And the theme of that Taking back responsibility.

ta learn the tools on how to convert what you dreaming and vision into the reality of what you could apply everyday and then here are stories of people that have done that. ...But you know what you do–there are so many ways to do it. One of the things–I cover it a lot in the book–one of the things–whatever people are doing that you like help them do it. [If ] somebody’s doing something you like be humble enough to help them do it. And if somebody’s making money and you help them to make money, obviously you make money. If you help somebody make money...they gonna call you back. They’re gonna send you a check. In the book I talk about sweeping in front of the store. If you sweep...in front of the store, they bring you in. They pay you after a while. The neighbor will pay and say...that’s nice what you did at the other store. Then they’ll be a bidding who’s gonna sweep it better. Then you go in the store and you make sure when he tell you to ?watch/wash? the shelf, do a good job. The next thing you know you’re running the franchise of lots of stores and that’s one store that couldn’t move forward, you become–to be a good servant and help somebody–it’s the same as–you don’t have to always be a boss because the boss is a servant. The boss helps other people get ahead. That’s his only job as the boss, to make everybody do good. That’s his job so he’s a servant. He’s helping everybody do what they do... [Interruption regarding event] ...Just tying it in–like what inspired you about that aspect–I mean because I guess–when people think of you, they think about the culture. You’re like the ambassador of the culture. You’re the first thing that comes to people’s minds when they say okay, hip-hop, it’s Russell. It’s Def Jam. It’s your brands that you built because your brands that you built provided the platform for so many of the brands that we love. Like when you think of a Jay-Z..Jay-Z...he was on Freeze Records...but when you brought him in and even I remember before he did Roc-a-wear you did an ad with him where he was wearing a Phat Farm jacket. I got him the partners for Roc-a-wear, his partnership. I took him into there and helped him build that company. ...You know what, though...for a lot of us young people we don’t have a blueprint on how the infrastructure works. [Interruption by assistants to prepare for event] I just found him some partners who could manufacture and distribute the Roc-a-wear brand and–Damon said he wanted to be in the clothing business...we found him those Russian guys, great guys, too...

Taking back responsibility because the reason why we did this– I mean it’s very difficult– there’s no blueprint on...getting in the media business publishing or talking to people about how they could empower themselves to be able to live off of their dreams...I said don’t play with your life, own your destiny...because your destiny is in your own hands. You just gotOwnerSIllustrated.com • 79


OWNERS ILLUSTRATED BOSSES EDITION

80 •Ownersillustrated.com


N RO G N I D L U A SP SIC U M A

AN T N O NT F

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PRES

To call Ron Spaulding a legend would be an understatement if that were possible. His stint at Priority virtually proved Hip-Hop’s viability at retail beyond the New York market taking sales from $30 Million to over $300 million during his tenure. Building relationships and scouring talent from obscure markets, he built the foundation that underpins the success of virtually every relevant artist in the past decade. Now manning the ship at Fontana, Universal Music Group’s independent label shop, he spoke exclusively with Owners Illustrated to discuss his career and the future of the industry. So how have you been? I’ve been great. I guess if you could start off by introducing yourself, who you are and what do you do over there at Fontana? I’m Ron Spaulding and I’m the President of Fontana and I’m responsible for the overseeing and running of the day-to-day operations of the organization. So talk about your start and narrate your journey to your current position. It’s an interesting journey...it’s an evolving story. I guess, I attended Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois and I came out of there, my job basically an hourly employee in Venture Stores back in [1984-85] from there I went on to be the buyer for that company of music, books, movies I went to ShopKo to become the buyer for music, books movies and then my first job for label job in Minneapolis as the regional sales rep..for Priority Records from about 1990, I was there for nine years or so..become vice president of sales. From there I ended up being Vice President of Sales from there WEA I came to Fontana from there in 2007.. Executive Vice President and GM three years I became President about a year ago.

