The world’s largest toy manufacturer, Hasbro, seems to be giving up on its dream of Hollywood domination.
Hasbro has long been associated with Disney, making Star Wars, Marvel and Disney Princess toys for the Mouse House.
It’s being reported that the toy giant is looking to sell off entertainment company eOne, which it paid $4 billion for in 2019. eOne was the Canadian company behind preschool mainstays Peppa Pig and PJ Masks. It’s also the company producing the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons film starring Chris Pine, as well as the Power Rangers Netflix reboot and a series based on Monopoly.
Former Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner reportedly pushed for the acquisition in the hopes of cutting out the middleman and allowing Hasbro to make movies based on its own franchises in-house. Since Goldner’s unexpected death last year, it would seem that the company is cooling off on getting into the movie business.
Hasbro is weighing two options, according to several people familiar with its plans. It can take the existing staff and redirect it to make branded entertainment (think “Peppa Pig” movies), and shut down work on projects like “Yellowjackets” and “Designated Survivor.” Or it can sell everything it doesn’t want. It already sold the music company, which owned Death Row Records, for $385 million.
“Entertainment is a core foundation of Hasbro. As part of our strategic review process, we are always open to new and better ways to tell stories and bring people together through the power of play via our world-class family of brands,” said Hasbro.
What, if any effect would this have on Star Wars and Disney toys? Probably little to none. If Hasbro backs out of the entertainment business, it’ll likely just double down on toy production and find studios to partner with to make movies and TV shows going forward.
Even if Hasbro would lose the Disney licenses for whatever reason, there’s still substantial consumer interest in Hasbro’s own properties. A recent pre-order campaign for a $300 G.I. Joe H.I.S.S. tank took in over 18,000 orders… far more than preorders for a Reva lightsaber replica from the Disney Plus Obi-Wan Kenobi series.
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