urban music and really starting to help make urban music much more of a mainstream accepted genre than it was back in the early 90’s. ...How about the environment now today and how do you guys seek out new talent to kind of build the bridge in this current music environment? You know it’s funny...I will always say that the record business is forever changed. The music business is alive and well. So we constantly are seeking a relationship with entrepreneurs and spirited folks that want to be in this music business and not necessarily the record business because I think the record business is very challenged you know, our business has changed. There are lots of ways to sell music now to consumers. There are lots of ways to promote it. It provides a tremendous channel of opportunities for everyone. So now talk about licensing also...Licensing provides great opportunities... There’s gaming. There’s movies. There’s digital videos online. There’s all sorts of things commercial. So talk about licensing and how that helps your roster or what’s your viewpoint on the licensing field? An extension of the licensing efforts so right now and having relationships with licensing their music to the appropriate folks out there...with their brand. We have relationships with Downtown Music Services and also Downtown Records has a label deal with us. Fontana and they provide the synchronization and go out to place music and movies and television  commercials, etc., gaming, etc. provide income from that and exposure.   So licensing becomekind of the buzz word of the day. People can see that there’s real money involved with..licensing deal out there or synchronization deal and they can get paid and brand and putting yourself in the right.relationship with the right brand

Wow so you were at Priority during the formative years of the success of hiphop distribution, the Kill at Will albums, you know the Master P deals....

Do you guys actually get involved with artists and helping them figure out ways they could enhance their brands or finding the right partnerships with their brands?

Yes, in fact,we put the Master P distribution deal together, myself and Dave Weiner when we were at Priority.

Sure we do, [there are] marketing opportunities...We also have a non-traditional music retailers that can brand in terms of artists out there that might want to.

So talk about that period of time because that was a formative year, that was groundbreaking. That was actually an era where you guys were proving the viability on the mainstream stage that independent artists could be viable to create multi-million record sales. Yeah absolutely during the Priority time is when gangster rap...west coast music...when I first got there [it was ]N.W.A. Eazy-E movement you know at that time rap music in particular was not mainstream...over the tenure I think we Priority particularly made that commercial and mainstream music Well speaking about somebody like Rap-A-Lot you still have a relationship with J. Prince after all these years and he’s over there with you at Fontana...so speak about that how these relationships cultivated early [are] kinda giving you a leg up with Fontana and what you guys are doing right now. ...Truth be told it’s really about trust and forthrightness, if you will, as it relates to the relationship. You’re dealing with this music and different cultures. Frankly, one thing that’s universal is being trustworthy, honorable, and doing what you say you’re gonna do...J and I have been able to form a long, 20-year relationship with just those simple facts, and I value that relationship. He’s been a great partner with us. He’s been a great partner in the past. He’s a great partner now with us at Fontana. And I think at Fontana one of the things that we’re really proud of is we’re making real strides in the urban community now to do more and more distribution deals with folks with labels and urban entrepreneurs that need access to a bigger system in order to go out there and get the music in their hearts heard on the mainstream level and so you know we’re providing that platform at Fontana. James is one example of that. We have other relationships out of the Bay area. Upstairs Records is in a relationship with us. We have Penagon with us. We have Hoo-Bangin’ with Mack 10. We have a deal with Master P as well. So you know a lot of those old relationships that you can hear start to ring through, the things that I’m mentioning, go back to the Priority days when we were really cutting our teeth in

So now, obviously the music industry has had a tremendous impact on the consumer electronics industry. I mean look at what Apple’s been able to do with the iPod or you look at now with Google TV partnership with Sony and YouTube integration and a lot of your videos get shown there. So talk about what do you see as far as opportunity wise or synergies possible in the consumer electronic industry? ...You know in the digital age there’s no limit to the amount of opportunities that you have...You know Apple and other digital providers out there in their reach is global we have a relationship provides us access Strange Music is a different type of entity than what we might typically assume in the urban space. I mean, he has an identity for his product that is more rock-aligned but he’s very, very successful and he’s an urban artist out of the midwest, out of Kansas City. He’s a phenomenal artist so consumers are responding he’s been out there ten plus years his business is built around his live performances. that’s a real big difference in a lot of hip-hop sometimes with records and mixtapes and you know they’re kind of around trying to get the records sales but he just does it very differently. They’ve stayed on the road..and is one of the most successful urban artist in our roster that we work with everyday      So now for a new artist or new companies looking to do business with Fontana, how can they go about that process? Go out and start to really build a buzz on your own one of the biggest attributes for success is patience

Ownersillustrated.com • 81


OWNERS BOSSES GEARS OFEDITION WAR 2

Jake Sigal CEO Livio Radio

Created 3 years ago by a former executive with DJ equipment maker Stanton, Livio radio has been creating the kind of feel good story the state of Michigan needs. Based in Ferndale Michigan in the Detroit metropolitan area, the young entrepreneur has created 15 jobs in his fast growing company. Just 29 years old he has a passion for music which fuels his desire to create solutions for music consumption on the go, with access to a more diverse production globally. I had a moment with Jake Sigal CEO of Livio Radio who was more than gracious to key us into his business approach, and how he is able to succeed in a metropolis that has been beset by scandal, and the sudden collapse of American Automotive Icons. So tell me what got you into this business in the first place. Well, it’s really a passion in music, you know, I really think of us a music company first and like an electronics company second. So I grew up playing percussion and I was in orchestra, jazz bands. I did like a lot of Afro Cuban drum circles growing up and music was always real important in my life and you know combining it with engineering I paid my way through school working as a club DJ in college. It made a lot of sense to get into the industry working on consumer and professional products for music. Long story short, I ended up going from one company to the next and then decided I wanted to start my own business and focus on really highlighting the music and because music’s something that’s so passionate about it, it affects how you feel and if you can get emotion into electronics you have a winner and that’s what Livio is all about, you know more music with less work So what city did you start out of? I grew up in Ohio. I’m born and raised in Columbus and then after college, I went to school in Ohio. I went down to Miami, Florida and worked for a company called Stanton. They made like turntables for DJs and other...you know pro products... of course So I was working down there as a product manager and then got hired on by Numark which was another DJ equipment manufacturer based in Rhode Island where we did a lot of stuff for New York guys. So we were doing scratch turntables for Jazzy Jay and worked with The Roots and a lot of those guys on their tours and sponsoring and working on like new product developments on how to take turntablism into the digital along the way Numark acquired Akai Professional which is the makers of the MPC which is one of the top products that producers are using especially like you know just about... Yeah the 3000 of course. Yeah so you know all the Akai MPC guys were really crazy about it. I saw that as the internet got music focused, as websites started popping up and consumers started wanting to DJ, and it’s like podcasting started to get big and iPods are getting big, I kinda was like getting it into consumers hand so that’s kinda like when I made the jump and its really taking things that consumers can aspire or like aspiring Djs, aspiring producers and then giving them that flexibility. And what Livio is a lot about is; even though people have their day jobs and their work it’s like bringing music into that setting or like in the home having that control over Pandora or we’re working on bringing internet radio to cars now so it’s like you can still get your music fix while you’re doing what else you need to be doing.

82• Ownersillustrated.com


Well that’s a interesting background when you talk about Numark, when you talk about Akai with the MPC, when you talking about Stanton with DJs so and I mean obviously there are a lot of DJ products on the market, the virtual turntables, the CD turntables. Now I’m even seeing DVD turntables where people are even able to mix videos. So were you thinking of incorporating any of those elements into your product? I mean, our business is now just getting music into people’s eardrums and for DJ products its all about being hands on where it’s the only thing that you’re doing and that’s great, I mean I still DJ, still have turntables, and the whole deal but I think that it’s a much wider audience that are really passionate about getting access to new music and discovering new music and having control so Pandora allows that control but if you’re in an office setting or you’re in your kitchen or you know we even have on our radio like there’s 20,000 stations so you can tune in to like the Halloween station so we had our radios set up outside you know a couple of weeks ago for Halloween, playing spooky music as we had Trick-or-Treaters coming up. So I think that for me it’s not about the manipulation of the song itself it’s more about the manipulation of the audio that’s in your surroundings so how you listen to music and what music you listen to when you listen to it that’s really what we’re focused on. We’re not trying to be everything for DJ’s and beyond. We look at this more of like for anyone that wants to listen to music like in the home, in the car, on the go, we’re providing solutions to let you get access to all of that favorite music or helps you set a mood or an atmosphere and DJ’s are still a way to do it and that’s why Pandora has the Genome Project which is kind of like a DJ in the box built in but, you know, I mean it’s... why we sponsor a lot of DJ’s. We’re going to be doing a fashion show at CES and we’re sponsoring all the music for the fashion because, DJ culture and pop culture, fashion, lifestyle, that’s really what we’re all about with like the music side. But not everyone wants to necessarily have a set of turntables set up but I think everybody wants to be able to get that hot track. You know what I mean. Yeah I understand what you’re saying obviously there’s DJ Hero II. For us, we deal with a lot of entrepreneurs and Tastemakers and trendsetters so my key question though is how is the transition of working for the company to actually launching your own. And that’s something that I think would be pretty really valuable to a lot of our readers who really love that entrepreneurial spirit? Well I think you just have to go see an opportunity and follow your passion. So for me it was my parents, I always was running circles around my friends and my parents when it came to technology, being a DJ I’m like on the bleeding edge. It’s like I’m doing stuff on my computer and turntables and other DJ’s were just like What are you doing? What is this? What’s going on? and I think the moment for me when I realized I could make a business out of this was that my mom wanted to listen to certain songs and she just said “look I wish there was some way to just say I want to listen to Frank Zappa right now” and she said “I don’t wanna mess with computers. I don’t wanna be like searching the internet or downloading stuff or paying two bucks a song. I just want to be able to say let’s go” and I’m like all you really have to do is go to pandora.com and type it in. She’s like well then “how do I get it into my speakers? how does this work? how does this work? And the transition from working at the company to starting my own was like there’s gotta be a way to make the latest and greatest technologies accessible to anybody whether you’re grandkids or grandparents you know in a sexy and fun way. And that’s what we do here. So we started off with our physical Livio radios for Pandora and NPR then it led to the car and now we’ve got some other new deals that we’re working with other service providers and I mean the transition was I realized that I didn’t think the big companies were doing it the right way. I thought it was too complicated and too hard to use and they were focused more on the actual electronics technology as opposed to what people want to do with music. And that’s a stronger force of people’s passion for music than it is passion for electronics. So how about the million dollar question, the fund-raising to actually manufacture a consumer electronic product, get it packaged, hire personnel I guess how were you be able to create jobs? Well, you know I started off creating my own job. So I mean at the beginning it was just me, I was in my guest bedroom of my house, working on a business. And I do have experience doing this. Now I’m not saying it’s impossible but it’s very improbable for somebody to step into an industry where they have no experience and bootstrap and start from nothing. I mean you hear about these success stories but they’re really in the minority. I mean the highest probability of success is following your passion and having some experience to back it up. So if I was starting a business and learning a new industry at the same time there’s no way I would have gotten to where we’re at today. So with my experience of working at Stanton and Numark and Ion Audio and understanding how the industry works, having contacts, being able to understand manufacturing with an engineering background. I kind of had the foundation for starting a company all set but what I didn’t know was how to start a company or raise funding, I knew how to do product, product launches, engineering, sales. I mean I’ve got experience with that which was really the foundation of Livio and you know creating the new part which was like working with Pandora or going out and pitching angels and venture capitalists, that was all new to me. I just had to read a lot of books on it, talk to friends, network, you know so on and so forth. But the thing is is that for someone that’s saying how do you go out there and start your business it’s the same story you’re gonna hear in any industry. It’s someone that was in the industry working, they found an opportunity to make something better or they found an opportunity to solve a problem that no one else wanted to solve and they went out there and solved it and used their experience within that industry as a foundation for building a company. If you already have experience well even if you’re just like an intern and you’ve done a few years working and you’re in your industry it’s a lot easier to go out and pitch investors because it’s like look I’m an established player in this space. You know before I started the company I had something like 12 or 15 products that had been launched to market. You know any investor can say look I know what I’m doing and they can say look if I’m gonna invest in this company the guy that founded it has experience doing this stuff and he knows all the ins and outs. The real challenge is that you know are they gonna have enough money and do they have a proposition that’s valuable enough for consumers to buy which you know it basically gets away a lot of the prerequisites of funding. So if you know what you’re doing and the other thing too is that we never raised money on a sketch, we always produced a prototype. We always had a product. We always had a deal. So there was actually something there before you know money was coming in. There was some seed money. I mean my dad loaned me money when we first started. I put my own money in. We had a couple of early angels putting in money. But aside from that which is like friends and family money I think that you know the big money didn’t show up until we actually did something. And you know my first big check was actually from a customer not an investor and that was like the first product I brought in and partnered with some companies overseas for manufacturing and some companies in the U.S. for development and did some you know royalty deals, deals just to bootstrap the company. So I guess just to summarize. I know I’m a little long-winded. But to summarize it is to make the transition that requires a foundation in the industry you’re working in, desire to find a problem and a solution. And then you’re really selling, you first get it out of the way that you know what you’re doing and you’re legit and you can back that up with past experience and then once you get that out of the way then you can say alright now here’s the new problem we’re solving. And you do that and you’re all set. Bio http://www.livioradio.com/about-livio/ read more of our interview with Jake Sigal at ownersillustrated.com and in our iPhone and iPad app. OwnerSIllustrated.com • 83


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Owners Illustrated Magazine XIV  

Latest Issue of Owners Illustrated Magazine with exclusive interviews from several executives and entrepreneurs

Owners Illustrated Magazine XIV  

Latest Issue of Owners Illustrated Magazine with exclusive interviews from several executives and entrepreneurs

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